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Alternatives Assessment Tools and Methods

Comparative chemical hazard evaluation: methods for comparing chemicals for informed substitution


GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals GreenScreen® was developed by Clean Production Action to support the transition to safer chemicals and to support more informed decision-making on the use of chemicals in products and processes. GreenScreen® provides a rigorous comparative hazard assessment for evaluating alternatives to chemicals of concern based upon 18 hazard endpoints.
QCAT (Quick Chemical Assessment Tool) Using GreenScreen® as a blueprint, QCAT was developed by the Washington State Department of Ecology to function as a simpler tool for smaller businesses. QCAT is a screening tool for evaluating chemicals/substances to determine their degree of toxicity and assess alternatives. Chemicals are rated based on an aggregated score of nine hazard endpoints, but relative toxicities can also be assessed based on individual endpoints.
P2OASys (Pollution Prevention Options Assessment System) P2OASys was developed by the Toxic Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, to help companies assess unforeseen consequences of current alternative technologies. P2OAsys allows companies to assess environmental, worker, and public health impacts from alternative technologies. The tool automatically compares current processes to alternatives based on 11 endpoints using an aggregated score, which is dependent upon the proportion of chemical present.
US EPA DfE Alternatives Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation Design for the Environment (DfE) Program Alternatives Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation is a chemical hazard assessment guide produced by the US EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics. The guide focuses on environmental toxicity, fate, and the physiochemical properties that present inherent safety risks. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are convened to determine the functionality of substitutes and to appoint high-risk chemicals; therefore, the document is subject to revision. Last updated August 2011.
Column Model The Column Model was developed by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IFA) of the German Social Accident Insurance as a tool for industry for identifying alternative substances. The tool allows for the comparison on chemicals/substances or materials/mixtures based on six hazard endpoints. Endpoints are compared individually and collectively, and the user makes the final evaluation.
Subsport (Substitution Support Portal) Substitution Steps  Substitution Steps by Substitution Support Portal (SUBSPORT) is a six-step web-based guide that can be used as a quick screening tool to assess the suitability of hazardous chemical alternatives. The guide provides a collection of internal and external tools to assist in each step of the evaluation of alternatives with a focus on safety, practicality, and continued improvement.
GreenScreen List Translator GSLT was developed by Clean Production Action as a rapid screening assessment tool for chemical substances. The screening evaluation results in three outcomes: of high concern, possibly of high concern, and unknown. GSLT is meant to prioritize chemicals for a more comprehensive assessment using the full GreenScreen® method.
ChemHAT (Chemical Hazard and Alternatives Toolbox) ChemHAT is an internet database based on the simple idea that when we know how a chemical can hurt us we can take protective action. There are solutions at the bottom of the hierarchy of controls. Sometimes that action is using the chemical wearing gloves or with extra ventilation. ChemHAT was designed to let us ask and answer a different question. Instead of what engineering controls and personal protective equipment do I need to lower the levels of exposure to a "safe" level, ChemHAT is being designed to answer the question, "Is there a way to get this job done without using dangerous chemicals?" We know from stories of substitution and elimination that already exist, the answer can be yes.
PRIO – A tool for Risk Reduction of Chemicals PRIO was developed by the Swedish Chemical Inspectorate (KemI) to help eliminate high hazard chemicals from products to meet the Swedish government's goal of a "non-toxic environment" by 2020. PRIO contains a database of chemicals of high concern to human health and the environment, which are divided into "phase-out" or "priority risk reduction" chemicals. “Phase-out” chemicals should be avoided or substituted, and the tool provides a seven step process for identifying safer alternatives. For “priority risk reduction” chemicals, further assessments are recommended to ensure risk minimization.
RISCTOX RISCTOX was developed by the Spanish Trade Union Institute of Health, Work and Environment (ISTAS) and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and is based on European environmental and health standards. The tool includes over 100,000 chemicals, providing information on substance classification and labeling under EU Regulation 1272/2008, health and environmental impacts and risks, and environmental and health regulations. Users can search by hazard endpoint or specific substance.