The Problem Statement is the second part of the baseline review document. A Problem Statement is done on a country-wide or a site-specific basis.
The goals of the Problem Statement are to:
- Detail the main conclusions of the situation analysis, and relate them to the broader chemicals management context;
- Establish the causes of the problem in hierarchical order;
- Develop the problem statement, i.e. the main reasons for risk reduction measures (magnitude of severity; persistence; reversibility; current or potential etc.);
- Characterize associated main environmental and human health risks;
- Specify particularly vulnerable target groups or stages in the chemical’s life-cycle.
Specific questions to answer in the Problem Statement include:
Why is action required?
- Particular problem is already occurring?
- There is evidence that a problem may occur in the near or more distant future?
What is the exact nature of the problem?
- How and for what purposes is the chemical substance being used or disposed?
- What ethnic or socio-economic groups or geographic areas are affected?
- What is the magnitude of the problem?
- Is urgent action needed?
- In which stage of the chemical life cycle does the risk exist? (Production, import, storage and transport, handling and use, or disposal, etc.)?
- What are future implications if action is not taken?
- Are there any areas of uncertainty that may need to be addressed through a more detailed risk characterization?
- Recommendations for further action?