Our environment consists of chemical substances. These substances can be natural or manmade, i.e. synthetic. Without them, life would not exist.
A chemical can be a chemical substance or a mixture of substances. A chemical can be harmful to human health or the environment. Chemicals that are hazardous to health may, for example, cause skin or eye irritation, sensitisation and toxic effects, or they can have serious long-term effects, such as cancer. Other serious effects include, for example, effects on reproduction or fetal development. In addition to the hazardous properties, the level of exposure to the chemical in question has a significant impact on the health risk. Environmentally hazardous substances include substances that are, for example, persistent, bioaccumulating and toxic.
Chemicals are subject to a number of statutes whose purpose is to ensure safe use of chemicals and products containing them. The aim is that all products on the market would be such that they do not pose a danger to humans or the environment if used in accordance with the relevant instructions.