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Substitution of chemicals | IAMC

Substitution of chemicals

Manufacturers and industrial users of chemicals require chemicals with properties to fulfill certain functions. At the same time, chemicals have intrinsic hazardous properties which can cause serious damage to physical equipment, the environment or human health (acute or chronic effects).

This presentation provides step-by-step guidance on how to compare chemicals with respect to their risks and substitute with safer alternatives. Specifically, the presentations shows how to assess the intrinsic hazards of chemicals, compare different chemicals on the basis of their chemical hazards, as well as functional and economic performance.

Substitution of chemicals


  • Motivation
  • Steps for moving towards safer chemicals
  • Tools for selecting alternatives
  • Example tool: GHS column model

Key Messages

  • Motivation for substitution include improving health & safety, complying with regulations and value chain requirements and accessing new markets
  • There are many tools of differing complexity and user-friendliness to support in selecting safer chemicals, e.g. GreenScreen, GHS column model
  • Companies will likely face trade-offs in health, safety, costs, and functionality when manufacturing or applying chemicals