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Are you concerned about the safety of the chemicals your company uses? DEQ compiled a list of 51 chemicals or groups of chemicals that threaten the health of people and the environment. Conduct a chemical inventory and cross check the chemicals on your inventory with DEQ’s focus list. Are the chemicals you use safe?
Are there safer alternatives? Are the potential alternatives really any safer? Reviewing safety data and conducting a hazard assessment can help you answer those questions.
Chemical hazard databasesThere are many databases that identify the impacts chemicals have on human health and the environment. These databases can get you started learning more about the potential impacts of chemicals you use. Two of the most helpful are:
You won’t find the advice to avoid “regrettable substitutions” in a fortune cookie but just replacing a toxic chemicals without having better alternatives could mean moving backwards. That’s not acceptable. Nor is it necessary, given our modern technology and ingenuity.
After you've identified chemicals of concern by screening data or using an existing chemical hazard assessment, you can conduct an alternatives assessment. An alternatives assessment finds and compares possible chemical and non-chemical alternatives that are less likely to harm human health or the environment. This prevents the use of a “regrettable substitution.”
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