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World environment day

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"Chemicals in use in daily life can be hazardous and I urge all

Australians to take care in using, handling, storing and

disposing of them," the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment,

Mr Barry Cohen, said today.

"This is why the theme for this year's World Environment

Day is 'Chemicals can be Hazardous - Take Care'," he added.

"The Commonwealth Government is committed to promoting environmental

education and information programs and to involving the

community in decisions affecting the environment.

"Allying this education commitment with today's World Environment

Day theme, the Department of Home Affairs and Environment has

produced for community use a series of four pamphlets and a poster

on hazardous chemicals.

"We are also distributing a teachers' guide that outlines suitable

activities for students for use in secondary schools," Mr Cohen


The Minister added that there are potentially hazardous chemicals

in the products often used in the house, garden, workshop and

farm. Many of the accidents that do happen could be avoided if

these chemicals were stored, handled and disposed of properly -

for example if people read the labels, followed directions and wore protective clothing.

The pamphlets describe the hazards of chemicals in every-day

life, and give suggestions and guidance on how to safely use,

store and dispose of chemicals, especially pesticides. They

also show how to recognise and understand signs and labels

used in packaging and transporting dangerous goods.


Mr Cohen also drew attention to the release today of a paper

prepared by the Australian Environment Council outlining a

proposed national scheme for notifying chemicals and for

assessing their potential hazards to people and the environment.

"It is important that we receive public comment on this document,"

Mr Cohen said.

The scheme, to commence early next year, is part of a joint Commonwealth/State initiative aimed at introducing comprehensive

management of chemicals.

Copies of the AEC paper are available from the Department of

Home Affairs and Environment, P.0. Box 1252, Canberra, ACT,


(For further information on World Environment Day:

Simon Millar 062 467338 or State and Territory contacts

listed in the attachments.)

Canberra 5 June No. 59 of 1984