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This article begins with a review of the regulation of chemicals in Sweden over the past 30 years, focusing particularly on the 1997 Government Environmental Quality Bill, which called for a toxic-free society by the year 2020. The second part of the article analyzes why Sweden has taken this route. The third and final section discusses Sweden's present role in formulating present EU chemical regulation, such as the recent EU Chemical White Paper, and hypothesizes future impacts of Swedish chemical regulations on the EU itself.