Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal    
KemI: Swedish Chemicals Agency

A non-toxic environment is one of Sweden’s sixteen environmental quality objectives-

"The environment must be free from man-made or extracted compounds and metals that represent a threat to human health or biological diversity."

The Swedish Chemicals Agency is the authority responsible for the environmental quality objective A Non-Toxic Environment. The Agency's responsibility involves:

  • Co-ordination of environmental co-operation between responsible central agencies, county administrative boards and municipalities.
  • In-depth evaluation of A Non-Toxic Environment and Sweden’s environmental objectives every four years.
  • Annual follow-up of A Non-Toxic Environment.
  • Development of indicators for follow-up of A Non-Toxic Environment.

The Environmental Objectives Council co-ordinates the work between environmental objectives agencies, works on follow-ups and in-depth evaluations from these and reports to the Government and Parliament.

Interim objectives

Aim of Interim Objective

Projected Date of Completion

  • Data on health and environmental properties of chemical substances

 To compile and make available data on deliberately manufactured or extracted chemical substances

 To compile and make available data unintentionally produced or extracted chemical substances




  1. Environmental and health information on products

To ensure that finished products will carry health and environmental information on any dangerous substances they contain


  1. Phase-out of substances of very high concern

To ensure that newly manufactured finished products will as far as possible be free from new organic substances that are persistent and bioaccumulating, new substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic, and mercury

To ensure that newly manufactured finished products will as far as possible be free from Other carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances, and endocrine disrupting substances or highly allergenic substances if the products that contain them are intended to be used in such a way that they will enter natural cycles

To ensure that newly manufactured finished products will as far as possible be free from other organic substances that are persistent and bioaccumulating, and cadmium and lead












  1. Continuous reduction of health and environmental risks of chemicals

To reduce health and environmental risks associated with the manufacture and use of chemical substances, not covered by interim target 3, as measured by indicators and ratios to be established by the competent authorities.


  1. Guideline values for environmental quality

To establish guideline values by the competent authorities for at least 100 selected chemical substances not covered by interim target 3


  • Remediation of contaminated sites

To carry out studies and, where necessary, to take appropriate action at all contaminated sites that pose an acute risk on direct exposure, and at contaminated sites that threaten important water sources or valuable natural environments, today or in the near future (In conjunction with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency)


  • Remediation of contaminated sites

To implement measures at a sufficiently large portion of the prioritized contaminated sites to ensure that the environmental problem as a whole can be solved by 2050 at the latest


  1. Dioxins in food

To establish clear action programmes to bring about a continuous decrease in levels in food of dioxins harmful to humans


  1. Cadmium

To decrease the level of dietary and occupational exposure of the population to cadmium that is safe from a long-term public health point of view


How KemI Acts Internationally

  • Preparing documents to and representing Sweden in international meetings.
  • Taking part in developing a globally harmonised labelling system.
  • Providing a national implementation plan for the Stockholm Convention on POPs.
  • Co-operating within the framework of the agreement between KemI and the Swedish international development agency (Sida).
  • Co-operating regionally and bilaterally with developing countries and countries with economies in transition, as part of Swedish programmes for development co-operation.
  • Co-operating with organisations.

Agreement between KemI and Sida

In 2005, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) and the Swedish international development agency (Sida) signed an agreement on international co-operation with a number of countries.

The work programme for 2006-2009 includes extended activities mainly in co-operation between Sida and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Swedish EPA) and partner countries and regions in the Balkans, Russia, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Examples of activities are:

  • Programs on chemicals control with the aim of establishing legislation and building up institutions.
  • Educational programs in toxicology and ecotoxicology.
  • Input to the Africa Stockpiles Programme, which aims to clean up Africa´s obsolete stocks of toxic pesticides.
  • Research on the connection between developing good handling of chemicals and prosperity, including fighting poverty.
  • The aim of this undertaking is to make it possible for partners in co-operation to strengthen their situation in relation to the UN Millenium goal and the Swedish policy for sustainable development.

International Training Programme (ITP)

  • The agreement between the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) and the Swedish international development cooperation agency (Sida) includes training programmes for co-operating countries.
  • The purpose of the International Training Programme (ITP) education is that participants acquire the knowledge and skill required to build up functional chemicals control in their countries.
  • The ITP organised by KemI and Sida will start in March 2007. It will be divided into two parts: a primary education in Sweden and a second in one of the participating countries. Closure of application: 1 October 2006.

Cooperating organisations

  • FAO
  • IFCS
  • IMO
  • IPCS
  • OECD
  • UN ECE

Cooperating Conventions

  • Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent
  • and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • the HELCOM and OSPAR conventions
  • Chemical Weapons Convention



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