Safe by Design materials
Safe by Design considers including safety as the initial stage of materials, products and process development, being a precondition for the circular economy as well as for minimizing environmental, toxicological and safety risks, thus leading to a clean, healthy and safe living environment. The safe by design approach considers materials which are predicted to be safe, thus tools to predict materials safety in terms of its composition, structure and physicochemical properties are extremely useful for materials design. The prediction of materials toxicological and enviromental properties would decrease the time and costs of materials development, thus allowing to design materials having not only the required physochemical properties for eacg technology but also showing low environmental impact and as low as possible human toxicity, to fulfill established regulations. The International Research Center in Critical Raw Materials for Advanced Industrial Technologies (ICCRAM) from the University of Burgos (UBU) offers a platform for predicting materials safety in terms both of environmental impact and human toxic effects as a function of materials composition. This platform considers in silico predictions using different physicochemical methodologies as well as Machine Learning methods which can be used in two main different ways: i) new materials can be designed and their safety can be predicted, thus allowing to screen a large collection of materials selecting those with more suitable functionalities as well as safer profiles, ii) materials currently used in different technologies can be considered to study possible modifications leading to safer materials.