We should be able to lead a life free of hazardous chemicals.
A chemical challenge
Chemicals are everywhere in our society and a necessary part of our lives. In many contexts they are used without causing problems for either people or the environment. However, the challenge is to eliminate use of problematic chemicals as well as chemicals used in problematic ways, and replacement of hazardous chemicals in products and processes must be done in a way that does not lead to increased energy use.
Achieving substitution without increasing energy use
The goal of substitution is functional equivalence. The product or process should have the same functionality by less hazardous means. When volatile solvents are replaced by less volatile and non-hazardous solvents such as water, more energy is often required for mechanical work in order to achieve the same result. Because energy is becoming a more expensive resource, there will be more incentive to develop solutions that combine the dual purpose of avoiding hazardous chemicals and saving energy.
Denmark announces new chemical initiative
The Danish government’s new chemicals initiative ensures that children and adults should be able to live without fear of becoming ill because of chemicals. A total of EUR 25 million has been allocated over the next four years, and Danish companies have invested in R&D solutions for chemical substitution for more than 20 years.