Chemicals and human and environmental health: The need for an international panel on chemical pollution

Joan O. Grimalt


A key element in the improvement of human living conditions brought about by the Industrial Revolution was the synthesis of new chemical compounds, such as DDT. These had positive effects on humans and, indirectly, on some ecosystems, such as wetlands. However, many of these compounds also had harmful effects on both humans and wildlife, which were only discovered decades after they were first used. An international group of scientists has proposed the creation of a body similar to the International Panel on Climate Change to study the compounds being produced and to provide social and political managers with the necessary information to avoid these problems. The United Nations Environment Assembly has decided to create this body.


science and policy; DDT; wetland preservation; chemical compound governance; international management bodies



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