Chemical Safety

Chemicals are part of our daily life.  Chemical safety refers to the sound management of chemicals, for which the science policy interface is key. 

Chemicals can be toxic. Paracelsus (1493 - 1541), who is considered the father of toxicology, has coined the statement that is the dose that differentiates a poison from a remedy. We currently know that other factors, such as life stage, age, nutrition, disease and exposure to other chemicals, among other factors should also be considered in the evaluation of chemical exposures and adverse health effects.  

With methodological developments, the paradigm shift in toxicology involves the transition from a science 'in vivo", evaluating factors related for example, to the lethal dose for animals in laboratory, for a science ' in vitro ' working at the molecular level of key events and processes related to cell responses and the adverse effects on human health and the environment. The integration of “in vivo” and “in vitro” has resulted in the production of extensive knowledge of many of the chemical elements and compounds (Meek et al. 2014).  

The Chemical safety program at PAHO aims to strengthen the health sector roles and responsibilities to ensure chemicals are used safety, with attention to their whole life cycle. For such, knowledge systematization and capacity building using virtual media, has been an important target.