Information Driving Greener Design: Design & Use of Safer Chemicals to Meet Market Demand

Organizers: Bridget Williams, US EPA Safer Choice Program; Kathleen Compton, Pollution Prevention Coordinator, US EPA Region 10; Kendra Tyler, Safer Choice Lead, US EPA Region 10

Chemical design to meet marketing needs can sometimes overlook chemical safety considerations, or focus on eliminating a single concern, such as carcinogenicity. Chemical design to avoid a certain hazard endpoint is an approach that, if not pursued in the context of a broader goal, could lead to the design or use of a chemical with another problematic endpoint such as persistence, reproductive toxicity, or chronic toxicity. Methodologies for identifying safer chemicals include assessment by functional class and comparing the most relevant endpoints for that class. Understanding a chemical’s structure and function is key to determining which hazard endpoints might be distinguishing and potentially problematic. Using this approach furthers the advancement of green chemistry through the design of less hazardous chemicals. The symposium will discuss safer chemical design, include industry examples, share green chemistry challenges in the marketplace, and offer examples of how organizations are supporting the development of safer alternatives.