Socio-Economic Analysis

Socio-Economic Analysis

Chemicals bring great benefit to society, but the use of some chemicals also brings potential risks to human health and the environment.  Some chemicals are understood or believed to hold unacceptable risks, or have hazards that are difficult to fully control. That can lead to them being taken off the market for certain uses. In order to understand if the use or banning of a chemical is of overall benefit to society, there needs to be a comparison of the benefits and risks of doing so. This analysis can be complex and may require input from number of experts in different fields to get a good picture of the pros and cons, in order to compare them in a balanced way.  

In the context of chemicals, a socio-economic analysis (SEA) means weighing up the benefits and disadvantages for society as a whole of banning, or not banning, a chemical for certain uses.  Such assessments need to include understanding of the risks that uses of chemicals and their products pose to humans and the environment, and the risks and potential risks of what will happen if that chemical is no longer available for certain uses.

An SEA may be required to support continued use of a chemical product, such as in the application for authorisation in the REACH Regulation; it may also be part of a product stewardship strategy.

PFA applies its rigorous scientific approach to understanding chemical hazard and risk to this area, and teams up with partners that are expert in economic analysis to provide a comprehensive service on this increasingly important area of chemicals legislation and product stewardship.