Designing Safer Chemicals

Fully effective, yet no toxicity!

Highly reactive chemicals are often used, however there is a high chance that these chemicals will react with unintended biological targets, resulting in unwanted effects. This concept is central to Green Chemistry because it means that chemicals can achieve maximum results and also being safe for us to use, and safe for the environment. It is important that chemicals aren't toxic or flammable, while retaining properties such as toughness and shock absorption.

Industrial Use

Polyphenylsulfone is a polymer which has all the desired properties of a safe chemical. It is widely used for interior panels in aircrafts and underground trains where it is necessary to use non- flammable materials.

Big image
Detergents used to be based on branched akylbenzene sulfonic acid however these were not able to be naturally degraded in sewage. Now, they are based on linear akylbenzene sulfonic acids which are readily degraded and safer for the environment, but not yet easily produced.

Benefits of Using Safer Chemicals

  • Some chemicals have the ability to mimic human hormones and interfere with their actions and this can be potentially fatal. By designing safer chemicals, scientists can avoid the harm that chemicals can have on other organisms.
  • Chemicals that cannot be naturally degraded end up in water reserves and contaminate the water which we drink and the water where other organisms live.
  • Safer materials can still achieve the same results.
  • Safer for the environment.


EHP, (2014). Designing Safer Chemicals. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014]., (2014). Green chemistry. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014].

Green Chemistry Metrics. (2008)., (2014). GreenScreen™ for Safer Chemicals - NSF International. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014]., (2014). 12-principles-of-green-chemistry - American Chemical Society. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014].