A Global Challenge

Hazardous substances from human activity are found in the food people eat, the air people breathe, the water people drink, and the places people work. Even before they are born, children have hundreds of toxic chemicals in their bodies. Scientists link higher levels of certain cancers and other adverse health impacts to the increasing production and use of toxic chemicals over the past several decades.

In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council affirmed that hazardous substances and waste may constitute a serious threat to the full enjoyment of human rights. The rapid acceleration in chemical production suggests the likelihood that this is an increasing threat, particularly for the human rights of the most vulnerable. The UN Special Rapporteur is mandated by the Human Rights Council to monitor the impacts and implications of hazardous substances and wastes. This website describes his work.

Issues of Interest