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Call on industry to provide substitution case stories

Industry produces and uses tens of thousands of chemicals to make the products we use in our everyday lives. However, hundreds of those chemicals have been linked to serious adverse health effects such as cancer, developmental disorders and infertility.

The good news is that many companies have been substituting hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives, but rarely those initiatives become available in the public domain for others to follow.

This is why environmental, health, consumers and women’s organisations are calling on companies to provide substitution examples (or case stories) to SUBSPORT [1] showcasing their efforts in substituting hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives.

Sharing of information and practical experiences is a fundamental step towards the phase out of hazardous substances. Access to this kind of information is invaluable for businesses, regulators and other stakeholders.

Companies have a unique opportunity to show they are serious about their responsibility to provide safer products by eliminating hazardous chemicals.

SUBSPORT, the Substitution Support Portal, is a free-of-charge internet portal that constitutes a state-of-the-art resource on safer alternatives. It is a source of not only information on alternative substances and technologies, but also of tools and guidance for substance evaluation and substitution management.

Some important features of the portal available in several languages are:

  • information on how to perform substitution step-by-step
  • a database of hazardous substances that are legally or voluntarily restricted by authorities, companies, or proposed for restrictions by trade unions or NGOs
  • a description of existing substitution tools to compare and assess alternative substances and technologies
  • materials and training sessions on alternatives identification and assessment

Case stories currently being provided by companies and other stakeholders are being evaluated and compiled into a database by the SUBSPORT partners and they will be happy to assist companies in preparing them. The database will be launched [2] in May in Helsinki. Case stories approved by May will be included in the launch, but as a living project, case stories after May are also welcome.

In order for the case stories to be as useful as possible, companies need to provide information on which substance was phased-out, in which application and what is the alternative, including advantages and disadvantages of the substitution. Technical and cost aspects should also be covered briefly.

We count on you to increase the public knowledge about safer alternatives by sharing your efforts. We would be very grateful to receive your case stories at info@subsport.eu or via http://www.subsport.eu/entry-form.

Footnote:

[1] SUBSPORT is run by Kooperationsstelle Hamburg (Germany), Grontmij (Denmark), ISTAS (Spain) and ChemSec (Sweden) and is financed by EU Life+, BAuA and Lebensministerium Austria. The four partners have the sole responsibility for the content of the website.

[2] For more information about the launch, please visit www.subsport.eu

Originally posted on 2 April 2012

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