Today is Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

Department of Environmental Health

Risk Science Center (RSC)

Green Chemistry

TERA Green Chemistry

At the Risk Science Center, we embrace the principles of Green Chemistry to help our sponsors design products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances. We offer systematic approaches to weighing comparative health and environmental risks, to help prevent waste, design safer products, and minimize the potential for accidents.

Beach Walker

Pollution Prevention

During product development, an understanding of the comparative risk profiles of potential ingredients enables our sponsors to design safer chemicals to minimize the environmental and health impact. Our scientists are experienced in working with limited data, utilizing Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) and read-across methods to fill data gaps. Working with the US EPA on the Sustainable Futures Initiative, we applied a hazard screening approach to help make new chemicals safer, available 


Water from River

Safer Substitutes for Chemicals of Concern

The Risk Science Center works with sponsors to help find safer, sustainable alternatives to chemicals of concern. Our experience in developing systematic approaches to weighing the relative hazards of risks to human health or the environment is an integral component of the application of green chemistry principles. Using such techniques, we can help identify optimal replacement chemicals that are less toxic to organisms and ecosystems, and safer for workers involved in handling and manufacturing.

Green Chemistry Projects

      • California Green Chemistry InitiativeScientific Advisory Panel for the California Department of Toxic Substance Control - California utilized StateHELP assistance by inviting our scientist, Dr. Michael Dourson to participate as a member of the Green Chemistry Initiative Scientific Advisory Panel. The Panel produced a report on the advancement of green chemistry in California, proposing 38 options for moving forward.  
      • Health Canada DSL support – The Domestic Substances List (DSL) program was designed to prioritize 23,000 chemical substances based on risk to human health and the environment, so that resources can be used most effectively in risk management decisions.  We assisted this effort by organizing peer reviews of the genotoxicity and developmental toxicity screening tools, and of the Complex Exposure Tool (ComET).  In addition, We assisted in the development of an approach for evaluating persistent and bioaccumulative (P&B) chemicals.    

      • US EPA's Sustainable Futures Program – As part of this program, we conducted pre-market human hazard screening on more than 40 chemicals, using SAR, read-across, and QSAR approaches to supplement limited toxicity data. This program is a partnership among EPA, chemical industry, and other stakeholders, and helps those developing chemicals to quickly and cost effectively screen for hazards and/or risks early in the development process.
      • Hazard Ranking Approaches - Numerous different ranking approaches exist for evaluating different aspects of risk. Our staff has conducted analyses contrasting different hazard and risk ranking approaches, and developed a hazard banding and control assessment approach for handling chemicals in lab operations for private and university sponsors.

      • EPA High Production Volume (HPV) pilot – As part of the national effort to screen HPV chemicals, our staff organized a pilot peer consultation to provide stakeholder and EPA input on the robust summaries and test plans.  The goal of the program is to expedite the review process for both EPA and stakeholder comments and present opportunities for the different parties to discuss scientific and technical comments with one another.

      • Chemical Screening – The Risk Science Center has developed a risk-based approach for screening chemicals for use in facility operations, and an approach for  hazard screening of potential new product ingredients.  We developed and implemented an approach for assessing read across for data gaps in the context of a pesticide inerts reassessment that was ultimately accepted by EPA.   The threshold of toxicological concern is one of the key approaches for screening chemicals and developing exposure limits based on limited data. Our scientists coauthored a highly downloaded article on this topic: 

        Dolan, D., B. Naumann, E. Sargent, A. Maier, M. Dourson.  2005. Application of the threshold of toxicological concern concept to pharmaceutical manufacturing operations.  Reg. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 43: 1-9.