Chemical Safety Investigations

How do you ensure the health and safety of your employees? How can you investigate health complaints related to your company? Analysing, monitoring and assessing health effects following exposure to chemicals can be challenging. TNO has the expertise and facilities to support you in this, from monitoring and analysis to assessing exposure and health effects, as well as reducing or preventing exposure. This enables you to get the right advice to manage the risks.

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Exposure to industrial chemicals

As a result of the growing world population and increasing urbanisation, the distance between industry and the living environment is shrinking more and more. Chemical incidents such as those in Moerdijk (the Netherlands) and Tjanjin (China) show the major impact on the health of workers and people living near these industrial areas. As a result, attention is growing for the exposure of employees and local residents to industrial chemicals and their by-products or waste products.

Healthy and safe working environment is of great importance

Industrial innovation also involves working with new substances and processes, which in turn can emit new substances (emerging compounds) for which there are no standards yet. This can raise questions with regard to the exposure and safety of workers and local residents. In short, a healthy and safe (working) environment is of great importance to employees and employers as well as to local residents. But how do you deal with unforeseen circumstances? And how can you anticipate in order to prevent or limit the impact on health that may be related to your activities?

Health questions related to chemicals

TNO's Chemical Safety Investigation team is there for you, coming up with fast, pragmatic and tailor-made solutions to all health questions related to chemical substances. These questions can range from chronic exposure to low amounts of substances to how best to prepare for accidents in which people may, for a short period of time, be exposed to high amounts of substances.

With years of experience in sampling strategies, chemical analysis and chemical safety, we are a recognised, neutral, independent partner in monitoring, assessing and advising on health effects associated with exposure to chemicals and how to deal with them.

State-of-the-art expertise

TNO is at the forefront of innovation, so you can be assured that state-of-the-art knowledge is applied. On the basis of your questions and needs, a research proposal is worked out in order to quickly generate an answer. From a generic perspective, distinct research phases can be distinguished as illustrated below:

Distinct research phases


TNO, as a neutral, independent organisation, has carried out many projects related to Chemical Safety Investigation. Illustrative examples are:

  • Measuring exposure to substances released during and after the application of floor insulation and assessing the associated health risks;
  • Prediction of concentrations of chemical substances and evaluation of health risks after an emission incident;
  • Measuring exposure to intermediate substances formed during production processes;
  • Assessment of health risks of spraying paints containing chromium-6;
  • Use of innovative methods: demonstration of cancer potency of e.g. nickel-containing substances by inhalation in an in vitro model as a substitute for animal studies;
  • Advice on protective measures to safeguard the health of workers;
  • Measuring personal exposure by means of ultrasound analysis of, for example, toxic substances, heavy metals, chemical compounds (such as flame retardants) and their degradation products in matrices such as urine and blood (human biomonitoring).
Environmental modelling, sensing & analysis

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