New surfactant risk management research website goes live

Posted by Charlotte Salter, on March 1, 2017.

Research into risk assessment for surfactants in detergents has a new home following the launch of a dedicated website.

For over 25 years, the ERASM research platform has been dedicated to enhancing our understanding of the effects of surfactants, carrying out important work on the risks to the environment and to human health. These substances are found in almost all detergents, as well as many other cleaning products in our homes. They are also widely used in professional cleaning products.

A new ERASM website,, showcases the outcome of such research projects, addresses the most relevant issues around surfactants, and provides a rich trove of reports, scientific publications, posters, and technical databases.

ERASM research involves some of Europe’s most prestigious research institutions and more than 30 companies. It is managed and jointly funded by the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (A.I.S.E.) and the European Committee of Surfactants and their Organic Intermediates (CESIO).

World class research

A.I.S.E. Director General Dr Susanne Zänker said she was delighted with the new site: “We want to share ERASM’s world class research and encourage further dialogue to ensure the health and wellbeing of end-users and the environment. Manufacturers of surfactants and detergents are keenly aware of the impact of their products on the environment and human health, which is why CESIO and A.I.S.E. support and manage the ERASM project.”

Chantal De Cooman, CESIO Secretary General, echoed Dr Zänker’s remarks: “The safety and effectiveness of surfactants in detergent products is of tremendous importance to users, regulators and those working in industry. This is why ERASM has been supporting and carrying out this important research for more than 25 years, and this website will help disseminate that knowledge while also encouraging new ideas and collaboration.”

The site’s research section examines the five key aspects of the surfactant value chain, as well as numerous relevant issues and a host of completed research projects:

  • Manufacturing
  • Human health
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Freshwater environment
  • Marine environment

Comments from key research leaders

“The quality of surfactants in detergents in term of environmental performance and human health performance has benefited from ERASM activities. ERASM is proactively investing time and expertise in developing good science and understanding on human health and environmental topics (including more recently environmental footprints). Thus, we have contributed to supporting science-based advocacy and developing better legislation. The new website will make the information generated by ERASM even more accessible and transparent than before”. Dr Christophe Séné, Chair of ERASM Steering Committee Global Advisor for Regulatory Affairs, Trade Compliance and Sustainability, STEPAN

“The new website creates much more visibility of the important work done within ERASM. It shows the common interest of surfactant manufacturers and detergent producers in the safe use of surfactants in everyday products. By sharing our research and seeking dialogue with researchers outside of ERASM, the site will certainly contribute to our efforts to care for consumers and end-users’ health and wellbeing.”

Dr Olaf Holtkötter
Chair of the ERASM Human Health Technical Committee
Manager Toxicology, Henkel

“ERASM is providing science-based information on surfactants and their effects on man and the environment. Therefore, authorities, researchers, as well as experts in the industry will find valuable information on surfactants, a better understanding of the impact of surfactants and guidance on how to reduce that impact. The website will help disseminate that work and encourage new research to improve our understanding.”

Dr Andreas Willing
Chair of the ERASM Environment Technical Committee
Senior Manager for Product Safety, Exotoxicology, BASF

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