Gradient

Green Chemistry & Alternatives Assessment

Overview
Example Projects
Experts

Overview

Green chemistry is defined by US EPA as "the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances." It is a critical consideration at every stage of a product's life cycle, from design and manufacture through use and final disposal. Regulators and consumers alike are promoting the trend toward "greener" and more sustainable products, and companies are responding by implementing alternative assessment approaches and green design to reduce intrinsic hazards and aid in the manufacture of better products.  Alternatives assessment involves the identification, comparison and selection of chemicals so that a less hazardous or more sustainable choice can be made, ultimately reducing potential impacts to human health and the environment. Approaches for evaluating a chemical’s alternatives take not only hazards into consideration, but should also address exposure potential, feasibility, performance and cost to provide a comprehensive understanding of product impacts on health and the environment throughout its life cycle, from raw material acquisition, product production, and product use, through product end of life.

Gradient's scientists are well-equipped to address green chemistry and alternatives assessment needs on many fronts, including regulatory support and review, delisting petitions, chemical assessment and hazard ranking, assessment of potential consumer exposures, risk screening and prioritization, and life cycle analyses.

Green Chemistry Test Tube

Example Projects

Alternative Assessment of Biocides

Full Description

Gradient evaluated potential replacement biocides used in the leather tanning process for a client with concerns of skin sensitization in their product. We used the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) Alternatives Assessment method to identify potential alternative chemicals that could be used. Our analysis aided our client in negotiating with suppliers over possible production changes for their products.

Alternative Assessment of Automotive Refrigerants

Full Description

Gradient evaluated human health and environmental risks of potential alternative automotive refrigerants as compared to the predominant refrigerant HFC-134a, which is being phased out to address climate change concerns. We used fault-tree analyses to perform a risk assessment to evaluate potential toxicity, flammability, and environmental impacts.

Toxicological Evaluation of Pesticides

Full Description

Gradient assessed the toxicological properties of several pesticide products following a hazard ranking system. Each pesticide was assigned to one of four categories representing potential environmental or human health hazards. Our work was used by a public agency to screen alternative pesticides as part of its green chemistry program.

Review of a Comprehensive Hazard Ranking System

Full Description

Gradient reviewed a comprehensive hazard evaluation system developed by an energy services company for scoring and ranking its products. We compared it with other existing chemical hazard evaluation and product scoring/ranking systems and also conducted a sensitivity analysis of the underlying components of the ranking variables to evaluate the system's robustness.

Comparative Alternative Assessment for Electronic Equipment

Full Description

Gradient conducted a comparative evaluation of two dielectric fluids proposed for use in electric automotive vehicles by creating air models of potential passenger and repair worker exposures in the event of system failures and assessing the associated potential health risks of those exposures. Our work considered the technical performance of the two materials as well as their life cycle impact.

Health and Environmental Impact Evaluation of PVC Alternatives

Full Description

Gradient performed an evaluation of the human health and environmental impacts of commercial wall coverings for the developer of a commercial building. These included PVC-based wall coverings as well as those made of natural, fiber-based materials. The evaluation considered the impacts of the material choices across their full life cycle.

Experts

Joel M. Cohen Read Bio

Tom A. Lewandowski Read Bio

Ari S. Lewis Read Bio

David B. Mayfield Read Bio

Kim Reynolds Reid Read Bio

Tim Verslycke Read Bio