The chlorine controversy

Andrew P. Cap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Environmental groups have called for a phase-out of the use of chlorine in industrial chemistry on the grounds that such use inevitably leads to the production of persistent, bioaccumulative toxins. This policy prescription is based on an application of the Precautionary Principle which holds that industry should demonstrate that its products and processes are safe before allowing releases of product or waste into the environment. The chemical industry has rejected the call to phase-out chlorine, and claims that available data on either the environmental exposure pathways or the toxicology of chlorinated compounds are inadequate to support responsible decision-making. Industry leaders have called for environmental policy to be based on sound science, comparative risk assessment, and cost-benefit analysis. The controversy over chlorine shows that the U.S. environmental policy-making framework may no longer be capable of producing solutions to environmental problems that satisfy important constituencies within our society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-458
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorine ban
  • Precautionary principle


Dive into the research topics of 'The chlorine controversy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this