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Geiser K.,University of Massachusetts Lowell | Tickner J.,University of Massachusetts Lowell | Edwards S.,University of Massachusetts Lowell | Rossi M.,Clean Production Action
Risk Analysis | Year: 2015

Chemical alternatives assessment is a method rapidly developing for use by businesses, governments, and nongovernment organizations seeking to substitute chemicals of concern in production processes and products. Chemical alternatives assessment is defined as a process for identifying, comparing, and selecting safer alternatives to chemicals of concern (including those in materials, processes, or technologies) on the basis of their hazards, performance, and economic viability. The process is intended to provide guidance for assuring that chemicals of concern are replaced with safer alternatives that are not likely to be later regretted. Conceptually, the assessment methods are developed from a set of three foundational pillars and five common principles. Based on a number of emerging alternatives assessment initiatives, in this commentary, we outline a chemical alternatives assessment blueprint structured around three broad steps: Scope, Assessment, and Selection and Implementation. Specific tasks and tools are identified for each of these three steps. While it is recognized that on-going practice will further refine and develop the method and tools, it is important that the structure of the assessment process remain flexible, adaptive, and focused on the substitution of chemicals of concern with safer alternatives. © 2015 Society for Risk Analysis.

Thorpe B.,Clean Production Action
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2011

The Massachusetts' Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) of 1989 set an important milestone in the roadmap to Clean Production. The Act's focus on a clear definition, methodology, and mandatory planning requirements have proved successful in getting companies in Massachusetts to reduce their use of toxic chemicals in manufacturing processes. Such results are inspirational for government officials and advocacy groups attempting to reduce toxic emissions in their communities and set progressive chemicals use policies. This paper will summarize three initiatives where TURA was a catalyst and continues to impact international chemicals policy: the Sewer Use By-law in Toronto, Canada; the European Union's REACH chemicals legislation and the international campaign by Greenpeace in Asia and Latin America to achieve zero discharge of hazardous substances into rivers. The example of Toronto and REACH show how one or more essential aspects of TURA were incorporated into legislation. In the case of REACH TURA's requirement of mandatory planning became an important example and NGO demand during the formation of Europe's new chemicals regulation and resulted in the first substitution assessment planning requirement in EU wide legislation. Work is now ongoing to promote TURA type legislation in Latin America and Asia. However the ability to transfer the TURA framework to regions with inadequate government oversight and cheap disposal costs is seriously hampered. Although NGO campaigns in Asian and Latin America advocate zero discharge of hazardous emissions through toxics use reduction and elimination, much training and accountability will be needed within government and companies to understand the benefits of toxics use reduction and actually implement all or parts of the TURA framework. The Toxics Use Reduction Act came into force in 1989 with high environmental awareness, an engaged citizenry and a responsive government entity. Perhaps these are the same conditions that must exist for its successful transference to industrializing countries. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Rossi M.S.,Clean Production Action
New solutions : a journal of environmental and occupational health policy : NS | Year: 2011

This paper details how businesses and environmental organizations are collaborating to define and implement a visionary agenda for integrating safer chemicals into products, describing the challenges they confront and how they are overcoming those challenges. The framework for this assessment is the Principles for Chemicals Policy developed by the Business-NGO Working Group for Safer Chemicals and Sustainable Materials (BizNGO). The four principles--1) knowing and disclosing chemicals in products, 2) assessing and avoiding hazards, 3) committing to continuous improvement, and 4) supporting public policies and industry standards--while appearing to be straightforward, are, in fact, very complex to implement in practice. Together businesses and environmental organizations are charting a path to safer chemicals by sharing best practices, addressing technical aspects of safer chemicals substitution, and analyzing and supporting public policies that advance the rapid development and diffusion of greener chemicals in the economy.

News Article | December 7, 2015
Site: www.greenbiz.com

Clean Production Action evaluates the landscape of businesses and NGOs pushing for safer chemicals.

Lavoie E.T.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Heine L.G.,Clean Production Action | Holder H.,Hewlett - Packard | Rossi M.S.,Clean Production Action | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2010

The pace of substituting away from chemicals of concern is accelerating. Industry,NGOs,andgovernments are all playing roles in identifying safer alternatives. Substitution that is not informed by the best available information and science can lead to unintended and undesired consequences. Alternative chemicals might have human health andenvironmental profiles that are similar to those of the chemicals of concern or that are different but pose concern for other end points. Uninformed decisions may cause industry to incur costs repeatedly in moving from one alternative to another. CAAs are a proven tool for informing substitution to safer alternatives and minimizing the likelihood of unintended consequences. Their track record has made them a risk managementoption under EPA's existing chemical action plans.CAAs are in progress for BPA in thermal paper and the flame retardant decaBDE. Even when a CAA does not identify an optimal alternative, the tool proves valuable in clarifying the state of the scien eamongpotential alternatives and pointing to the need for chemical research andinnovation: effectively posing a focused green chemistry challenge. The DfE CAA methodology outlined here provides a strong foundation for comparing alternatives and informing substitution to safer chemicals in a wide range of industries and applications and may serve as a critical tool for guiding chemical risk management and innovation in the future. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

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