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EPA and National Science Foundation Support Research for Safer Chemical Design

Release Date: 12/20/2012
Contact Information: Latisha Petteway (News Media Only), petteway.latisha@epa.gov, 202-564-3191, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the National Science Foundation (NSF), announced two funding opportunities for up to ten grants totaling up to $32 million for research on the design of safer chemicals. These two Requests for Applications (RFAs), which focus on sustainable chemical design and assessment of the life cycle impacts of chemicals from production to disposal, will support research to create chemicals that are safer for people and the environment.

"Changes in our economy, society, technology and the environment itself are presenting the EPA with new challenges and opportunities," said Lek Kadeli, principal deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development. "This joint effort with the National Science Foundation is an important step forward in realizing that vision and creating a more sustainable future."

The research resulting from these two solicitations, “Networks for Sustainable Molecular Design and Synthesis” and “Networks for Characterizing Chemical Life Cycle” will enhance cooperation among the chemical sciences, materials research, geosciences, engineering, and biomedical and public health communities. The two RFAs are now open for submissions.

The sustainable chemical design solicitation requests applications from trans-disciplinary research teams who want to replace toxic and expensive chemicals with greener, safer alternatives. These safer chemical design processes could, for example, consume less water, generate less waste, or use less energy than current practices.

The chemical life cycle solicitation seeks research to further the understanding of chemicals (including nanomaterials, materials produced at the nano-scale) throughout the life cycle at the systems and molecular levels. As chemicals are manufactured and used, they may be altered through their interactions with people and the environment, potentially resulting in unforeseen health and environmental impacts. This research has the potential to provide tools to characterize and predict these health and environmental effects.

More information on the RFAs: http://epa.gov/ncer/rfa/

More information on EPA’s chemical safety research: http://www.epa.gov/research/chemicalscience/

More about the National Science Foundation: http://www.nsf.gov/