Selecting Safer Chemical Alternatives

After you've identified chemicals of concern by screening data or using an existing chemical hazard assessment, you can conduct an alternatives assessment (AA). 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.”

Ecology has developed two primary tools to help with this process:

IC2 Alternatives Assessment Guide
Eight member states of the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) developed the IC2 Alternatives Assessment Guide. The guide helps users understand what’s in an alternatives assessment and how to conduct one.

Washington Alternatives Assessment Guide
Ecology and other stakeholders created an alternatives assessment guide specific to Washington State. The Washington guide is based on the IC2 AA Guide. Learn how Ecology developed this guide.

Other Resources for Choosing Safer Alternatives:

National Academy of Science’s framework
The National Academy of Science recently developed A Framework to Guide Selection of Chemical Alternatives to help interested parties find safer chemical substitutes.

EPA's Safer Chemical Ingredient List (SCIL)
The EPA's Safer Choice program created a list of safer chemical ingredients arranged by functional-use class. Every ingredient on the list has been evaluated for harmful effects to humans and the environment.

See more resources for safer alternatives.


Contact Brian Penttila at 360-407-6758.