A fundamental maxim of toxicology is “The dose makes the poison.” * Regulating chemical use, handling, and disposal protects us against risk from exposure to harmful doses of toxic chemicals used widely in industry, consumer products, crop protection, and other applications. Regulations establishing exposure thresholds protect human health by providing regulatory agencies with a framework for evaluating and enforcing the safety of chemical use and associated exposure. The many ways by which chemical exposure may occur are mirrored in the complex web of regulations that have evolved to govern:

Worker health and safety

Drinking water quality

Contaminated environmental media (groundwater, soil, air)

Chemical residues in food

Pharmaceuticals and sundries

Ecological effects of wastewater discharges

Ambient air quality

Transportation safety

Consumer right-to-know of the presence of carcinogens or reproductive toxins in consumer products

Community right-to-know of large quantities of dangerous chemicals stored and used by local industries