Mankind first started to develop and produce considerable quantities of chemical substances at the time of the industrial revolution in the 19th century. In most cases, these were chemicals that had not developed in nature during the earth’s evolutionary process. Up to 1900, the potential environmental problems associated with this development did not require much attention. The number and volume of man-made chemicals was still relatively small. Especially since the 1920s, however, there has been major growth in the petrochemical industry, growth which actually intensified after the Second World War.
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