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Comment procéder?

Le remplacement de substances ne consiste pas nécessairement en un simple remplacement d'un produit chimique par un autre. Vous devez bien vous renseigner au préalable en ayant conscience qu'il n'existe pas de solution unique toute faite. Des méthodes qui donnent satisfaction dans une société peuvent ne pas fonctionner avec votre produit ou procédé. Vous pouvez aussi avoir besoin d'essayer plusieurs solutions alternatives avant de découvrir la meilleure. Lors de votre évaluation, vous ne devez pas seulement tenir compte du danger mais aussi de l'exposition au produit chimique, des différents procédés techniques et modes de conception du produit, des performances techniques et des aspects économiques. Il est important par ailleurs de considérer des paramètres plus vastes tels que la consommation d'énergie et de ressources, la gestion des déchets, le recyclage ou l'impact social.

 

Once you have prioritised your substances and selected some of them as candidates for substitution, it is time to look for potential alternatives. Setting the scope of the substitution project is critical given that this is the step where you determine:

(a) the level of stakeholder engagement you intend to undertake;
(b) the goals and principles underlying the project; and
(c) decision criteria on which alternative to choose.

Setting the scope of the substitution project also involves establishing boundaries for the assessment. This helps to focus resources and outline a plan to assess alternatives, including planning which health effects, exposure pathways, life cycle segments, and technical functionality/performance attributes need to be considered.

As a first step, you should carefully consider if there is a real need for the technical functionality provided by the substance of concern and/or if there are other ways of achieving the same goal. For example, do you really need to provide your customers with a printed receipt that may contain hazardous ink developers, or would an electronic receipt be a suitable alternative? As you think of possible safer alternatives, look into your options more widely, such as the substances, techniques and product designs that you could use.

 

Information about substances

 

General resources on substitution and analysis of alternatives
  • OECD Substitution toolbox: A compilation of resources relevant to chemical substitution and alternatives assessments.
  • SUBSPORT: Alternative substances and technologies, with tools and guidance for substance evaluation and substitution management.
  • Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI): The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell provides resources and tools to help businesses, municipalities, and communities in Massachusetts find safer alternatives to toxic chemicals.
  • European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA): EU-OSHA provides a number of resources in relation to chemicals at the workplace, including on their substitution.

 

Online platforms for looking for safer alternatives

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