Chemicals, whether occurring in nature or manufactured in laboratories, are at the heart of any industrialized society. These chemicals help protect our health and control pests and diseases. Chemicals and chemical substances, ranging from pharmaceutical to agricultural chemicals and extending to a diverse range of applications in homes, businesses and industries, have contributed toward improving living conditions and prolonging human life.
Most chemicals are beneficial and present little or no risk to the health or environment when used properly, some commonly used chemicals may pose unreasonable risk to public health and environment. The problems associated with exposure to chemicals grew as the number and quantity of chemical substances increased, and the opportunities of application expanded.
Public concern about the harmful effects of inadvertent or international release of chemical substances directly to air, water and soil, or indirectly through food chain contamination has increased. All the sectors of the community, government and industry now recognize the importance of understanding the potential hazards and risks associated with exposure to certain chemicals and need for effective management of chemicals to minimize their effects on health and environment.