Founder & Principal Cathy Rudisill recently spoke at the Society of Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA. She presented work in collaboration with the Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment (A4). This presentation highlighted results from over 14 months of discussions with experts in the field interested increasing the impacts of regulatory alternatives assessments. She also co-chaired this session with her colleagues at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production.
While regulatory restrictions on substances of concern have been increasing, there is concern that these approaches, while well meaning, are falling short of the goal – to ensure that hazardous chemicals are replaced with safer alternatives. While several programs like REACH Authorization and CA Safer Consumer Products Program mandate analysis of potential alternatives, implementation has fallen short and has resulted in either regrettable or unknown substitutes.
The authors and contributors developed several recommendations centered around connecting regulatory purpose with outcomes:
- Enforce and incentivize adoption
- Include mechanisms for stakeholder engagement
- Establish clear decisions rules
- Ensure adequate funding and authority to agencies
- Support the creation of a 3rd party standardizing organization
Cathy and her co-workers will be submitting this work for future publication, so please stay tuned.
While these recommendations are aimed at legislatures and policymakers, these elements are applicable to any organization interested in adopting meaningful changes to the chemicals they use in their products and processes.