Advanced materials are seen as drivers of innovation in numerous sectors. The safe and sustainable use of products that contain advanced materials or that emit harmful micro- or nano-sized components during their lifetime is a critical factor for safe application.12
The ever increasing complexity of advanced materials necessitates the assessment of the impacts of the materials’ building blocks and their decomposition products on human health and the environment.
We are using a process called Safe-by-Design (sometimes extended to Safe and Sustainable-by-Design). Aspects of safety and functionality are optimized in parallel already during the development process. To do this, we need detailed knowledge of the relevant material properties, the expected life cycle, and the physical, chemical and biological mechanisms that influence the impact on human health and the living and inanimate environment.3
With Safe-by-Design we aim at reducing potentially harmful effects, release into the environemnt or exposure to advanced materials. At the same time, we strive for preserving or even enhancing the application-specific properties.45