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Policy

Safer Chemicals Guidance Released

by Cheryl Hogue
March 25, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 12

A coalition of state and local governments has unveiled draft guidance to help businesses and government agencies identify alternative chemicals that are safer than toxic ingredients. The draft guidance from the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse is aimed at reducing health risks by encouraging the replacement of toxic chemicals in products and industrial processes with what it calls inherently safer alternatives. The document includes suggestions for conducting assessments of the hazard, exposure, price, availability, and process engineering of alternatives but does not endorse a single one-size-fits-all methodology. The results of the analyses, the draft says, should distinguish between alternative chemicals that have clear benefits and those that provide only marginal reductions in health risks or involve other trade-offs when compared with the toxic ingredients. The draft, which is open to public comment until April 19, was put together through the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse by environmental regulators from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington with a grant from EPA to the Washington Department of Ecology. It is available at http://bit.ly/16LJYgx.

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