Sierra Club Conservation Policies
Environmentally Hazardous Substances
The Sierra Club recognizes the great threat presented by environmentally hazardous
substances. These are substances, dispersed through human activity, which
(a) persist in the environment, become widespread and/or tend to become concentrated in
living organisms, and, by their effect on health, reproductive ability or genetic
material, or by their effect on environmental processes, present a danger to living
organisms including human beings, other than those which are the direct and immediate
target of their application, or
(b) combine, act synergistically, or break down in the environment to create substances
that meet the above criteria.
The release of any environmentally hazardous substance should be prohibited, unless the
environmental benefits clearly outweigh environmental damage. Safety and environmental
quality are the primary factors in deciding whether or not to use such a substance. In
each case, strict limits to the use of the substance should be established and followed.
New or continued application of any material that this suspected to be environmentally
hazardous should be stopped immediately pending further investigation.
Adopted by the Board of Directors, December 4-5, 1971; amended July 8, 1995