EPA has just posted its draft Alternatives Assessment Methodology on how it will compare the hazards of alternate chemicals in deciding whether or not to designate a product as “Designed for the Environment.”    DfE is geared to identifying alternatives that work and are available and are greener than the current chemicals that are being used.  The methodology guide offers how to classify hazards as very high-high-moderate-low and has many useful resources for those of you trying to decide which alternatives are “safer.”  EPA will be using alternatives analysis when looking at safer alternatives for the Chemical Action Plan priority chemicals.

The related GCI-NSF proposed standard “Greener Chemical and Process Information” identifies the same kinds of hazard elements, in addition to other process-related information, that a customer would use to compare alternate sources for the more "green" or safer product.  See blog

Product stewards can use this as a tool when designing or redesigning their own products.  I'm less concerned at where EPA is drawing the lines between very high-high-moderate-low as the importance of comparing alternatives and going with those that work the best for your business and have the best safety profile.

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