OECD | Guidance on Key Considerations for the Identification and Selection of Safer Chemical Alternatives

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BACKGROUND - As the demand for safer chemicals and technologies grows, the field of alternatives assessment is becoming increasingly important in guiding the transition towards safer, less toxic alternatives. Throughout Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) delegations, alternatives assessments are being used to respond to government regulations, including the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in the European Union (EU) and state-level regulations in the United States (U.S.), as well as industry, retailer, and consumer demands for products that do not contain harmful chemicals. The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) defines alternatives assessment as a “process for identifying and comparing potential chemical and nonchemical alternatives that could replace chemicals of concern on the basis of their hazards, comparative exposure, performance, and economic viability” (National Research Council 2014). Alternatives assessment generally takes place after a decision to substitute occurs and helps guide that process. 



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