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EU actions to ensure safe and sustainable chemicals for health and the environment.


Chemicals are essential for the well-being, high living standards and comfort of modern society. They are used in many sectors, including health, energy, mobility and housing. However, most chemicals have hazardous properties which can harm the environment and human health.

The EU already has a comprehensive and protective regulatory framework for chemicals, supported by an advanced knowledge base. To further protect human health and reduce pollution from chemicals, the EU adopted the chemicals strategy for sustainability.

In the EU

Around 40
EU laws regulate chemicals
90% of Europeans
are worried about the impact of chemicals in everyday products on the environment
84% of Europeans
are worried about the impact of chemicals in everyday products on their health


The EU aims to

  • better protect citizens and the environment
  • boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals

Specific policies

Reducing mercury pollution both in the EU and globally

Overview of EU cosmetics rules and guidelines

EU rules on the sustainable use of pesticides

EU rules to assess risks of biocidal products


Tools and instruments

Related links

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) - the EU agency committed to implementing EU chemicals legislation.

Chemicals in Our Life - website providing an overview of the various chemicals we come across daily as well as their impacts.

Related topics: Circular economy,

Related strategies: Chemicals strategy, Zero pollution action plan, Circular economy action plan, Industrial strategy

Related Commission priorities: European Green Deal 


For questions about EU environmental policy, please contact Europe Direct.