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Toxicological timeline

1500s: Swiss physician Paracelsus coins "the dose makes the poison".

1775: Increased incidence of testicular cancer in chimney sweeps is discovered.

1929: Polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs, are introduced by chemical, pharmaceutical and agricultural companies.

1942: Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT, begins to be used as a pesticide.

1961: The thalidomide disaster - drugs for pregnant women cause birth defects.

1970s: Attention is drawn to the health and safety risks of chemicals in the workplace. DDT and PCBs are banned after the discovery of harmful effects in nature.

1980s: Attention is drawn to chemicals that cause cancer.

1990s: Attention is drawn to endocrine disruptors and fetal sensitivity to chemicals.

1990s/2000s: Attention is drawn to the toxicity of acrylamide - the Hallandsås Tunnel (sealant) in 1997, foods (French fries and crisp bread) in 2002

2001: Attention is drawn to the cocktail effect - can 1 + 1=3?

2007, January: The EU bans endocrine-disrupting phthalates in plastic toys and childcare products.

June: REACH - European chemical legislation is introduced throughout the EU to tighten corporate responsibility

2008: Increasing use of nanoparticles and nanomaterials - potential health risks begin to be discussed.

2011: The EU bans baby bottles made of polycarbonates, which leach bisphenol A.

2013, March: The European Parliament decides that the European Commission shall put forward proposals by June 2015 on the management of endocrine disruptors in consumer products.

July: The Swedish governments ban on substances containing bisphenol A in packaging for foods for children under the age of three enters into force.