Assessing chemical risks

Promoting hazard assessment of chemicals
Evaluating chemical hazards

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends giving high priority to hazard assessment of chemicals, that is, of their intrinsic properties as the appropriate basis for risk assessment.

Paragraph 16 of the UN/ECE Ã…rhus Declaration requires signatories to conduct further evaluation of hazards and exposures from chemicals and their impacts on human health and the environment. It recommends such evaluations should be based on scientific evaluation, including risk assessment, and decisions should respect the precautionary principle.


At EU level the European NGOs, have continuously been asking for a fast track procedure in assessing priority substances, which goes immediately from hazard identification to action, taking into consideration the precautionary principle.

Counter Claim:

Corporations have succeeded in embedding risk assessment into all US government decision-making processes, so precautionary action is nearly inconceivable within most agencies of government. The public is much better informed, but its democratic institutions (public schools, the press, the judiciary, Congress and the executive branch) have been hijacked by corporate money and now mainly serve powerful elites, regardless of the general welfare.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality Education