U.S. Government Accountability Office Examines Sustainable Chemistry

Can the chemistry behind medicines, personal care products, and other everyday items be improved? This was the question at hand when U.S. GAO examined “sustainable chemistry.”

They found that stakeholders generally didn't agree on how to define or assess sustainable chemistry. However, they cited several common themes, such as using fewer non-renewable resources and considering all stages of a product's life cycle when evaluating environmental impact.

U.S GAO looked at more sustainable alternatives in 3 categories of chemistry technologies, such as renewable, less toxic solvents; catalysts from abundant metals such as iron; and processing methods that use energy and materials more efficiently.