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The environmental objective “A non-toxic environment”

Hazardous substances in goods and buildings may leak out, causing damage to plants, animals and humans. In order to protect biological diversity and human health, the use of hazardous substances must be reduced, and exposure thereby prevented.

Our environmental work is guided by the quality objectives set by the Swedish Government. Together, the Generation goal, the Environmental quality objectives and the Milestone targets make up the Environmental objectives system. This system was decided upon by the Swedish Government and Parliament in April 1999.   

Our work aims at helping Sweden achieve the environmental quality objective “A non-toxic environment”. 

In this context, the term “non-toxic is defined as: 
"The occurrence of man-made or extracted substances in the environment must not represent a threat to human health or biological diversity. Concentrations of non-naturally occurring substances will be close to zero and their impacts on human health and on ecosystems will be negligible. Concentrations of naturally occurring substances will be close to background levels." 
Source: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Environmentally better 

In other words, in this context the term “non-toxic” does not mean that the environment could be completely free from harmful substances - they are naturally occurring. Furthermore, it is not realistic to believe that the environment could be made free from all dangerous substances produced by mankind. Even if the use of such substances could be stopped, many of them are persistent and will remain in the environment for centuries. The objective “A non-toxic environment” does mean that the production and use of hazardous substances should be minimized as far as possible. 

Read more about Sweden´s environmental objectives

Anna Jacobs

Contact person

Anna Jacobs

Centrumledare för Substitutionscentrum

+46 10 228 45 30

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