Focuses of research in Chemical Safety and Assessment

From risk analysis towards safe products

Environmental, occupational, and consumer protection

Environmental, occupational, and consumer protection are topics of rising concern. Our dedicated scientists are working on research topics to make our world safer. In recent years, a special focus has been on new materials such as nano-structured materials and improvement of chemical risk assessment technologies.

New materials such as nano-structured materials may develop very different characteristics and, therefore, general statements about their risks are difficult to make. Several studies are dealing with fundamental issues such as precise characterization of nanomaterials and the properties defining the inherent hazard potential. We are working to identify the toxic effects of nanomaterials at different testing levels.


Replacing animal testing

Dr. Sylvia Escher (In-silico Toxicology)  and Dr. Tanja Hansen (In-vitro Test Systems) provide answers to questions of current interest.


Toxicity of fibers, particles, and nanomaterials

Our focus is on inhalation exposure in particular. Our state-of-the-art equipment allows us to generate not only standard fiber and (nano)particle aerosols, but also sophisticated exposure atmospheres.


Indoor and workplace air quality

Indoor air quality has been a topic of intensive research at Fraunhofer ITEM for more than 30 years.

In-silico approaches in risk assessment

Our comprehensive activities in risk assessment also create ideas for new scientific approaches that may help improve chemical risk assessment methodology in the future.

With research on mechanistic data, i.e. investigations of key events in so-called AOPs (adverse outcome pathways), and the use of in-silico approaches in risk assessment our scientists are working on new approaches which could help deal more effectively with emerging challenges for cosmetics products, foods, and chemical mixtures.

Exposure science

This research area covers characterization of the sources of potentially harmful (airborne) substances, their spreading/dispersion and transformation, human and environmental exposure to such substances, and uptake and distribution in the organism.

Below please find our contacts in Chemical Safety and Toxicology