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Chemistry International
Vol. 23, No. 2
March 2001


IUPAC/UNESCO/UNIDO Safety Program Trains Two Scientists in United States

by Mark C. Cesa


IUPAC Company Associates BP Amoco and Bristol-Myers Squibb recently sponsored visits to the United States by Ms. Esma Toprak, chief chemical engineer at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, and Prof. Ali A. El-Emam, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Mansoura in Egypt, for hands-on training as part of the IUPAC/UNESCO/UNIDO Safety Training Program.

Ms. Esma Toprak
Chief chemical engineer, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey

While industries in developed countries are introducing sophisticated safety measures covering operational, health, and environmental aspects in close interaction with governments and the public, the gap between developed and developing countries in safety education, research, and implementation of technical measures is widening. The increase in chemical production and consumption in the developing world makes it essential to promote interactions to disseminate state-of- the-art knowledge on safety and environmental protection in chemical production.

Realizing the importance of safety education, guidelines, legislation, and implementation, IUPAC; the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the United Nations International Development Organization (UNIDO) have come together to develop a joint training program for safety and environmental protection in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological research and production. The joint IUPAC/UNESCO/UNIDO Safety Training Program allows safety experts from developing countries to learn about safety and environmental protective me asures by visiting and working in plants of IUPAC Company Associates in the industrialized world.

Safety Training Program

The Safety Training Program, established in 1993, is part of a broadly based safety promotion initiative by the IUPAC Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI). Training covers such areas as:

  • process safety management (PSM)
  • environmental protection
  • HAZOP/HAZAN analysis
  • legislative measures and interaction between industry, universities, government, and the public
  • emergency planning and model studies
  • "responsible care" and its relevance to developing countries
  • integrated approach for safety, health, and environment (SHE) at unit and company levels, and training of university teaching staff in SHE
  • ISO 9000 and 14000 series
  • material safety data sheets (MSDS)

Ms. Esma Toprak’s Visit

read more about Ms. Esma Toprak’s Visit

Ms. Toprak visited BP Amoco sites in Naperville, Illinois, and Green Lake, Texas, shadowing health, safety, and environment (HSE) and engineering work groups during her two-week stay in April 2000. Her training covered aspects of HSE at the corporate, commercial, and plant levels.

Ms. Toprak was amazed by what she saw, and the devastating Turkish earthquake in August 1999 was never far from her mind. "It was a horrible experience. It makes safety training that much more important." Upon her return home, Ms. Toprak reorganized the student laboratories to comply with international regulations on safety and helped her department review and supplement necessary safety measures and required equipment. Ms. Toprak is also planning to teach courses on safety to students in her department, as well as in other departments and institutions in Turkey.

Prof. El-Emam’s Visit

Prof. Ali A. El-Emam, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Mansoura

Bristol-Myers Squibb hosted Dr. El-Emam for two weeks in August 2000 at several research and production facilities in New Jersey. Under the supervision of members of the Worldwide Medicine Group, Technical Operations, and Environmental Safety and Health divisions, Dr. El-Emam received training in safety practices in research laboratories, handling of hazardous chemicals, medical surveillance of employees, and crisis management. Among several programs Dr. El-Emam plans to initiate at Mansoura University and elsewhere in Egypt are improvements in safety in teaching laboratories and the establishment of nationwide safety programs through the Egyptian Minister of Environmental Affairs, with seed money provided by UNESCO.

Applications Now Invited for 2001 and 2002

Applications are now invited for placement in the Safety Training Program for 2001 and 2002. Each scientist or engineer accepted into the Safety Training Program is assigned to an IUPAC Company Associate in an industrialized country. The period of training is typically one to three weeks. Accommodation, subsistence, and travel expenses are provided for all trainees. Candidates successfully completing the Safety Training Program submit a detailed report to the Director of the Program within COCI as well as to the host company, and trainees receive a certificate confirming their participation in the program. Successful candidates will be professional scientists and engineers who are currently

  • involved at a supervisory or managerial level in chemical companies, government institutions, or scientific institutions,
  • engaged in aspects of safety and environmental protection in chemical, pharmaceutical, or biotechnological production or in the teaching of these fields, and
  • have the ability to influence safety practices in their places of employment and elsewhere within their home country.

Application form is available online.
Alternatively, it can be obtained from the IUPAC COCI Secretary:

Dr. Mark C. Cesa, Secretary, IUPAC Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI), BP Amoco Chemicals Inc., 150 West Warrenville Road, Mail Station F-7, Naperville, Illinois 60563, USA, E-mail: [email protected]

Completed application forms (three copies) should be submitted to the IUPAC COCI Secretary at the above address. For further information on the Safety Training Program, please visit the following web site:

Alternatively, you may contact the following officials of IUPAC, UNESCO, and UNIDO: Dr. A. Nelson Wright, Chairman, IUPAC Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI), 12539 Ranger, Montréal, Québec H4J 2L7, Canada; E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Alexander Pokrovsky, Division of Basic Sciences, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1, rue Miollis, F-75732 Paris Cedex 15, France; E-mail: [email protected]



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