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Lean & Chemicals Toolkit: Appendix A

Chemical Resources

Resources for Understanding Attributes of Chemicals

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ToxFAQs Fact Sheets

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs Fact Sheets are a series of summaries about hazardous substances. Information for this series is excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. Each fact sheet serves as a quick and easy to understand guide. Answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health.

Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guide

The U.S. Department of Transportation, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico developed the Emergency Response Guide (ERG). The ERG provides information to police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel when responding to an incident involving hazardous goods or materials. The guide provides information on how to identify which hazardous materials are involved in an incident, how to identify how hazardous the material is, and steps to take during an incident involving hazardous materials. Although the primary audience for the guide is emergency responders, the safety information in the guide is a good resource to anyone working with hazardous materials.

EPA’s Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants

The fact sheets available on this website describe the effects on human health of substances that are defined as hazardous by the 1990 amendments of the Clean Air Act. These substances include certain volatile organic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and radionuclides that present tangible hazard, based on scientific studies of exposure to humans and other mammals.

EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)

EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is a compilation of electronic reports on specific substances found in the environment and their potential to cause human health effects. IRIS was initially developed for EPA staff in response to a growing demand for consistent information on:

  • substances for use in risk assessments
  • decision-making and 
  • regulatory activities

The information in IRIS is intended for those without extensive training in toxicology, but with some knowledge of health sciences.

Hazardous Substances Data Bank

The National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) contains multiple databases on chemicals. Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) is a toxicology data file on TOXNET that focuses on the toxicology of potentially hazardous chemicals. It is has information on:

  • human exposure
  • industrial hygiene
  • emergency handling procedures
  • environmental fate
  • regulatory requirements

All data are referenced and derived from a core set of books, government documents, technical reports, and selected primary journal literature. HSDB is peer-reviewed by the Scientific Review Panel, a committee of experts in the major subject areas within the data bank’s scope. HSDB is organized into individual chemical records and contains over 5000 such records.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pocket Guide to Chemical HazardsExit

The NIOSH Pocket Guide is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. This resource is further described in Chapter 2 of this toolkit.

OSHA Occupational Chemical Database

This database compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a convenient reference for the occupational safety and health community. It contains the information on individual chemicals. You can search the database by chemical name or CAS Number. The database includes the chemical name, CAS number, synonyms, and reports for each chemical.

Included in the chemical description are the following database reports:

  • Physical Properties
  • Exposure Guidelines
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide entry
  • Emergency Response Information including the Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guide

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Tools for Reducing Chemical Use and Finding Alternative Chemicals

CleanerSolutions DatabaseExit

The Surface Solution Laboratory (SSL) at the Massachusetts-based Toxics Use Reduction Institute has created this database linking performance evaluations to specific testing parameters and environmental assessments based on the testing performed at the lab. SSL was designed with the capability to evaluate the effectiveness of different cleaning chemistries and equipment for a variety of substrates and contaminants. The goal of SSL is to assist industry in the search for safer cleaning processes by developing and promoting safer alternatives to hazardous solvents with a special focus on aqueous/semi-aqueous cleaners and state-of-the-art surface cleanliness analyses.

Design for the Environment Toolkit from the Minnesota Pollution Control AgencyExit

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has developed a Design for the Environment Toolkit that helps designers incorporate environmental attributes into existing product design practices. The toolkit develops a numerical score for a product to show where that product is strong and where it needs improvement with regards to environmental concerns.

General Services Administration (GSA) Advantage

The U.S. GSA Advantage Environmental Specialty Catalog contains products and services that assist federal agencies with their environmental purchasing goals. The catalog allows direct access to a variety of environmental products and services designated as bio-based and recycled content, ENERGY STAR, water efficient, and non-ozone depleting materials. Although only federal, state, and local government agencies can purchase products from the GSA Environmental Specialty Catalog, it is available for anyone to browse.

Global Environmental Management Initiative Guide to Strategic Sourcing for Environment, Health, and SafetyExit

The Global Environmental Management Initiative developed the guidance document, “New Paths to Business Value: Strategic Sourcing—Environment, Health and Safety,” to help businesses strengthen their environmental, health, and safety (EHS) performance by through making responsible procurement decisions such as purchasing green products. The document covers five topic areas that explain how strategic sourcing can improve a company’s EHS performance. The five areas are organized to answer the following questions:

  1. Is EHS an important source of business value in the supply chain?
  2. How are untapped business values in the supply chain found?
  3. How can EHS criteria add to business value?
  4. How can supplier EHS performance be improved?
  5. How can EHS performance be improved through outsourcing?

Green Cleaning Pollution Prevention CalculatorExit

The Green Cleaning Pollution Prevention Calculator quantifies the projected environmental benefits of purchasing and using “green” janitorial services and products. It is designed to forecast the environmental benefits of reducing chemical use by doing some or all pollution prevention measures typically involved in the routine interior cleaning of an office building. This tool also enables users to identify which green cleaning measures will have the greatest impact in reducing their use of hazardous chemicals and in preventing pollution.

The calculator’s output applies only to standard office cleaning products and practices, and does not apply to other building maintenance issues, such as equipment maintenance, pest control, or landscaping activities.

The Green Screen for Safer ChemicalsExit

The “Green Screen for Safer Chemicals” developed by the not-for-profit organization Clean Production Action is a tool that can help manufactures make informed decisions about the chemicals they use. The tool informs manufactures of the hazard associated with a particular chemical and guides manufactures in choosing less hazardous chemical options through a process if informed substitution. The tool includes a “Red List of Chemicals” that lists chemicals of high concern. Manufactures can view this list to identify hazardous chemicals at use in their facilities. The Green Screen defines four benchmarks that have to be met to ensure that the safest chemical is being used. The four benchmarks are:

  1. Avoid Chemicals of High Concern
  2. Use but Search for Safer Substitutes
  3. Use but Still Opportunity for Improvement
  4. Prefer Safer Chemicals

Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI)

The EPA Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) database provides a way to research and compare various human health and environmental impacts of different kinds of chemicals. It was developed to assist in impact assessment for: sustainability metrics life cycle assessment, industrial ecology, process design, and pollution prevention. Methodologies were developed specifically for the U.S., using input parameters consistent with US locations for the following impact categories:

  • acidification
  • smog formation
  • eutrophication
  • human cancer
  • human non-cancer
  • human criteria effects

TRACI’s modular design allows the compilation of the most sophisticated impact assessment methodologies that can be utilized in software developed for PCs.

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Technical Assistance Providers

National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension PartnershipExit

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a network of manufacturing assistance centers that provide Lean manufacturing training, Lean event facilitation, and other services to small-to-medium sized businesses to make them more competitive. Many MEP centers have experience providing integrated Lean and environmental services to businesses or have partnerships with environmental agencies to offer Lean and environment services.

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Toolkit Navigation

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