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How IVL works with safe and sustainable chemicals

For many chemicals, the value chain is complex – from extraction of raw materials and production, to use in industrial processes and products, and ultimately, the environmental impacts of these. IVL works systematically with the development and risk assessment of products' chemical content, with the aim of minimizing environmental and health risks.

1. Extraction on raw materials

IVL offers advanced expertise and equipment for studies of water and air. We have many years' experience of environmental assessment of mining and mineral operations, and we offer environmental technology solutions for reducing emissions and increasing cost efficiency by way of process optimization and the latest abatement technology.

We utilize methods to increase the traceability of sustainable metals and minerals. We help clients map out the critical raw materials included in products. We help businesses fulfil customer requirements and legislation as regards conflict minerals. We can also support work with strategic metals in terms of social aspects, environmental risks and secure supply.

An important part of creating a sustainable chemical industry is the transition from a reliance on fossil to renewable. IVL conducts research into the creation of chemicals from captured carbon dioxide and bio raw materials.

2. Production

IVL provides services for ensuring security and sustainability relating to chemicals, both for meeting regulatory requirements and for manufacturers with the vision to take an additional step with security and sustainability. We can analyse emissions from production facilities to the surroundings. We offer life-cycle analysis of chemicals, and legal support for CLP, REACH, SCIP and product-specific legislation. And we provide safety advisers for the transport of dangerous goods.

We can provide assistance in the development of products and materials, and identify substitution chemicals for inclusion in products. We conduct analyses and sampling of chemical contents in products and materials. We help businesses identify particularly hazardous substances in goods by way of communication in the supply chain and reporting to the SCIP database.

3. Market

Choosing the right product based on chemical contents is more and more important in the circular economy. Both producers and consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable, and demands are made, both on a voluntary basis through various certification systems, and by way of legislation.

IVL helps you select materials consciously by taking a life-cycle perspective, for instance using our tools BASTA and eBVD. Plus, further analyses give you a simple overview of the products' environmental impacts, chemical contents and potential for use in a circular process. We can also support you with requirement specifications for purchasing and procurement.

With our expertise in various global markets, we help businesses that want to import and export products, in accordance with legislation.

4. Usage

Our experts work with assessing the risks of chemical products; they keep abreast of new findings and legal requirements. We help our customers with risk assessment and procedures to ensure secure chemical management. We advise on how to remove or replace hazardous chemicals in products with less hazardous alternatives (substitution). We can also measure pollutants in the work environment and investigate the causes of high exposure. And we can provide suggestions for remedies.

When using various products, chemicals are inevitably spread into the environment. This can be chemical products such as laundry detergent or pesticides, but there are also chemicals that leach out from different materials. IVL conducts analyses of products, materials and environmental samples, and risk assessments of how potential emissions affect people and the environment.

5. Waste water recycling

We study how hazardous substances affect the capability to maximize recycling, while reducing the risk of them being spread in the natural cycle. We also analyse streams of hazardous waste, including substances in textiles, construction materials and electronics.

However, the fact is that the recycling of materials is not always desireable. Waste containing hazardous substances should not be returned to the natural cycle. Many of the products we are surrounded by contain substances that can damage both health and the environment, e.g. flame retardants, plasticizers in plastics or water-repellent substances in textiles.

6. Environmental analysis

IVL works with sampling and analysis of substances that exist in the environment.

This can include studying whether environmental quality norms are fulfilled, as well as investigating recently discovered pollutants, or open-ended screening studies.

Our laboratories can analyse many types of samples, and can develop new analysis methods. We have long time series, and we regularly report national emissions data for different chemicals, on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

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