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Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials

reproduced from:
JRC Technical Report: Safe and Sustainable by Design chemicals and materials
Review of safety and sustainability dimensions, aspects, methods, indicators, and tools
Caldeira, C. Farcal, R., Moretti, C., Mancini, L., Rauscher, H., Rasmussen, K., Riego Sintes, J., Sala, S.
© European Union, 2022

In the context of the EU Green Deal, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) aims at improving the safeguard of human health and the environment as part of an ambitious approach to tackle pollution from all sources and move towards zero-pollution for air, water and soil. A key action defined in the CSS is the development of safe and sustainable by design (SSbD) criteria for chemicals. The SSbD concept promotes a holistic approach that integrates safety, circularity and functionality of chemicals, materials, products and processes throughout their entire life cycle, minimizing their environmental footprint.

To inform the development of such a framework, a review of existing frameworks1 has been conducted and is presented in [the] report. The scope of the CSS SSbD definition is mainly focused on safety and environmental dimensions. [The] review broadens the perspective to social and economic dimensions. Those dimensions are then articulated into aspects, assessed via methods and indicators.

The review included also an analysis of online resources (databases, tools) that can support the process of criteria development and allow a fast and reliable extraction of information related to the safety aspect of chemicals, materials or products. [It] aims to add a few more resources to the “Inventory of tools for safe by design implementation” compiled in Chapter 5.2 of DG RTD’s mapping study that refers to specific tools (e.g. software) to analyse data. [It] refers to several ready-to-use tools (mainly databases) that follow current regulatory information requirements (e.g. built mainly on REACH information requirements and data but also beyond).

Tool Description Organisation URL and/or reference
ECHA Information on Chemicals The source of information on the chemicals manufactured and imported in Europe. It covers their hazardous properties, classification and labelling, and information on how to use them safely. ECHA Information on chemicals
EU Chemicals Legislation Finder (EUCLEF) EUCLEF gives an overview of the European Union's legislation on chemicals and allows searching for information on substances, find applicable laws and check regulatory obligations. ECHA Legislation finder
GreenScreen GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals is a method for chemical hazard assessment designed to identify chemicals of high concern and safer alternatives. It is used by industry, government and NGOs to support product design and development, materials procurement, and as part of alternatives assessment to meet regulatory requirements.
GreenScreen List Translator provides a "list of lists" approach to quickly identify chemicals of high concern.
GreenScreen The full GreenScreen method
OECD Substitution and Alternatives Assessment Toolbox A compilation of resources relevant to chemical substitution and alternatives assessments:
  • Alternatives Assessment Tool Selector
  • Alternatives Assessment Frameworks
  • Case Studies and Other Resources
  • Regulations and Restrictions
OECD OECD toolbox
SCIP Database SCIP is the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established under the Waste Framework Directive. EU's public database of products containing substances of very high concern. The database ensures that the information on articles containing Candidate List substances is available throughout the whole life cycle of products and materials, including at the waste stage. The information in the database is then made available to waste operators and consumers. ECHA SCIP database
SIA (Safe Innovation Approach) toolbox The SIA Toolbox includes a set of tools and guidance documents to be used by various actors along the innovation chain. It thereby supports improved dealing with new safety issues of innovative nanomaterials and nanomaterial-containing products on one hand but also supporting improved regulatory preparedness on the other hand. All of the methods in the SIA toolbox have been selected to be supportive for SIA/SbD implementation. RIVM SIA Toolbox
SubSelect - Guidance for the Selection of Sustainable Chemicals Guides the manufacturers, formulators or end users of substances and mixtures to gather information on hazard, mobility, resource and CO2-emission aspects and prioritise substitution needs or compare alternatives. German Environment Agency (UBA) Guidance
Substitute It Now (SIN) list The SIN List is a list of hazardous chemicals that are used in a wide variety of articles, products and manufacturing processes around the globe. The Substitute It Now - implies that these chemicals should be removed as soon as possible as they pose a threat to human health and the environment. International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) SIN list, Business tool
SUBSPORTplus Portal with information on substituting hazardous substances and assisting in finding safer alternatives. Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) SUBSPORTplus
ECHA 'Substance substitution' tools Various methods, tools and materials for comparative hazard assessment ECHA 'Substance substitution' tools
ProScale This tool allows for assessing chemicalsrelated health risks in the work environment in a life cycle perspective Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) ProScale
Sustainability method selection tool This tool helps you find the best method for answering your sustainability question. This tool is based on Zijp et al. 2017. Among the methods recommended by this tools, there are various methods for safety assessments as well as other methods related to other sustainability dimensions Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) Sustainability method