Linking Chemical Design to Toxicity/Hazard/Alternatives Assessment

Organizers: Amy Cannon, Executive Director, Beyond Benign, Wilmington, MA, USA; Dalila Kovacs, Professor, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA; Saskia van Bergen, Green Chemist, Washington State Department of Ecology, Lacey, WA, USA

Toxicology concepts are essential in designing safe chemical products that have reduced hazards. There are many efforts to provide chemical designers with tools for understanding and predicting toxicity, while maintaining the function and efficacy for which the product was designed. Toxicology data enables scientists to better predict hazards at the molecular level, therefore avoiding the use and generation of hazardous chemicals. These tools and strategies are being developed and implemented in industry and academia.

Toxicology concepts and principles, including investigative or predictive methods, have traditionally been absent from the chemistry curriculum. As a result, professional chemists lack skills in designing chemical products with inherently reduced hazards. These knowledge and skill gaps are being addressed in educational programs both in industry and in academia with the goal of better preparing scientists to implement safer design strategies at the research stage of a product life-cycle.

This half day session will highlight systematic approaches toward addressing safety data gaps, understanding hazard and alternatives assessments, and predicting toxicological endpoints through molecular design, and will focus on education initiatives both in universities and within industry, via professional development programs.