Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More research needed into substitution principle and regulation of potentially hazardous chemical materials, experts urge

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Scientists say the substitution principle is not the “white knight” as described by a number of regulatory agencies and NGOs and proposes that chemical substitution can only work effectively on a case-by-case basis.

Professor Ragnar Lofstedt, Professor of Risk Management and the Director of the King's Institute for Risk Research, King's College London and Editor of the Journal of Risk Research, has published a paper suggesting that the substitution principle is not the "white knight" as described by a number of regulatory agencies and NGOs and proposes that chemical substitution can only work effectively on a case-by-case basis.

Related Articles


The paper, published in the Journal of Risk Research, highlights how the Chemical Substitution Principle (where a potentially harmful chemical used in manufacturing or industry, is substituted for less dangerous alternative) has grown in popularity with chemical governing bodies and organizations in recent years. It highlights how a number of bodies are currently working on 'substitution databases' to aid companies in reducing the amount of harmful chemicals they use. The paper draws on three key case studies and states that the chemical substitution principle is a 'blunt and imprecise regulatory instrument' that is 'surprisingly under-researched' and 'in need of further rigorous academic and regulatory analysis before it can be further used and promoted satisfactory in the chemical control area.'

Lofstedt uses evidence discussed in the paper to make recommendations for the future use of the chemical substitution principle, including the abolition of numerical targets set by regulatory bodies such as the European Chemical Agency for listing chemical substances of very high concern (SVHCs), and that, if the substitution principle is to be properly implemented, there is a need to do 'comparative risk evaluations or risk-ranking exercises, to uncover how great the risk profile of the chemical in question actually is'.

The paper further suggests that greater support for evidence-based substitution and academic research into the scientific underpinnings of the chemical substitution principle is needed, along with a need for clear case studies and scientifically informed debates to help politicians become better informed about the pros and cons of the substitution principle.

The paper gives an example of where the principle has been used rashly, without due scientific investigation. In the 1990s, BPA (a synthetic form of estrogen) was removed from the plastic used to make baby bottles in Canada, following some small scale and incomplete scientific research. The replacement chemicals suggested have since been found to be carcinogenic, and toxic to marine life. The paper suggests that in order to avoid situations where the ban of chemical substances is based on influences from the media, stakeholders, and member state pressures, there needs to be a transparent scientific case for the substitution of one chemical for another demonstrating that there is a clear environmental and public health alternative.

Lofstedt concludes that 'we cannot, however, give up on the substitution principle even if it is so woefully under researched' and acknowledges that the principle is a 'reality in EU chemicals policy' but is in need of scientific direction 'so that unintended consequences are avoided and the principle of achieving a high level of environmental and health protection can be adhered to.'

The Journal of Risk Research has also published a number of commentaries in response to Lofstedt's article, including a response from the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ragnar Lofstedt. The substitution principle in chemical regulation: a constructive critique. Journal of Risk Research, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2013.841733

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "More research needed into substitution principle and regulation of potentially hazardous chemical materials, experts urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112104901.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2013, November 12). More research needed into substitution principle and regulation of potentially hazardous chemical materials, experts urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112104901.htm
Taylor & Francis. "More research needed into substitution principle and regulation of potentially hazardous chemical materials, experts urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112104901.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins