Online Program

EPA design for the environment: Promoting the selection of safer chemicals for use in consumer products

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:50 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Caroline Baier-Anderson, Ph.D., Design for the Environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Formulated consumer products are a source of consumer and environmental exposures to chemical hazards. With the number and variety of formulated products on the market, and current limitations of cumulative risk assessment methods, one path to risk reduction is through hazard reduction. The challenge is to identify safer substitutes that function on a par with the more hazardous chemicals currently in use. The US EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) program works in partnership with industry, environmental groups, and academia to promote the use of safer chemicals. DfE collaborates with stakeholders to develop criteria to define safer chemicals based on a range of intrinsic human health and environmental properties. The criteria can be used to identify and compare chemicals, based on these properties, and to communicate this information to technical and non-technical stakeholders. DfE criteria are applied in our Safer Product Labeling Program to help companies identify and use safer chemicals in formulated consumer products. In our Alternatives Assessment Program, DfE provides hazard information on chemical alternatives so that decision-makers can consider potential trade-offs when making substitution decisions. Challenges in applying criteria include data gaps and emerging science.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Define how toxicologists define safer chemicals. Explain how EPA voluntary programs provide incentives for using safer chemicals. Discuss challenges to finding safer chemical substitutes.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a toxicologist with US EPA's Design for the Environment program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.