WASHINGTON — The American Cleaning Institute
(ACI) is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to broaden its criteria for hazardous chemical alternatives under the Design for the Environment
(DfE) program, according to a press release
The DfE program evaluates human health and environmental concerns associated with traditional and alternative chemicals and processes in a range of industries, the release noted.
EPA has developed Alternatives Assessment
(AA) Criteria for Hazard Evaluation as a "transparent tool for evaluating and differentiating among chemicals based on their concern for human health and environmental hazard," the release stated.
According to the release, ACI said the EPA should more clearly explain how the Criteria for Hazard Assessment will be used in the Alternatives Assessment process to compare multiple alternatives to one another: Under the EPA''s plan, substances will be categorized as either "High," "Moderate" or "Low" concern and, as a result, for any specific endpoint, one could place each substance on a continuum of relative hazard.
"However, the EPA needs to clarify how one would utilize these categorization criteria to compile one continuum for a group of alternative materials being assessed against an existing material," said Dr. Paul DeLeo, ACI''s senior director of environmental safety.
"It would seem that a key objective of the hazard evaluation process has not been addressed. It is important for all stakeholders to have the opportunity to comment on perhaps the most challenging, yet most important, aspect of the evaluation process," DeLeo added.