Decisions on chemical substitution are made rapidly and by many stakeholders; these decisions may have a direct impact on consumer exposures, and, when a hazard exists, to consumer risks. Flame retardants (FRs) represent particular challenges, including very high production volumes, designed-in persistence, and often direct consumer exposure. Newer FR products, as with other industrial chemicals, typically lack data on hazard and exposure, and in many cases even basic information on structure and use in products is unknown. Chemical alternatives assessment (CAA) provides a hazard-focused approach to distinguishing between possible substitutions; variations on this process are used by several government and numerous corporate entities. By grouping chemicals according to functional use, some information on exposure potential can be inferred, allowing for decisions based on those hazard properties that are most distinguishing. This approach can help prevent the ‘‘regrettable substitution’’ of one chemical with another of equal, or even higher, risk.
Howard, Gregory J., "Chemical Alternatives Assessment: The Case of Flame Retardants" (2014). Dickinson College Faculty Publications. Paper 37.