A Comparative Evaluation of 5 Hazard Screening Tools

There has been a proliferation of tools and approaches designed to help stakeholders, such as product manufacturers, certify how "green" their chemicals and products are. These tools/approaches can also help in the earlier stages of product design, when choosing among alternatives. However, with a large number of choices in the marketplace, understanding the assumptions and outputs of these tools/approaches is necessary for correct implementation. In an earlier effort, we assessed and scored 32 tools, discovering that there is an emphasis on hazard evaluation among them.

In our most recent effort, we conducted a pilot study to compare how 5 hazard tools would evaluate 7 chemicals. We found that the tools varied in their level of discrimination seen in the scores, as well as in the classifications given to the chemicals. Our results highlight the need for transparency in describing the basis for the tools' hazard scores. In addition, our results indicate the need to clearly define assessment rationale before choosing a tool or approach, to ensure that the most appropriate one is chosen. Many strong tools and approaches exist in the marketplace; and, when a stakeholder is armed with more information, he or she can make the best choice for their unique evaluation. 

The results of our pilot study are published and now available through IEAM at the following link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1757/full.