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Lean Manufacturing and Environment

The Lean and Chemicals Toolkit

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Appendix A: Chemical Resources

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This appendix describes resources and places to go for more information. This page provides links to non-EPA web sites. You will leave the EPA.gov domain and enter another page with more information. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of information on that non-EPA page. Providing links to a non-EPA Web site is not an endorsement of the other site or the information it contains by EPA or any of its employees. Also, be aware that the privacy protection provided on the EPA.gov domain (see Privacy and Security Notice) may not be available at the external link.exit EPA

Resources for Understanding Attributes of Chemicals

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ToxFAQs Fact Sheets


The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs Fact Sheets are a series of summaries about hazardous substances. Information for this series is excerpted from the ATSDR Toxicological Profiles and Public Health Statements. Each fact sheet serves as a quick and easy to understand guide. Answers are provided to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about exposure to hazardous substances found around hazardous waste sites and the effects of exposure on human health.

Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guide


The U.S. Department of Transportation, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico developed the Emergency Response Guide (ERG). The ERG provides information to police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel when responding to an incident involving hazardous goods or materials. The guide provides information on how to identify which hazardous materials are involved in an incident, how to identify how hazardous the material is, and steps to take during an incident involving hazardous materials. Although the primary audience for the guide is emergency responders, the safety information in the guide is a good resource to anyone working with hazardous materials.

EPA’s Health Effects Notebook for Hazardous Air Pollutants


The fact sheets available on this website describe the effects on human health of substances that are defined as hazardous by the 1990 amendments of the Clean Air Act. These substances include certain volatile organic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and radionuclides that present tangible hazard, based on scientific studies of exposure to humans and other mammals.

EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)


EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is a compilation of electronic reports on specific substances found in the environment and their potential to cause human health effects. IRIS was initially developed for EPA staff in response to a growing demand for consistent information on:

  • substances for use in risk assessments
  • decision-making and
  • regulatory activities

The information in IRIS is intended for those without extensive training in toxicology, but with some knowledge of health sciences.

Hazardous Substances Data Bank


The National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) contains multiple databases on chemicals. Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) is a toxicology data file on TOXNET that focuses on the toxicology of potentially hazardous chemicals. It is has information on:

  • human exposure
  • industrial hygiene
  • emergency handling procedures
  • environmental fate
  • regulatory requirements

All data are referenced and derived from a core set of books, government documents, technical reports, and selected primary journal literature. HSDB is peer-reviewed by the Scientific Review Panel, a committee of experts in the major subject areas within the data bank’s scope. HSDB is organized into individual chemical records and contains over 5000 such records.

Haz-Map: Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents


Haz-Map is an occupational toxicology database designed to link occupations associated with the production and use of chemicals to hazardous tasks that people perform at these occupations that are linked to occupational diseases and their symptoms. It is a relational database of chemicals, jobs and diseases. You can browse Haz-Map by the following categories:

  • Hazardous Agents
  • Occupational Diseases
  • High Risk Jobs

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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards


The NIOSH Pocket Guide is a source of general industrial hygiene information on several hundred chemicals for workers, employers, and occupational health professionals. This resource is further described in Chapter 2 of this toolkit.

OSHA/EPA Occupational Chemical Database


This database compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a convenient reference for the occupational safety and health community. It contains the information on individual chemicals. You can search the database by chemical name or CAS Number. The database includes the chemical name, CAS number, synonyms, and reports for each chemical.

Included in the chemical description are the following database reports:

  • Physical Properties
  • Exposure Guidelines
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide entry
  • Emergency Response Information including the Department of Transportation Emergency Response Guide

PBT Profiler


The PBT Profiler is a simple, web-based chemical screening tool from the EPA’s Sustainable Futures Program. PBT stands for “Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic” and refers to attributes of certain chemicals. This tool allows users to predict a chemical’s ability to persist in the environment, its tendency to bio-accumulate in animals, and its toxicity level. The tool can help prioritize chemicals based on their environmental attributes.

Tools for Reducing Chemical Use and Finding Alternative Chemicals

ChemAlliance.org Resources


ChemAlliance.org provides information about environmental regulations that affect the chemical industry. The website contains articles, information, regulatory compliance tools, and information on pollution prevention for the chemical industry. The information is relevant for technical assistance providers, small and large businesses, regulators, and environmental professionals.

Pollution prevention options are described for topics such as:

  • Material Input, Storage and Handling
  • Reactors
  • Pumps
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Distillation Column
  • Piping
  • Furnaces

CleanerSolutions Database


The Surface Solution Laboratory (SSL) at the Massachusetts-based Toxics Use Reduction Institute has created this database linking performance evaluations to specific testing parameters and environmental assessments based on the testing performed at the lab. SSL was designed with the capability to evaluate the effectiveness of different cleaning chemistries and equipment for a variety of substrates and contaminants. The goal of SSL is to assist industry in the search for safer cleaning processes by developing and promoting safer alternatives to hazardous solvents with a special focus on aqueous/semi-aqueous cleaners and state-of-the-art surface cleanliness analyses.

Design for the Environment Toolkit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has developed a Design for the Environment Toolkit that helps designers incorporate environmental attributes into existing product design practices. The toolkit develops a numerical score for a product to show where that product is strong and where it needs improvement with regards to environmental concerns.

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Eco-Efficiency and Chemical Management Fact Sheets


The Eco-Efficiency Centre is a non-profit organization based in Eastern Canada that provides management support and resources for small and medium sized enterprises. The Centre has developed a series of fact sheets on chemical reduction. For example, the Centre has developed a general fact sheet on chemical waste reduction titled, “Eco-Efficiency and Chemical Management: Opportunities and Best Practices.” This fact sheet addresses the following topics:

  • Understanding the chemicals in your business
  • Good housekeeping (includes strategies on policy, purchasing of chemicals, storage and inventory, and maintenance)
  • Chemical substitution (includes strategies on product changes, process changes, equipment changes, in-process recycling, reuse, recycle and treat waste, and solvent use alternatives)
  • Responsible chemical management

EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Database


EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program helps the federal government purchase environmentally friendly goods and services. The EPA has developed a database of environmental information for products and services. This database allows federal purchasers to find product specific information including:

  • Contract language, specifications, and policies
  • Environmental standards and guidelines
  • Lists of vendors that meet these standards
  • Other information

The EPA updates this database on a regular basis. It allows users to search from a list of topic areas or users can search by a specific product. Although this tool was designed for use by federal agencies, it is available for viewing by the public.

General Services Administration (GSA) Environmental Specialty Catalog


The U.S. GSA Advantage Environmental Specialty Catalog contains products and services that assist federal agencies with their environmental purchasing goals. The catalog allows direct access to a variety of environmental products and services designated as bio-based and recycled content, ENERGY STAR, water efficient, and non-ozone depleting materials. Although only federal, state, and local government agencies can purchase products from the GSA Environmental Specialty Catalog, it is available for anyone to browse.

Global Environmental Management Initiative Guide to Strategic Sourcing for Environment, Health, and Safety


The Global Environmental Management Initiative developed the guidance document, “New Paths to Business Value: Strategic Sourcing—Environment, Health and Safety,” to help businesses strengthen their environmental, health, and safety (EHS) performance by through making responsible procurement decisions such as purchasing green products. The document covers five topic areas that explain how strategic sourcing can improve a company’s EHS performance. The five areas are organized to answer the following questions:

  1. Is EHS an important source of business value in the supply chain?
  2. How are untapped business values in the supply chain found?
  3. How can EHS criteria add to business value?
  4. How can supplier EHS performance be improved?
  5. How can EHS performance be improved through outsourcing?

Green Chemical Alternatives Purchasing Wizard


The Green Chemical Alternatives Purchasing Wizard is a web-based tool that allows the user to search from a select list of solvents commonly used in the laboratory and the associated process. The Wizard identifies less hazardous and more environmentally benign chemicals or processes that may be substituted, and provides journal references as well as website URLs to information that is available online. Users may print article information or have email sent with the URL for the article reference.

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Green Chemistry Expert System


The Green Chemistry Expert System allows users to build a green chemical process, design a green chemical, or survey the field of green chemistry. The system is equally useful for new and existing chemicals and their synthetic processes. It includes extensive documentation.

The Green Chemistry Expert System features are contained in five modules:

  • The Synthetic Methodology Assessment for Reduction Techniques (SMART) module quantifies and categorizes the hazardous substances used in or generated by a chemical reaction, based on information entered by the user. Reactions can be modified in the SMART module and re-evaluated to optimize their green nature.
  • The Green Synthetic Reactions module provides technical information on green synthetic methods.
  • The Designing Safer Chemicals module includes guidance on how chemical substances can be modified to make them safer; it is organized by chemical class, properties, and use.
  • The Green Solvents/Reaction Conditions module contains technical information on green alternatives to traditional solvent systems. This module also allows users to search for green substitute solvents based on physicochemical properties.
  • The Green Chemistry References module allows the user to obtain additional information using a number of search strategies. The user may also add references to this module.

The Green Screen for Safer Chemicals


The “Green Screen for Safer Chemicals” developed by the not-for-profit organization Clean Production Action is a tool that can help manufactures make informed decisions about the chemicals they use. The tool informs manufactures of the hazard associated with a particular chemical and guides manufactures in choosing less hazardous chemical options through a process if informed substitution. The tool includes a “Red List of Chemicals” that lists chemicals of high concern. Manufactures can view this list to identify hazardous chemicals at use in their facilities. The Green Screen defines four benchmarks that have to be met to ensure that the safest chemical is being used. The four benchmarks are:

  1. Avoid Chemicals of High Concern
  2. Use but Search for Safer Substitutes
  3. Use but Still Opportunity for Improvement
  4. Prefer Safer Chemicals

Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI)


The EPA Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Environmental Impacts (TRACI) database provides a way to research and compare various human health and environmental impacts of different kinds of chemicals. It was developed to assist in impact assessment for: sustainability metrics life cycle assessment, industrial ecology, process design, and pollution prevention. Methodologies were developed specifically for the U.S., using input parameters consistent with US locations for the following impact categories:

  • acidification
  • smog formation
  • eutrophication
  • human cancer
  • human non-cancer
  • human criteria effects

TRACI’s modular design allows the compilation of the most sophisticated impact assessment methodologies that can be utilized in software developed for PCs.

Technical Assistance Providers

Pollution Prevention Research Exchange (P2Rx) Consortium


The Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx™) is a consortium of eight regional pollution prevention information centers in the U.S., funded in part through grants from EPA. These centers all provide pollution prevention information, networking opportunities and technical assistance services to States, local governments and technical assistance providers in their region.

The regional P2Rx centers include the following:

National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a network of manufacturing assistance centers that provide Lean manufacturing training, Lean event facilitation, and other services to small-to-medium sized businesses to make them more competitive. Many MEP centers have experience providing integrated Lean and environmental services to businesses or have partnerships with environmental agencies to offer Lean and environment services.

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« Chapter 7 | Appendix B »

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