About us

The International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) was developed and structured on the basis of recommendations of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972). It is a cooperative venture between WHO, ILO and UNEP.

The two main roles of the IPCS are to establish the scientific basis for the safe use of chemicals and to strengthen national capabilities and capacities for chemical safety.

There are four main elements of work:

  • Evaluation of chemical risks to human health, including:

    • preparation and publication of chemicals assessments
    • development and harmonization of scientifically sound methods for chemicals assessment
    • evaluating the safety of food components, constituents, additives and residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs
  • Poisons information, prevention and management
  • Chemicals incidents and emergencies
  • Capacity building

IPCS carries out its work in cooperation with national governments, non-governmental organisations, and through nominated National Focal Points and a network of participating, scientific institutions around the world.

IPCS works jointly with the FAO (for JECFA and JMPR) and in collaboration with other UN agencies and Participating Organizations of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC).

More information


Contact details


International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS)
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland

E-mail: ipcsmail@who.int
Fax: +41 22 791 4848
Web site: http://www.who.int/ipcs/