Industry & health


Tens of thousands of industrial chemicals are currently on the market and used in our daily products which go unchecked for potential effects on human health and the environment.

In Europe and around the world chemicals are used by industries to manufacture everyday consumer items (household products, children’s toys, clothes, furniture, electronic equipments, etc.). In its 2001 White Paper, the European Commission reckoned that global production has increased from 1 million tonne in 1930 to 400 million tonnes in 2001 (31% of which is from the EU chemical industry) and that about 100,000 different substances are placed on the EU market.


Serious knowledge gaps exist about the adverse impacts of these chemicals and too often action has only been taken after widespread damage has been done (well known examples include: asbestos, DDT, PCBs, benzene, etc). Many of these chemicals have caused - and still cause - serious damage to human health and wildlife through their continued release into the environment.



Not only do hazardous chemical substances threaten environmental safety and thus biodiversity at the global level but they are also increasingly to cause serious health problems. The incidence of some major diseases (e.g. various types of cancer, multiple allergies and lower fertility) have increased significantly over the last decades and scientific research has shown clear evidence that continuous exposure of human beings and wildlife to multiple toxic chemical pollutants causes serious health problems.


Risctox database: