Preventing Chemical Pollution

Promoting policy that delivers effective chemical management and
minimises chemical pollution

A Fidra Project

Chemical pollution touches everything, changing the air we breathe, the water we drink and the crops we eat, it impacts the foundation of our ecosystems and vulnerable species.  It is this inescapable and intrinsic link across all aspects of life that makes chemical pollution relevant to so many of the global challenges we now face. By promoting effective and integrated UK chemicals policy, we can ensure chemicals are used safely without comprising the health of our environment, and without hindering our circular economy.

Harmful chemicals are found in furniture and everyday objects, risking human and environmental health and undermining our circular economy


Chemical pollution has passed the safe limit for our planet, with scientists urging immediate action to reduce the production and release of hazardous substances.

We buy, use and dispose of products every day that contain synthetic chemicals, most of them have unknown consequences for our health and environment and many of these chemicals are already impacting people and wildlife.

Harmful chemicals create a barrier to the circular economy by limiting reuse, creating a chemical exposure risk for workers and compromising the safety of secondary materials.

PFAS are often called “forever chemicals” because they do not breakdown in the environment


To prevent pollution policy and regulation must be built on sound environmental principles such as:

Chemical Policy Integration, where governments and organisations consider chemical use and impacts across all relevant decision-making.

Application of the ‘Precautionary Principle’ across chemical management, including a move towards group-based restrictions (where structurally similar chemicals are regulated together) and ending the unnecessary use of hazardous chemicals.

Full chemical transparency and traceability to enable the identification of known hazards at all levels within the value chain and to allow supply chains to react efficiently to newly identified hazards, substances of concern and legislative changes.

All monitored lakes and rivers in England are contaminated with industrial chemicals. Photo by Adragan –


We are calling on the UK Government to deliver an ambitious UK Chemicals Strategy and ensure a  regulatory framework that prioritises health and environmental protections.

We are asking the UK Government to commit to a minimum position of regulatory alignment with EU REACH until such a time as UK REACH holds sufficient information to make sound independent decisions.

We want to see full chemical transparency and traceability to underpin a safe and effective circular economy.

Wildlife populations are exposed to toxic chemicals that are now part of everyday life


Fidra continue to hold governments to account, representing health and environmental interests in stakeholder discussions.

Through our  projects, Fidra promote best practice in chemical management and have encouraged the phase-out of hazardous chemicals such as persistent pollutants, PFAS.

Fidra have engaged wider audiences in chemical pollution, taking our message to funders, investors, retailers, politicians and the wider public.