Unilever ingredients are often disposed of down the drain after use, so it is important for us to assess the environmental safety of these ingredients. We use environmental risk assessment (ERA) to do this which is an approach based on two important components – environmental exposure and the potential effects of the ingredients on organisms in the environment.
Understanding the potential effects of the ingredients on organisms present in the environment is another critical component of environmental risk assessment. Along with existing information that exists on the potential environmental effects of ingredients, we apply a range of new approach methodologies (NAMs) focused on in silico and in vitro approaches to assess the potential effects of ingredients.
For example, mechanistic information on the possible biological interactions of an ingredient can be combined with bioinformatics tools to better understand potential targets and related toxicity pathways in environmental species. Predictions of partitioning behaviour and toxicokinetic models can be applied to understand how or if, an ingredient gets taken up and distributed in an organism.
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