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Safe-to-use chemicals and products

One essential basis for the protection of people (as workers and consumers) and the environment is to ensure that only safely designed chemicals and products are placed on the market. This can be done, for example, by constructing products suitably or manufacturing low-dust formulations of industrial chemicals, such as granulates ("safety-by-design"). The safe use of chemicals and products is supported by the specification of protective measures that guarantee they are handled safely and without adverse impacts on human health - above all in the commercial sector. Products and chemicals associated with unacceptable risks are to be excluded from the market by the instruments of market surveillance and chemicals regulation.

Research projects in this field of action

Chemical safety

The formulation of criteria for the safe, sustainable design of chemicals and materials, the promotion of substitution (SUBSPORTplus portal), and the further development of the REACH and CLP regulations are central topics for the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA).

Both regulations are to be amended in the near future to take account of the changed parameters in place under the European Chemicals Strategy, and will thus generate an increased need for policy advice from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, nukleare Sicherheit und Verbraucherschutz, BMUV). At the same time concepts for risk-based regulatory approaches, the harmonisation of derived limit values, the better availability of exposure and use-related information, and the introduction of new hazard classes will be particularly relevant to occupational safety and health (OSH).

Ongoing research projects

Safe products and work equipment

Safe products and work equipment are a critical prerequisite for successful, effective occupational safety and health. In view of the increasing diversity of products on sale, partly as a consequence of online trading, more tools will be required in future to identify dangerous products.

Software-supported procedures, AI procedures especially, will be suitable for the analysis of large quantities of data and information for this purpose in the medium-to-long term. The aims are to investigate appropriate AI procedures for the analysis of large volumes of poorly structured information about products on a pilot basis, and to trial prototype analytical tools for selected data sources and database systems.

Ongoing research projects

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