Safe Chemicals Innovation Agenda | From substitution to safe design

With Europe aiming to transition towards a circular economy and a non-toxic environment, one contribution to this goal is coming from the Netherlands’ Safe Chemicals Innovation Agenda. The agenda highlights research needs that, if met, will accelerate the safe design of chemicals, materials and products. We spoke with Dr Jochem van der Waals, a Senior Policy Advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to find out more.

The Safe Chemicals Innovation Agenda outlines areas of research that, if taken on board by scientists, technicians, businesses and policy makers, could play a greater role in accelerating the safe design of chemicals, materials and products.

The concept of safe by design aims to address safety issues during the research and development, and design phases of production. This is done to reduce the need for substitution at a later stage.

Designing for safety has become increasingly popular for addressing risks in emerging fields such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology, and it is hoped that the methods developed to assess and reduce risks during the design stage could also be adopted for chemicals.



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