A quantitative screening-level approach to incorporate chemical exposure and risk/safety into alternative assessment evaluations

As the general public and retailers ask for disclosure of chemical ingredients in the marketplace, a number of hazard screening tools were developed to evaluate the so called “greenness” of individual chemical ingredients and/or formulations. The majority of these tools focus only on hazard, often using chemical lists, ignoring the other part of the risk equation: exposure. Using a hazard-only focus can result in regrettable substitutions, changing one chemical ingredient for another that turns out to be more hazardous or shifts the toxicity burden to others. To minimise the incidents of regrettable substitutions, BizNGO describes ‘Common Principles’ to frame a process for informed substitution. Two of the six principles state reduce hazard and minimize exposure. A number of frameworks have emerged to evaluate and assess alternatives. One framework developed by leading experts under the auspices of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences recommended that hazard and exposure be specifically addressed in the same step when assessing candidate alternatives. For the alternative assessment community, this paper serves as an informational resource for considering exposure in an alternatives assessment using elements of problem formulation; product identity, use, and composition; hazard analysis; exposure analysis; and risk characterisation. These conceptual elements build upon practices from government, academia, and industry and are exemplified through two hypothetical case studies demonstrating the questions asked and decisions faced in new product development. These two case studies – inhalation exposure to a generic paint product and environmental exposure to a shampoo rinsed down the drain – demonstrate the criteria, considerations, and methods required to combine exposure models addressing human health and environmental impacts to provide a screening level hazard/exposure (risk) analysis. This paper informs practices for these elements within a comparative risk context to improve alternatives assessment evaluation and decision making.

Authors: Arnold SM, Greggs B, Goyak KO, Landenberger BD, Mason AM, Howard B, Zaleski R, Howard B, Zaleski RT. ;Full Source: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 2017 Mar 10. doi: 10.1002/ieam.1926. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print] ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]