Chemicals are needed in our daily lives. They are present in almost everything surrounding us in our everyday environment: in furniture, clothing, food, hygienic articles, electronics and cars.
In the last 50 years, world production of chemicals has gone up from less than 10 million tonnes to over 400 million tonnes per year. The number of chemicals in society is very large. Companies reporting to the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, show that over 100,000 chemical substances are used.
Some chemicals are hazardous to human health and the environment. Knowledge is therefore needed on how to handle them.