Doctor Jan Roels (1955) is head of the RIVM Centre for Safety of Substances and Products.

I like to contribute to the responsible use of chemical substances and products in a sustainable economy with advice to policy makers and initiatives in collaboration with societal parties.

Dr Doctor (Doctor) Jan Roels studied physical geography at Utrecht University. He obtained his PhD at the same university in 1984 on the subject “Studies of soil erosion on rangelands in the Ardeche drainage basin (France)”.

In 1984 Jan Roels went to work for the then Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM - Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke ordening en Milieu). There, he held a number of posts in which he developed policies and regulations for soil remediation. In 1989, he became head of the Soil Remediation Department (afdeling Bodemsanering) at the ministry.

After 8 years, he switched to the post of head of the department for integrated soil policies (afdeling integraal bodembeleid) and also became deputy director of the soil directorate (directie Bodem) at the same ministry. From 2000 to 2005, Jan Roels became head of the rural area department (afdeling Landelijk Gebied) at VROM and deputy director of the directorate for soil, water and rural areas (BWL – directie Bodem, Water, Landelijk gebied). Jan Roels has been working at RIVM since the end of 2005. First, he was head of the Expertise Centre for Substances, and after the reorganisation, since 2013, he has been head of the Centre for Safety of Substances and Products.

The centre offers building blocks for national and international policies and regulations, including for e.g. industrial substances, crop protection products, biocides, consumer safety, occupational safety, physical safety, environment and health, nanotechnolgoy and genetic modification/synthetic biology. The centre supports improvements of sustainability of the chemical sector and contributes to the creation of green chemistry and initiatives of circular and biobased economy.

Areas of expertise

  • Policy advice
  • Standard setting
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk-governance