Identifying and adopting safer alternatives to toxic chemicals is a core aspect of toxics use reduction.
An alternatives assessment looks comprehensively at the uses of chemicals of concern and the availability of safer, technically feasible and affordable alternatives. These alternatives may be chemical substitutions, but may also be modifications to processes or product redesigns that facilitate the shift to safer processes and products.
The Principles of Alternatives Assessments are:
- Reduce Hazard
- Minimize Exposure
- Use Best Available Information
- Require Disclosure and Transparency
- Resolve Trade-Offs
- Take Action
TURI collaborates with academic partners, other US state and federal agencies, and international organizations to develop and refine alternatives assessment methods.
TURI Alternatives Assessment
TURI conducts alternative assessments as part of its mission to assist Massachusetts companies in toxics use reduction. There are three types of alternative assessments TURI develops.
- Discrete projects focusing on finding safer and effective solutions for specific applications for industrial parts cleaning, formulators of cleaning products, or institutions or municipalities seeking safer janitorial cleaning solutions.
- Collaborations with industry and technical experts to identify and test safer alternatives to toxics used in the manufacturing process.
- Comprehensive analyses that that identify and qualify a range of feasible safer alternatives for particular applications.
Alternatives assessment is a process for identifying and comparing potential chemical and non-chemical alternatives that could replace chemicals of concern on the basis of their hazards, comparative exposure, performance and economic viability.