Every day we encounter various chemicals through the simple act of going about our lives—from the beauty products in your morning routine, to the packaging for your takeout meal, to the furniture you sit on. Chemicals are found in just about everything we touch or consume, and not all of them are completely benign. The identification and substitution of safer chemicals is a constant work in progress for regulatory bodies and manufacturers alike. In California, the Safer Consumer Products Program is committed to identifying safer alternatives to chemicals of concern through a process called alternatives analysis. Alternatives analysis goes beyond traditional alternatives assessment by requiring the inclusion of broader and deeper aspects such as a greater number of toxicological endpoints and life cycle impacts over a product’s lifespan. We spoke with lead author Kelly Grant to find out more of what the SCP program is about and what we can learn from it. Access the article in the July 2022 issue of IEAM.
Indigenous peoples around the world face multiple injustices as a result of environmental pollution. These highly vulnerable populations make up just 5% of the global population yet experience a disproportionate number of negative impacts from pollution that affect their environment, health and well-being, and culture. We talk with co-author Nil Basu to find out what their critical review “A State-of-the-Art Review of Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Pollution” reveals. Access the article in the May 2020 issue of IEAM.
Do you know what’s in your household cleaning product? A new article in IEAM spotlights chemicals that are common in household cleaning products yet are lacking sufficient data to allow for proper environmental risk assessments. The chemicals of focus in this study are polymers, organic compounds with a wide range of functions including emulsifiers, dispersants, or defoaming agents. Read More »
Nanomaterials are small but key components in consumer products like electronics, sunscreens, and antimicrobial clothing, just to name a few. Despite their widespread use, scientists are still struggling to assess their potential hazards, with regulatory policy hinging on these assessments. Author Rune Hjorth discusses how alternatives assessment frameworks can be adapted to evaluate nanomaterials. Access the article, “The applicability of chemical alternatives assessment for engineered nanomaterials,” in the January 2017 issue of IEAM.