Invited Speaker Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia 2021

Chemicals in products: An emerging priority for risk management and research (#1)

Glen Walker 1
  1. Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Parkes, ACT, Australia

Disclaimer: The views in this presentation may not represent the official position of the Australian Government or the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment


Chemicals in products[1] such as plastics, paper, tyres and building materials are an underestimated source of pollution in the aquatic environment. In this presentation, we will look at some of the diversity of chemicals that are intentionally added to products and the quantities of chemicals that are present in everyday items. We will also look at some examples of how these chemicals can get into the environment and the effects they can have.[2] Finally, we will look at emerging national and global initiatives aimed at reducing risks to the environment from chemicals in products.


[1] In this presentation, ‘products’ is used synonymously with ‘articles’, which are defined for regulatory purposes as objects whose function is defined more by their shape, surface, or design than their chemical composition.

[2] Tian et al., “A ubiquitous tire rubber-derived chemical induces acute mortality in coho salmon,” Science, Vol 371 (2021): 185–189.