Management of chemicals for sustainable development

Larry Olson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter traces the growth of global actions related to the management of chemicals and hazardous wastes since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, through the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, and projections into the future as far as 2020. It is important to understand this relationship, since the groundwork for essentially all of the recommendations found in the Article 23 of the Plan of Implementation from Johannesburg is found in Chapter 19 of Agenda 21. Significant progress has been made in understanding the risks associated with chemical exposure and in how to manage those risks to effectively reduce the threat to human health and the environment. The Plan of Implementation calls for transparency and accessibility in sharing this information with all countries and assistance to developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, in establishing the capacity for sound management of chemicals within their borders. Ratification of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is called for by 2003 and 2004, respectively. Full implementation of the new Globally Harmonised System for classifying and labelling chemicals is sought by 2008. Attention is given to risks posed by heavy metals, with a particular focus on the health and environmental effects of mercury and efforts to reduce anthropogenic releases. Finally, the Bahia Declaration and Priorities for Action beyond 2000 are used as examples of a strategic global approach to management of chemicals. Chemistry must play a central role in reducing poverty and improving standards of living by more efficient and sustainable use of resources than is the case today as outlined in Principle 8 of the Rio Declaration. All of the actions called for in Article 23 of the Plan of Implementation are achievable and the time frames specified are reasonable. Progress to date has demonstrated the potential for effective cooperation between private industry, governments, international groups, and non-governmental organisations, yet much remains to be done, particularly in the area of Green Chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe World Summit on Sustainable Development
Subtitle of host publicationThe Johannesburg Conference
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781402036521
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Globally Harmonised System
  • Rotterdam Convention
  • Stockholm Convention
  • chemicals
  • classification
  • labelling
  • persistent organic pollutants
  • risk reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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