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Assessment of alternatives

The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a community of practice on Chemicals in Products to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to addressing Chemicals in Products (CiP). This is a summary of the discussion on Assessment of alternatives, which took place on 15 June 2022.

Presenters: Dr Eeva Leinala (OECD), Monique Pillet (ECHA), Mark S. Rossi (PhD, Clean Production Action)

A safer alternative is defined by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a “chemical, product, or technology that is preferable, in terms of both hazard and potential for exposure to humans and the environment, than the existing option". The focus of this discussion was on the assessment of alternatives in the Chemicals in Products world. In this discussion, the OECD presented the “Guidance on Key Considerations for the Identification and Selection of Safer chemical Alternatives". This guidance was presented together with the European Union’s REACH Authorisation process, which helps to ensure that the risks from Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) are properly controlled and that these substances are progressively replaced by suitable alternative substances or technologies that are economically and technically viable, whilst still ensuring the good functioning of the EU internal market. Finally, some suggested steps to take in identifying products with safer chemicals were presented by a member of the Clean Production Action team -a non-profit US organization.