This chapter analyses the enormous scope of international instruments addressing hazardous substances and activities by assessing both the regulatory junctures and the specific strategies that governments rely upon to reduce risk. It begins with the challenge of identifying which substances are hazardous to human health or the environment (risk assessment) and then discusses the major treaties that regulate chemical hazards (risk management). The chapter also examines treaties and other international instruments governing chemical production, use, labelling, and disposal as well as those governing industrial accidents. It concludes with a discussion of instruments designed to promote pollution prevention and toxics use reduction. Presently there is no single, overarching international framework for addressing environmental and public health risks from hazardous substances and activities.
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