In recent years there has been a noticeable shift in public concern about chemicals. Although there is a wide range of legal and voluntary instruments in place for the assessment of risk from chemicals, calls from political and environmental groups for more information have become louder. The chemical industry has a responsibility to recognise these concems by addressing the questions raised and activiely working to answer them. A number of chemical management initiatives appeared in the 1990’s. The two best known are the OECD High Production Volume Chemical Programme and the EU Existing Substances Programme. The main problem with these has been slow progress, particularly with the latter. There are now three further initiatives, one in Europe, one in the US and one global, that are addressing the shortcomings of the formal processes by a voluntary commitment to provide data on high tonnage chemicals within the next few years. The coatings industry can make a valuable contribution to these initiatives from its knowledge of human and environmental exposure to these chemicals as a result of their use in its products.