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Environment Magazine September/October 2008


September-October 2017

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Evidence in the Precautionary Assessment of Novel Substances

This article considers the role of evidence in the regulation of technology. As a case study, I look at European legislation on synthetic chemicals, specifically the legislation on industrial chemicals and how a key component of that legislation, the risk assessment of chemicals, is carried out. Synthetic chemicals have been around a lot longer than genetic engineering or nanotechnology and lessons from their regulation are relevant to these newer areas.


Anne Chapman worked as an environmental consultant before studying environmental philosophy at Lancaster University. She is the author of Democratizing Technology: Risk, Responsibility and the Regulation of Chemicals, published by Earthscan in 2007. She is currently a member of Green House Think Tank.

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