There are more than 100,000 substances in use today that are an integral part of daily life. These harmful substances are present in nearly every industry, and are critical to human well-being and sustainable development. However, human health and the environment can be negatively impacted if chemicals are not managed properly.
Health related affects from harmful substances in the environment include acute poisoning, cancers, birth defects and neurological disorders. The environmental impact includes effects on sensitive species and ecosystems, ozone depletion and the mass contamination of bodies of water.
Sustainable use of chemicals needs attention as they endanger ecosystems, environmental resources and the livelihoods and health of future generations.
Organize recycling drives to properly dispose of products with harmful chemicals, such as batteries or electronics
Plan community-wide clean-up projects
Raise awareness about harmful substances in homes and the community
This UNEP fact sheet provides additional information about harmful substances.