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Sustainable Futures

About Sustainable Futures

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What is Sustainable Futures?

The Sustainable Futures program provides the public with educational training workshops on chemical screening approaches and the use of EPA's computerized models and tools developed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The program also encourages chemical developers to use EPA's models and methods to screen new chemicals for potential risks early in the development process. The goal is to produce safer chemicals more reliably and more quickly, saving time and money, and in turn, getting safer chemicals into the market. In some cases, it means providing alternatives to more risky chemicals -- which is pollution prevention in its purest form.

Read about models and methods to screen new chemicals.

In addition to the benefits of the training workshops, companies that graduate from Sustainable Futures can earn expedited review of TSCA section 5 for prescreened new chemical notices. Prescreening chemicals for hazard concerns helps companies anticipate and avoid developing chemicals of concern. Companies can instead develop and commercialize safer chemicals.

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Origin of Sustainable Futures

Under TSCA, as amended, EPA is required to review and make an affirmative finding on the safety of a new chemical substance or significant new uses of a chemical, and to take appropriate action to protect against unreasonable risks, before the chemical can proceed to the marketplace. The law does not require submitters of new chemicals to conduct tests to determine potential concerns and most new chemical notices that EPA reviews lack test data needed to fully estimate potential risks. Lacking experimental data, EPA has relied on screening methods to review and evaluate new chemicals under TSCA to help identify chemicals that could pose unreasonable risk. The methods, which EPA created, are the basis of the Sustainable Futures program and are available to the chemical industry and other stakeholders at no cost. Industry response to Sustainable Futures has been positive. Hundreds of individuals representing chemical companies and other stakeholders have taken Sustainable Futures training. EPA has seen an increase in the percentage of PMNs submitted containing predictions from Sustainable Futures chemical risk screening methods.

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Companies that have graduated from Sustainable Futures

  • PPG Industries
  • Eastman Kodak, Inc.
  • Cytec Industries, Inc.
  • Clariant Corporation
  • International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc.
  • NALCO Champion, An Ecolab Company
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical Company
  • Cabot Corporation
  • 3M
  • Givaudan Fragrances Corporation
  • Cargill Incorporated

PPG Industries and Eastman Kodak are considered to be Sustainable Futures graduates by virtue of their highly successful participation in Project XL, which provided the foundation for the Sustainable Futures program in 2002.

Sustainable Futures graduates have qualified for expedited regulatory review of prescreened low-hazard, low-risk premanufacture notifications (PMNs), which are submitted to EPA to review as new chemicals. Many other companies participating in Sustainable Futures have submitted enough prescreened PMNs to meet the graduation criteria and, as a result, the number of Sustainable Futures graduates is expected to increase.

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