The OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, key tools for governments and industry worldwide to assess the safety of chemical products, are now available free of charge on the OECD public website at http://www.oecd.org/env/testguidelines.
The guidelines are central to the Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD), OECD's long established system for protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals. Under MAD, all OECD and several non-member countries which have signed up to it must accept test data developed in other countries using OECD test guidelines and following OECD Good Laboratory Practice principles. This minimises non-tariff barriers to trade and avoids duplicative testing, saving governments and industry an estimated €60m annually.
Free and wider dissemination of the guidelines is a major OECD contribution to the implementation of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), adopted in 2006 by Ministers at the International Conference on Chemicals Management. The SAICM calls for instruments needed for chemicals management to be globally available at no cost.