|RISK, RESPONSIBILITY AND RESEARCH|
Ludwig Benner, Jr.
Presentation to the
SYMPOSIUM ON THE INTERFACE OF GOVERNMENT SAFETY REGULATIONS AND
THE CHEMICAL PROFESSIONAL:
I -THE "REAL-WORLD" ASPECTS -H. H. Fawcett, Presiding
Council Committee on Chemical Safety of the
American Chemical Society
170th ACS National Meeting
Chicago, Illinois August 26, 1975
Risks to safety and health are associated with the production, distribution and use of many chemicals. These risks are borne by different "targets" at different times during the life cycle of a given chemical, both voluntarily and involuntarily. By any criterion, it is upon the shoulders of the chemical professional that the responsibility for the discovery, evaluation and development of approaches for the control of these risks rests. The discharge of these responsibilities requires prediction of all the ways people can be harmed during the chemical's life cycle. Prediction problems exist. Research into predictive methodologies is required to avoid discovery of these risks in accidental exposures. Such research must overcome the lack of theory explaining the harm-producing processes in accidents and severe semantic problems before "libraries" of harm-producing process descriptions can be developed. Research into control concepts for discovering countermeasures, and into measurement methods for evaluating the degree of risk reduction are discussed.
The demands of professional responsibility and ethics for the adoption of efforts to organize and fund the needed research are described.