Preventative solutions represent the most direct and efficient way to reduce exposure and societal costs of persistent and mobile substance pollution. If a persistent and mobile substance is prevented from being used, then there is no exposure or removal costs. This is highlighted in the European Green Deal, which states “Achieving a toxic-free environment requires more action to prevent pollution from being generated as well as measures to clean and remedy it”. A holistic approach is thus needed, aimed at supporting the prioritization of substances currently used in commerce and identifying strategies to ‘prevent’ unnecessary exposure to these persistent and mobile substances. A holistic approach includes not only an assessment of exposure, hazard and risk, but also requires reflection regarding product use scenarios, differentiating between ‘essential-use’ and non-essential use.
ZeroPM’s hypothesis – Prevention through interdisciplinary action directed towards essential use, social perception, life cycle assessment and market transition to safer alternatives, supported by policy, will minimize emissions of prioritized persistent and mobile substances and avoid regrettable substitution.
In ZeroPM, we have three work packages (WP) dedicated to prevention strategies and the hypothesis above.
WP2 Alternatives Assessment which will provide safer chemical alternatives to non-essential uses of PM substances
WP3 Policy which will stimulate and support policy changes to more effectively tackle persistent and mobile substances
WP4 Market Transition which will is to catalyse a market transition away from harmful persistent and mobile substances.