Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Hazardous Materials Characterization and Assessment

  • Julie M. Schoenung
  • Carl W. Lam
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_91

Definition of the Subject

Some materials can be safely produced with minimal environmental and human health concerns during its use or disposal. Other materials are hazardous to manufacture or use and, when disposed, can contaminate and persist in the environment. These toxicity issues can depend on the chemical traits of the substances, such as polymers, metals and other compounds, in question. Characterization and assessment methods are needed to correctly identify substances of concern and to evaluate in a systematic way the degree of hazard they pose to ecological systems and human health. Building upon toxicological studies, hazardous materials management requires assessment tools that integrate toxicity data to support decision making for the proper handling, treatment, and/or elimination of toxic substances from industrial processes and manufactured products.

Historically, through regulatory or corporate efforts, environmental protection has addressed hazardous materials...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA