Uses and Applications of the GreenScreen™
The GreenScreen™ for Safer Chemicals (GreenScreen™), has many practical uses and applications for manufacturers, NGO's, and governmental organizations alike. It can be used to:
- Help prioritize chemicals for further review and/or phase out
- Help companies identify safer alternative chemicals for use in formulations
- Meet client specifications for eliminating chemicals of high concern
- Support chemical management through environmental management systems
- Support corporate reporting on chemical uses
- Communicate materials goals and criteria to suppliers
- Serve as a resource for pollution prevention and technical assistance programs
- Guide internal product development processes
The GreenScreen Harmonizes with Global Regulatory and Scientific Precedents
Regulatory actions such as chemical or material restrictions can drive the need for alternatives assessment and the use of chemical hazard assessment methods such as the GreenScreen. Both the GreenScreen hazard criteria and benchmarking system were developed to align with national and international precedents including the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), OECD testing protocols and the European REACH legislation, while also ensuring that new and emerging science can be incorporated into the hazard assessment process. In addition, the GreenScreen hazard criteria dovetail with the USEPA's Design for Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation allowing for translation of assessments from DfE Partnerships to GreenScreen results.
The GreenScreen Supports Non-Regulatory Standards
Other drivers for chemical hazard assessment include non-regulatory standards and ecolabels. For example, the US Green Building Council is currently proposing inclusion of the GreenScreen in their LEED rating system v4. For such applications the GreenScreen can be used to:
1. Identify Benchmark 1 Chemicals
The GreenScreen method can be used to identify Benchmark 1 (Avoid: Chemicals of High Concern) chemicals in products. Clean Production Action has developed the GreenScreen™ List Translator (List Translator™) to facilitate screening and classification of chemicals based on national and international regulatory sources, influential NGO lists of chemicals of concern, deliberations from authoritative scientific bodies, European Risk and Hazard Phrases and government chemical classifications using the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling. The List Translator maps specific hazard endpoints (e.g., Carcinogenicity, Reproductive Toxicity, etc.) and the associated hazard level classifications (e.g., H, M or L) for a chemical based on its presence or absence on specified lists and will provide an initial screening assessment to determine whether a chemical is a Benchmark 1.
While results from full GreenScreen assessments are considered more comprehensive and reliable than results from the List Translator only, use of the List Translator can provide a quick assessment of chemicals that are known by regulatory, authoritative and/or expert bodies to have particular hazard characteristics.
Two software providers – Healthy Building Network through Pharos and The Wercs through GreenWERCS have recently automated the List Translator. Automation of the List Translator makes screening quick and easy and provides a useful first step in assessing whether a product contains chemicals of high concern for environmental and human health. Automation can save practitioners ALOT of time by automatically searching a library of over 850 lists from 36 primary authoritative and screening sources. In addition licensed GreenScreen Profilers can be engaged to support companies in evaluating chemicals, materials and products using the List Translator.
2. Identify Chemicals that Achieve Benchmarks 2, 3 or 4
The GreenScreen can also be used to identify chemicals that achieve higher Benchmark levels such as Benchmarks 2, 3 or 4. To achieve higher Benchmark levels requires a full GreenScreen assessment. Full GreenScreen assessments, take into account the full breadth of toxicological data available and require information and professional expertise above and beyond what is found on lists. It is harder to positively assess a chemical and its transformation products across all 18 of the GreenScreen hazard endpoints than it is to negatively screen for known chemicals of concern.
Chemical alternatives that have been assessed using the full GreenScreen method support informed substitution. Ecolabels and standards seeking to identify positive alternatives rather than to focus on chemical restrictions can use the full GreenScreen method to identify safer alternatives to chemicals of concern.
It is important to understand the differences between a full GreenScreen assessment and an assessment using the List Translator.
|Assessment Using the List Translator:||Assessment using the Full GreenScreen Method:|
|List Translator map is free and publically available on CPA's website; Automated software has been developed by software partners||All GreenScreen method guidance, resources and templates are available for download on CPA's website, along with training opportunities|
|Chemicals appearing on authoritative and screening hazard lists are mapped to hazard classifications in order to flag chemicals of high concern||Uses authoritative and screening hazard lists as one part of the full GreenScreen assessment process|
|Hazard classifications may include L, M, H, vH and ranges. Chemicals NOT found on hazard lists for a specific hazard endpoint will be left blank for that endpoint. Blank means that the hazard is unknown without further assessment.||Relies on comprehensive and in-depth research using toxicology test results, scientific literature, models, analogs and expert judgement to classify all 18 GreenScreen hazard endpoints. Where no data are available and modeling is not feasible a data gap (DG) is assigned.|
|Assesses the parent chemical only||Assesses the parent chemical along with feasible and relevant transformation products|
|Reports overall results as one of three possible List Translator (LT) Scores:
||Reports overall results as one of five possible Benchmark levels that progressively classify chemicals from chemicals of high concern to preferred chemicals:
Because the List Translator is only a portion of a full GreenScreen assessment, it is not possible to use it to achieve higher Benchmark scores. To differentiate between scores generated by the List Translator versus the full GreenScreen method, List Translator Scores are identified with LT:
|GS LT Score||GreenScreen Benchmark Equivalency||Derivation|
|LT-1||Benchmark 1||A LT-1 chemical score is based on clear agreement among Authoritative lists that it is a Chemical of High Concern and may be considered equivalent to a Benchmark 1 chemical using the full GreenScreen method.|
|LT-P1||Possible Benchmark 1||A LT-P1 chemical score translates to Possible BM1 and reflects the presence of the chemical on Screening A or B lists and some uncertainty about the classification for key endpoints. Further research is needed on the flagged endpoint to determine if the chemical is indeed a GreenScreen Benchmark 1.|
|LT-U||Unspecified Benchmark||A LT-U chemical score indicates that there is insufficient information to apply the GreenScreen Benchmark Scoring algorithm to the chemical. That can be a good sign. Typically, only hazardous chemicals are found on hazard lists. However, lack of presence on hazard lists can also mean that the chemical has not been well tested. Therefore the resulting conclusion using the List Translator is that the Benchmark U score is Unspecified pending full GreenScreen review. A full GreenScreen assessment will need to be performed to determine if a chemical is a Benchmark 2, 3 or 4.|