NewsCasting

Issue 4 April 1998


ILMC Policy Advisory Group

The Ministerial Declaration on Risk Reduction for Lead published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in February 1996 outlined a different model for Governments seeking to reduce the levels of occupational, population and environmental lead exposure.

This Declaration not only called for OECD member countries to take remedial action, but challenged the Lead Industry to initiate a voluntary risk reduction program through the International Lead Management Center (ILMC) which would be effective in both OECD and non member countries, particularly those in economic transition.

Ten of the world's major lead producers fund the activities of the ILMC and are represented on the Board of Directors. It was always envisaged, however, that whilst the Board would ensure adequate resources for the Center and enlist the support of the Lead Industry for the ILMC Project, a Policy Advisory Group (PAG) would be essential to develop the appropriate strategies for the introduction of successful voluntary risk reduction projects.

The first meeting of the six members of the Policy Advisory Group was convened in Antwerp, Belgium on January 12th and 13th of this year. In addition to the PAG, ILMC Executive Director, Craig Boreiko and Program Manager, Brian Wilson attended to provide the PAG with activity reports and project summaries.

High on the list of priorities for the PAG was a review of current and forthcoming ILMC activities, communication media, risk reduction tools and membership within and outside the OECD. In this context ILMC activities and achievements were compared to the goals set out in the OECD Declaration.

The PAG acknowledged that, during the first year following the Declaration, the major primary lead producers in OECD member countries had clearly demonstrated their intention to comply with the risk reduction program through the activities of the ILMC. The Officers of ILMC were, however, urged to extend the membership of ILMC to include more Lead Industry associations, especially ceramics, and companies primarily engaged in secondary lead recycling and battery manufacturing.

Whilst the OECD Declaration is essentially focused on lead exposure in Member countries, the PAG recognized that for most OECD members Lead Risk Reduction programs are already in place, whereas in many non OECD countries lead exposure posed a potentially serious problem. The PAG therefore welcomed the world wide perspective of ILMC in promoting risk reduction projects in both OECD member and non member countries. The PAG did, however, suggest that greater emphasis should be given to forging links with indigenous Lead Industries to promote voluntary initiatives and technology transfer, rather than relying on national governments to provide the impetus for change.

The PAG also felt that the many different lead exposure pathways, associated with the extensive lead product range and the diverse nature of the differing priorities and cultures in the world, demanded of ILMC the preparation of a comprehensive solutions "toolbox" detailing appropriate voluntary measures, including "Product Stewardship", cooperative initiatives and risk reduction procedures that could be applied in other countries.

The ILMC was advised to catalogue an inventory of such instruments and include a list of expert contacts who could provide further advice, together with case histories entailing the necessary steps in the risk reduction process. The PAG endorsed the risk reduction projects in the ceramics and crystalware industries and recommended that ILMC seek to extend the range of sector-based projects.

The PAG welcomed the proposal by the ILMC to create a "clearinghouse" of materials which would support phase-out programs for leaded gasoline. They suggested that a similar approach might be considered for other lead based products for which substitution strategies were being pursued. The use of lead shot for sporting pursuits was noted to be one such application.

In the view of the PAG, for the ILMC Risk Reduction Project to be effective, the Lead Industry had to develop a clearer strategy that would prioritize activities, resource programs and reduce lead exposure in all the sectors contained in the OECD Declaration. The Group recommended that in order to enhance the Lead Industry's voluntary initiative the ILMC prepare the following generic guidelines:

  • Model Company Procedures
  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
  • Staff and Contractor Induction training programs
  • Life Cycle Assessments (LCA)
  • Lead Industry Best Practice Notes
  • Case studies

These ILMC materials could, in the opinion of the PAG, be used and applied in the various Pilot Programs in conjunction with any improvements in technology.

In addition the ILMC was also advised to strengthen the PAG membership with the inclusion of at least one representative from a non OECD country, either from academia or one of the many active NGO with experience in health and environmental issues, in order to reflect the strategic goals that included lead risk reduction activities in developing and emerging nations.

Risk Management at the Globe 98, 5th International Conference, Vancouver.

The themes for this years Globe 98 International Conference and Trade Fair held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada during the third week of March, were clearly set out during the welcoming speech by Christine Stewart, the Canadian Minister for the Environment. She said that "increasingly, the environmental problems we face are global in scope and progress depends on the countries of the world working together to protect the environment", and went on to express her wish that "countries should share the benefits of their expertise and knowledge" to ensure "the stable development of the world's population".

The Conference was divided into ten distinct program tracks, with each track focused on a particular environmental issue or region of the world.

Tracks 8 and 9 updated environmental activities around the world and Carlos Sandoval, President of the National Council Environment Industry, (CONIECO) in Mexico City and moderator for the Mexican delegation confirmed that approximately US$2 billion would be spend this year in environmental improvements and efforts to further reduce trans-boundary pollution in Mexico.

Francisco Giner de los Rios, Director General for the Secretaría del Medio Ambiente Recursos Naturales y Pesca, SEMARNAP (Ministry of Natural Resources and Fisheries) outlined the Mexican Government's environmental legislative program, but also endorsed industries' voluntary risk reduction initiatives, typified by the Agreement between ILMC and the National Institute for the Environment, INE.

Walter Kuit, Manager Environmental Affairs, Cominco Limited, Canada and expert advisor to the ILMC spoke at the Conference in Track 6 about the future direction and priorities of Environmental Management in the Mining and Minerals Industries.

Walter Kuit stated that the first priority for mining organizations was to face up to the legacy of the past and implement programs to deal with contamination at both operating and decommissioned sites. He emphasized, however, the need to undertake risk assessments to confirm existing priorities and strengthen environmental management performance through the establishment of sound Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Cominco also advocated the need to evaluate the science, life cycle assessment (LCA) and the potential for improved performance with any proposed legislative programs to generate an holistic approach to environmental management and not "end of pipe solutions".

Brian Wilson, the ILMC Program Manager also presented a paper at the conference outlining the ILMC lead risk reduction project and explaining how unilateral voluntary industry initiatives can fit into and work within the future regulatory landscape.

ILMC Addresses OECD Advisory Group On Risk Management

At the invitation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Craig Boreiko, Executive Director of ILMC, addressed the OECD Advisory Group on Risk Management (AGRM) at their Paris meeting in February. The ILMC initiatives and activities in both OECD and non member countries in support of the voluntary lead risk reduction program were reviewed, with the emphasis on Pilot Programs that would serve as regional demonstration projects to reduce occupational exposures, enhance recycling, and improve environmental performance.

Lead product issues were assigned priority in the Ministerial Declaration and ongoing ILMC initiatives in the various lead sectors were also outlined including the phase out of leaded gasoline, measures to reduce leaching from crystal and ceramicware, an expert system to eliminate risks associated with lead soldered food cans and the rehabilitation of land contaminated with lead shot.

Dr. Boreiko also confirmed that, as many of the ILMC projects are partnerships between industry associations, national governments and international organizations, the ILMC Policy Advisory Group encouraged further dialogue between the OECD and ILMC to facilitate the identification of additional cooperative interactions.

Members of the AGRM, which advises the OECD Joint Meeting on progress being made within the OECD Risk Reduction Program, commented favorably upon the scope, variety and geographic diversity of ILMC activities.

Many delegates expressed satisfaction with the progress being made in fulfilling the obligations of the Industry on lead risk reduction issues.

At the same meeting the AGRM also reviewed a questionnaire, expected to be distributed in March 1998, to OECD member countries and the Lead Industry for the OECD to assess progress being made on lead risk reduction three years after the Ministerial Declaration on Lead Risk Reduction.

ILMC Participate in OECD Workshop

ILMC were represented at the three day OECD workshop held in London during the first week of January this year on the integration of socio-economic analysis in chemical risk management decision making. The workshop brought together over 100 risk managers and social economists from 18 member countries representing Governments, academia and industry.

For some years socio-economic analysis has been part of the decision making process in the determination of appropriate measures to reduce the levels of exposure and three of the speakers cited case histories applicable to the Lead Industry.

The workshop concluded that socio-economic analysis should be a component of the risk management decision making process and recommended to the OECD Risk Management Advisory Group a six point agenda for consideration. Included in the agenda was a proposal to develop a flexible framework to guide the integration of the methodology into the risk management process and the retrospective analysis of past experiences to ascertain whether socio-economic studies add value to the decision making process.

Socio-economic analysis is a key component of the joint UNCTAD / ILMC risk reduction project in the Philippines and likely to feature in forthcoming pilot programs, particularly in non OECD countries.

Paul Framp Takes the Mantle of the ILMC Chair

Paul Framp, who has been an ILMC Vice Chairman for the last two years, was elected to succeed Federico Kunz as the new Chair of the ILMC Board of Directors at their recent meeting in London. Dan Vornberg, Director of Environmental affairs with the Doe Run Company was elected as a Vice Chair.

Federico Kunz has been the Chair of the ILMC since it was formed in July 1996 and has been instrumental in guiding the Center through the initial months of formulating policy, procedures and the selection of the first Pilot Programs.

Paul Framp has a long pedigree in the metals industry and joined MIM in 1994. He is currently a Director and General Manager of Britannia Refined Metals, a primary and secondary lead producer with the world's largest lead refinery at Northfleet, in the United Kingdom. He stated that the ILMC can demonstrate that with the appropriate technology and control systems lead products can be produced safely and recycled in an environmentally sound manner.


NewsCasting is published quarterly by the International Lead Management Center, a not-for-profit organization established by the international lead community in response to the need for international action on the issue of lead risk reduction. Please direct correspondence to :

International Lead Management Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 14189 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-4189 USA
Telephone: 919.361.2446 Facsimile: 919.361.1957