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Unraveling the Impact of Forever Chemicals and Toxic Substances

Using Sustain360°™, the National University of Singapore was able to model and reduce the presence of toxic substances, including “Forever Chemicals,” by up to 80%. This included the proposed use of less toxic alternatives to conventionally used chemicals, such as Hydrofluoric Acid, which is known for its severe toxicity and potentially fatal risks upon inhalation. This showcases the potential of Sustain360°™ in addressing complex chemical challenges and their impact on the biosphere.

“Forever Chemicals” and other persistent toxic substances have garnered attention due to their enduring nature in both the environment and the human body. Their resistance to degradation means they accumulate over time, leading to potential health and environmental risks. With the widespread use of such chemicals, they have infiltrated water sources, soil, and air, emphasizing the need for immediate action.

Vanessa Wee Mae Gui, Ph.D. researcher from the National University of Singapore, led a project to investigate the proliferation of these toxic chemicals, especially in desiccants (silica gel alternatives), and the processes used to manufacture them. Desiccants, commonly found in packaging for many types of goods, are hygroscopic substances used to induce or sustain dryness in their vicinity.

Sustain360°™’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) capabilities enabled the researcher to generate environmental indices and metrics for these persistent substances, addressing the unique challenge posed by the absence of these indices in existing databases. Sustain360°™ played a pivotal role by automatically calculating the environmental indices, drilling down to the molecular level for the constituent chemicals used to prepare these desiccants.

Vanessa emphasized the transformative power of Sustain360°™, stating, “Now, we have not only derived the cradle-to-gate for the novel desiccants but can readily compare the different approaches to preparing these desiccants through the Sustain360°™ software. This is powerful ground-breaking software! I would like to thank all at Sustain360°™ for the opportunity to work with them.”

The analysis covered 12 different environmental impacts, including Global Warming Potential, Human Toxicity, Eutrophication, Acidification, and more. After identifying toxic chemicals and environmentally harmful materials in the desiccant and its manufacturing process, Sustain360°™ proposed alternatives to significantly reduce these chemicals during product design.

The configurable knowledge graph and dashboard provided by Sustain360°™ offered an easy-to-use reporting framework, granting invaluable insights into the existing materials and their inter-relationships to an unparalleled depth of analysis and detail.

In today’s rapidly evolving environmental landscape, Sustain360°™ is not just beneficial but essential. It offers a holistic approach to sustainability, automating the identification, classification, and reduction of embedded carbon and persistent chemicals within products, manufacturing processes, and supply networks. Sustain360°™ empowers organizations to make informed decisions, drive impactful change, and pave the way for a more sustainable future. To explore how Sustain360°™ can assist you in meeting your sustainability goals, schedule a demo.

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