- Substitution to safer chemicals
- How to substitute?
- Know your substances and needs
How to substitute?
Substituting substances is not necessarily a simple replacement of one chemical with another. You need to do your homework and there is no "one size fits all". Methods that work in one company may not work for your product or process. One approach you can use to address your substitution challenge is functional substitution, where you consider the specific function of the substance and how it could be met by alternatives in a broad sense – covering not only the substance itself but also aspects such as production techniques and product design. You may also need to try several alternatives before you find the best one. In your assessment, beyond the consideration of the hazard, exposure, technical performance and economic aspects, it is important to also look at wider effects, where these are relevant, such as energy and resource use, waste, recycling and socio-economic impacts. If you choose to develop a brand new product, consider an approach that takes into account safety and sustainability across its entire lifecycle.
Identifying substances of concern in use is the first step in implementing your plan for substitution successfully.
- Make an inventory of the substances you use.
- Prioritise the substances that are candidates for substitution. These include substances that are considered the most hazardous, substances that may not be absolutely necessary for a product to function, and substances that may be subject to regulatory actions or market pressure in the near future.
- Identify the key functions that your substance of concern performs in the product or process.
- Inform and consult your supply chain, both clients and suppliers, to identify potential concerns and options.
- PRIO Inventory tool: PRIO is a web-based tool that can help you to preventively reduce health and environmental risks from chemical substances.
- Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL): The global standard list for declaring the composition of parts within the automotive industry.
- IMDS: Automobile industry’s material data system.
- Textile sector: Zero discharge of hazardous chemicals programme (ZDHC): The ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) is a list of chemical substances banned from intentional use in facilities that process textile materials and trim parts in apparel, leather and footwear.
Information on hazard of substances
Guidance documents on prioritisation
- Guide on minimising chemical risk to workers’ health and safety through substitution
- PRIO priority setting guide:Step –by- step guide on how to prioritise chemical substance risks in articles and products.
Specific lists of hazardous substances (non-exhaustive)
- ECHA’s Candidate List: Lists substances of very high concern that may be included in the Authorisation List.
- ECHA’s Authorisation List: List of substances of very high concern for which you need authorisation to use under REACH.
- ECHA’s list of recommendations for inclusion in the Authorisation List: ECHA’s recommendations on which substances from the Candidate List to include in the Authorisation List.
- List of Restrictions: Substances restricted under REACH.
- ECHA’s Registry of intentions: Lists substances that have been proposed for harmonised classification, restriction or as substances of very high concern.
- ECHA’s public activities coordination tool (PACT): The public activities coordination tool (PACT) gives advance notice of the substances that are on an authority’s radar for exploring the potential need for regulatory risk management.
- The Community rolling action plan (CoRAP): Specifies the substances that will be evaluated under REACH over the next three years.
- Water Framework Directive – priority and priority hazardous substances: Substances or groups of substances are on the list of priority substances for which environmental quality standards were set under the Water Framework Directive.
- OSH Wiki – Dangerous substances: Examples of dangerous substances listed by EU OSHA
- Trade Union Priority List for REACH Authorisation: Priority list of chemical substances of very high concern set up by EU trade union association.
- TEDX: List of potential endocrine disruptors set up by TEDX, a science based, non-profit research institute.
- Safer Chemicals Ingredients List: List of chemical ingredients that the Safer Choice Program has evaluated and determined to be safer than traditional chemical ingredients used for the same function.
- SIN List: The “Substitute it now” list of substances set up by the NGO ChemSec.
- SINimilarity: Database set up by the NGO ChemSec for checking if your chemical bears structural resemblance to that from the SIN List.
Tools to support prioritisation
- GreenScreen® List Translator (GSLT): Screen assessment tool for identifying chemicals of high concern. It attributes scores to chemicals based on information obtained from over 40 hazard lists. GLST can be an effective tool for prioritising chemicals for a more in-depth scrutiny and assessment.
- PRIO – Prioritisation tool: PRIO is a web-based tool that can help you to preventively reduce health and environmental risks from chemical substances.