Protecting present and future generation from hazardous chemicals!
Around 40.000 to 60.000 chemicals are part of our daily life. Many of them cause irreversible harm to our environment and our health, children and women are particularly affected. Many of these hazardous chemicals end up in our environment in the food chain and in drinking water, and accumulate in our body – for instance from highly hazardous pesticides or lead in paint. But also chemicals in plastic products or environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants are among the threats and challenges related to toxic chemicals. According to the UN, the current chemical production capacity of 2.3 billion tonnes is projected to double by 2030.
In recent years, the demand for protection of human rights, especially children’s rights from toxins is emerging. The majority of children globally are born “pre-polluted” in utero, with numerous contaminants that impact on several of their rights. As a result, a “silent pandemic” of disability and disease is spreading in association with exposure to toxins and pollution during childhood.
Most effective policy solutions to protect people and planet from hazardous chemicals
We face a dramatic number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals as well as air, water and soil pollution and contamination. This is impacting present and future generations. It is therefore absolutely critical that we strengthen the sound management of chemicals and waste – through inclusive, effective, inspiring and innovative laws and policies. This is why in 2020, we are looking for the most effective policy solutions that protect our environment and our health from hazardous chemicals.
In 2020, the World Future Council’s Future Policy Award highlights exemplary laws and policies that protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals. We in particular want to highlight laws, policies and legal frameworks that minimise the adverse effects of exposure to chemicals on human health, with a focus on children’s health, and the environment. Consumption and production of chemicals are rapidly increasing in emerging economies, and we are therefore specifically interested in policies from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.