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European Environment Agency | Key actions for safer and more sustainable chemicals

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Chemicals play a key role across economic sectors in Europe and globally, including agriculture, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing. Almost all consumer goods contain chemicals to improve product functionalityAt the same time, evidence suggests that chemical pollution has exceeded safe limits at global level. Our pervasive use and release of chemicals means that today, the bodies of European citizens are contaminated with a large number of chemicals — some at levels damaging to health. Europeans are also concerned about the negative impacts of chemicals on health and the environment.

According to the EEA briefing ‘Managing the systemic use of chemicals in Europe the increasing production and consumption of chemicals creates challenges at global scale, ranging from negative impacts on people’s health and pollution of our environment to reinforcing our dependency on fossil fuels and contributing to greenhouse gas emissionsEvidence suggests that we have now exceeded the planetary boundary for chemical pollution. Chemicals in products also present a barrier to re-use or recycling, hampering resource efficiency and the transition to circular economy.



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