Priorities for improving chemicals management in the WHO European Region-stakeholders' views

J.A. Vincenten*, I. Zastenskaya, P. Schroder-Back, D.I. Jarosinska

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Prevention of the impact of chemicals on human health and the environment is an increasing focus of public health polices and policy makers. The World Health Organization European Centre for Environment and Health wanted to know what were stakeholders' priorities for improving chemicals management and prevention. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 18 diverse stakeholders to answer this question. The interview questionnaire was developed using current WHO chemical meeting reports, the Evidence Implementation Model for Public Health Systems and categories of the theory of diffusion. Stakeholder views were attained on three main questions within the questionnaire. (i) What priority actions should be undertaken to minimize the negative impact of chemicals? (ii) Who needs to be more involved and what roles should they have? (iii) How can science and knowledge on chemicals and health be translated into policies more effectively and what are the greatest barriers to overcome? Results: Cross cutting issues, such as legislation strengthening and enforcement, further collection of information, capacity building, education and awareness raising were considered priorities. The responders had the same vision on roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders. The greatest barrier to adoption, implementation and enforcement of evidence-based policies reported was leadership and political commitment to chemical safety. Conclusions: Priorities raised differed depending on knowledge, professional background and type of stakeholder. Factors influencing priority identification at the national level include international and global context, availability of information, knowledge of the current situation and evidence-based good practice, and risks and priorities identified through national assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)812-817
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • burden
  • costs
  • disease
  • endocrine-disrupting chemicals
  • exposure

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