Safer for Human Health
Wherever practicable, synthetic methodologies should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen so as to minimise the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions and fires.
(Green Chemistry Principles, Dr. Paul Anastas et al)
People have always been surrounded by naturally occurring toxins in
the environment, but industrial development and the advent of the chemical
industry added to these hazards. Though early industry was fairly unregulated,
companies must now comply with many regulations in order to continue
to be licensed to operate.
Some changes to practice have been in response to major disasters, but many more are the result of risk assessment and research into safer alternatives undertaken by the chemical industry.