The EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research Program


Source: EPA
Related Topics: General Regulatory Green Chemistry US Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is blazing a path forward to address today’s most challenging environmental problems while proactively anticipating those of the future. Today’s environmental problems are increasingly more complex and require an innovative research approach that provides effective, efficient and sustainable solutions.

This approach to EPA research requires the diverse capabilities of scientists and engineers as well as economists, social scientists, and policy makers. EPA research plans must incorporate continuous input from external stakeholders such as Federal, State, and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry, and communities affected by environmental problems.

Research innovations are needed to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st Century. EPA is aligning and integrating its research into six priority program areas to meet these needs. They are:

  • Air, Climate, and Energy
  • Safe and Sustainable Water Resources
  • Sustainable and Healthy Communities
  • Chemical Safety and Sustainability
  • Human Health Risk Assessment
  • Homeland Security

Chemical safety is a major priority of EPA and its research. Moving toward a safer and more sustainable environment requires producing new and existing chemicals in safer ways. It means having the information and methods needed to make better-informed, more-timely decisions about chemicals. The challenges are formidable: tens of thousands of chemicals are currently in use and hundreds more are introduced every year. Many of these chemicals have not been thoroughly evaluated for potential risks to human health and the environment. The consequences of use over a chemical’s life cycle (from production to disposal) are not currently thoroughly evaluated.

EPA research on chemical safety is geared to meet this challenge. Using innovative approaches, EPA scientists and their partners are embracing the principles of green chemistry to produce safer chemicals. They are also integrating a diversity of scientific disciplines to develop new prediction techniques, pioneering the use of innovative technologies for chemical toxicity testing, and designing tools to advance the management of chemical risks.

Chemical Safety for Sustainability includes research in computational toxicology, nanotechnology, endocrine disrupting chemicals, human health and pesticides.

EPA is seeking input from external stakeholders on the draft Chemical Safety for Sustainability research framework document that will guide the research. The research framework document describes how EPA and its stakeholders envision providing integrated solutions to chemical management decisions and will guide the development of EPA’s research plans.

Below are different ways you can provide feedback.

•  Provide comments and questions about the research framework document at:
•  Participate in a public webinar on March 1 or 15  (More information:
This email is invites you to visit the Chemical Safety for Sustainability Ideascale website and participate in the public webinars ( to review materials, provide your thoughts and ideas, and vote on those ideas you support.  We also encourage you to alert other colleagues to this novel opportunity. The Ideascale site will be open from February 24 to March 24, 2011.  We welcome your comments and insights on the draft framework, how it may be improved, and suggestions for continued communication in the further development and implementation of this exciting Research Program.
Thank you in advance for your contributions toward the development of the Chemical Safety for Sustainability research program.
Robert Kavlock, Interim National Program Director
EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability Research Program

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