Chemical Alternatives Assessments
China's Implementation of Alternatives Assessment in the Building Industry: GIGA
Published:17 Apr 2013
B. Zang, R. K. Wallis, and R. D. Dick, in Chemical Alternatives Assessments, ed. R. M. Harrison, R. E. Hester, R. Harrison, and R. Hester, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013, pp. 88-107.
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China has been known as the world's factory for decades. It is synonymous with cheap goods, heavy pollution, copyright infringement and innumerable breaches of trust. Despite its infamous recent history, this chapter explores how China is poised to become a global leader in the demand for the assessment of chemical alternatives. In order to understand how the world's most populous country can undergo this radical transformation, one must understand its cultural history and drivers of change. This chapter begins with China's long relationship with personal health and explains the impact of newly found wealth and access to information. It continues by exploring how the combination of social media and China's tenuous relationship with trust can move the demand for chemicals assessment into the hands of everyday consumers. Finally, it ends by giving an example of how these lessons are being applied locally through an online platform.
It is important to note that the authors of this chapter are neither toxicologists nor pioneers in the development of green chemistry. Rather, they are architects and chemists who have spent the past four and a half years researching and implementing ways to create demand for green chemistry and alternatives assessment. This chapter is not a scientific piece, but rather a report on how the authors are attempting to harness developments and trends in both the IT and building industries to support research in the assessment of chemical alternatives.