Many of the products and packaging we use every day contain or were manufactured using hazardous chemicals. Some of these chemicals are intentionally added to products by the manufacturer for various reasons such as performance or cost. Other chemicals are found in the parts or ingredients a manufacturer uses to create the final product.
In Minnesota and elsewhere, concern about harmful chemicals in consumer products has continued to grow. These chemicals can cause concern to humans and the environment when we are exposed to them.
Because of the prevalence of these chemicals in products, Minnesota’s policy is to eliminate or reduce at the source the use, generation, or release of toxic pollutants and hazardous wastes.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) works to address the challenges our use of chemicals creates by:
- Working with manufacturers to find ways to reduce chemical waste or avoid the use of toxic
chemicals in the production process.
- Working with companies to find ways to reduce or avoid the use of toxic chemicals in the
products they make and ensure those products that contain toxic chemicals are properly
managed at the end of their useful lives.
In selecting priorities on which to focus its work, the MPCA consults with partner agencies and
customers and considers as much data as possible, including environmental and biomonitoring,
chemical production and release reporting, hazard levels and potential for exposure, who may be
exposed (e.g. children or disadvantaged communities) and availability of feasible alternatives.