Chemical Safety and the Environment

Chemicals are widely used throughout society, with both positive and negative effects on health, well-being, socio-economic aspects and the environment. Significant but still insufficient progress has been made in international chemicals management and regulations. Serious incidents still occur and there are still negative impacts on both human health and the environment, and it is agreed that the sound management of chemicals at the workplace is directly linked to protection of the environment. The protection of workers from the exposure to hazardous substances has always been a major concern for the ILO. Furthermore, the sound management of chemicals has continued importance, especially in the light the goal agreed at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development of ensuring that, by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.