Background information on Chemicals

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Currently, we assume the safety of many chemicals, but the consequences of long-term, low-level exposures to many chemicals (through design, manufacture, use and disposal) have not been examined in-depth. Unborn babies and children can be particularly sensitive to the effects of these chemicals.

Despite recent ambitious moves from the EU to limit harmful chemicals in air, soil, water, products and industrial processes, many gaps remain. Putting these laws in place across the EU is often slow, and enforcement absent, and meanwhile the growing costs of chronic diseases linked to chemical contamination increasingly threaten public healthcare systems.

HEAL calls on the EU and on the international community to take a precautionary approach to chemicals that threaten the environment or human health. We urge the EU and individual countries to ensure rapid implementation of laws that end the use of the most harmful chemicals.

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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