International bodies such as the United Nations (UN) oversee various programmes such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Production Volume (HPV) Chemicals Programme (now the Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme), or the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) programme for the identification of environmental factors that can increase the risk of human cancer.

As part of the HPV Chemicals Programme, the OECD members assessed the hazard properties of four soluble cobalt salts during the 6th annual Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Meeting (CoCAM). The conclusions of the CoCAM assessment can be found in the SIDS Initial Assessment Profile.

The IARC has assessed to date four groups of cobalt compounds, which have been published in two IARC Monographs: ‘Cobalt and cobalt compounds’ (1991 Monograph Vol 52 Co & Co compounds), cobalt metal particles (with[i] or without tungsten carbide), and cobalt sulphate & other soluble cobalt salts (2006 Monograph 86 Co in Hard Metals and Co Sulfate).

These are highly credible international organisations, and the CI will usually seek to provide data and information on cobalt to support their reviews.

[i] Co with tungsten carbide’ not covered by the Cobalt Institute.