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UNEP report says shifting production of chemicals to developing nations is causing growing damage to environment, health

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5 September 2012

Rising chemicals output a hazard, clean-up needed by 2020 -UN

Author: Alister Doyle. Reuters

Increasing misuse of chemicals is causing health and environmental damage especially in emerging economies and governments must do more to carry out a promised clean-up by 2020, a United Nations report said on Wednesday. Production and use of chemicals - from plastics to pesticides - is shifting to developing nations where safeguards are often weaker, the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) said...Poisonings from industrial and agricultural chemicals are among the top five leading causes of death worldwide, contributing to more than a million deaths every year, UNEP said...The gains that chemicals can provide must not come at the expense of human health and the environment," Achim Steiner, head of UNEP, said...Scientists have only assessed the risks of using a fraction of an estimated 140,000 chemicals marketed worldwide, in everything from plastics to pesticides, UNEP said... UNEP...listed firms such as Bayer, Boots [part of Alliance Boots] or BASF as having ways to avoid damaging chemicals.

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5 September 2012

[PDF] Global Chemical Outlook: Towards Sound management of Chemical

Author: UNEP

Industries which produce and use chemicals have a signifi cant impact on employment, trade and economic growth worldwide, but chemicals can have adverse effects on human health and the environment...Leading corporations have adopted chemical management programs and there are now many international conventions and institutions for addressing these chemicals globally. However, the increasing variety and complexity of chemicals and the...chemical supply chains and waste streams exposes serious gaps, lapses and inconsistencies in government and international policies and corporate practices...[I]nternational concerns are growing over the capacity to achieve the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation goal that, by 2020, chemicals will be produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse effects on the environment and human health. [refers to SC Johnson, Boots, BASF, NCC, Skanska, JM, Peab, Bayer]

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