Developing new chemicals and materials requires compliance with various regulations and standards that can vary by region and country, making it difficult to create a standardised approach to safe and sustainable design. Even though access to information on chemicals, their toxicological properties and their presence in the environment has improved significantly through Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), the Information Platform for Chemical Monitoring (IPCHEM), the Life Cycle Data Network, and the efforts of the European Environment Agency (EEA), the lack of data at present remains a challenge for scientists, risk assessors, and risk managers who rely on accurate and comprehensive information to make informed decisions about the risks associated with chemicals.

The strategic goal of SSbD4CheM is to introduce screening and testing methods for safe- and sustainable material development in three relevant demonstrators being textile, automotive and cosmetics industry. The demonstrators will be the starting point for further implementation and standardisation of the new methods. The materials/chemicals of the demonstrators include PFAS-free textile coatings and natural fibers in different composite materials. Screening and testing methods focus on I) physicochemical characterisation with volatile organic compounds, non-uniform particles and composition of the material, as well as II) risk assessment with exposure and hazard assessment and III) in silico prediction tools to reduce experimental delay. For each of the demonstrators an SSbD assessment is performed which will be fed with existing data and newly determined data based on the demonstrators.

These achievements will be realised through the following specific objectives:

Objective 1

Establish a Safe and Sustainable by Design framework to facilitate development of the next generation of chemicals and materials applicable to renewable composites, PFAS-free coatings for textile and nanocellulose as additive

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Objective 2

Propose an efficient hazard screening tool for alternative assessment of next generation chemicals/materials/products combining in silico tools and multicriteria analysis

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Objective 3

Advanced explorative ex-ante LCA method supported by molecular and data-driven modelling providing part of the missing data for (novel) materials and chemicals

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Objective 4

Employ group of chemical/(nano-)material assessment methods to evaluate products’ environmental safety, the evaluation of emission data, as well as consumer safety limits

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Objective 5

Adaption of in vitro studies without animal models for adequate exposure scenarios

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Objective 6

Harmonisation and Standardisation

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Objective 7

Enhance overall SSbD4CheM impact through stakeholder engagement, training, dissemination and exploitation