5 Keys to Using Chemical Data Sets

Jul 26, 2018 4:17:15 PM

Materials Health, Chemical Data

Accurate, up-to-date chemical list data matters when evaluating your products

To understand the safety of products, we must understand the chemicals in them, and the hazards they can cause to human health and/or the environment. With dozens of hazards list from around the globe to compare your materials against, it can be daunting to choose the ‘right’ lists to focus on and harder still to make sure the lists you're looking at are up-to-date and accurate. 

Below are 5 considerations when using the most accurate chemical data lists- and why it matters.

1. Use Thorough Global Data. 

Do you sell products internationally? There are dozens of hazards lists to consider around the world. Knowing which ones are the most relevant to your products is essential to meeting regulations, and aspirational goals. Toxnot collects data from over 50 “Substance Lists” from around the globe – databases of chemicals and their associated hazards. 

Toxnot collects the best chemical hazard data and puts it in an easy to use, searchable database, free to the world to use. Consultants and manufacturers use this data to choose safer chemical alternatives. Are you using lists that are thorough enough to appease your stakeholders?

The lists Toxnot collects include CA Prop 65, EU - Priority Endocrine Disruptors, EU-REACH, German FEA, GHS - Australia, Living Building Challenge Red List, US EPA Chemicals of Concern and US NIH Report on Carcinogens. Each list specifies different hazards, in different formats, and in different data schemas. Working with these data sets individually can be time-consuming and expensive. Many companies chose to have an internal team, external consultant or software, like Toxnot, to help keep it all straight. Chose the solution that fits your needs, and keep an eye on others as you expand your market reach.  


2. A third-party scoring system is recommended to compare different hazard lists.

If your chemical lists are not accurate, then your scores and comparisons won't be, either.

To help you make well-informed decisions, we’ve implemented at-a-glance hazard checks by incorporating GreenScreen List Translator™, which is an open methodology specified by Clean Production Action. GreenScreen List Translator™ turns complex hazard data from many sources into a simple, easy to understand set of hazard scores, as well as an overall chemical score that lets you compare chemicals easily.

Compare Chemical Profiles
If your chemical lists are not accurate, then your scores and product reports won't be, either. Below is a screenshot of the chemical information presented in Toxnot for Formaldehyde, with color-coded scoring:

Formaldehyde gas hazard data in Toxnot


3. Automation vs. Human Error. 

How do you keep up-to-date on the changes and updates being made in the chemical hazards lists? Do you have an internal team or consultant updating by hand? We understand human errors occur. However, to maintain a good relationship with your suppliers, and to truly know your products, best to compare your bill of materials against the most accurate data lists so you’re not erroneously discussing a non-issue.

Toxnot’s automated system runs every two weeks to automatically extract the raw hazard data from all our source lists. We store the extracted data in a unified schema, which runs automatically through the GreenScreen List Translator™. We’re sticklers for data accuracy – which reduces the chances of human error. 


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4. Consistent Quality Control 

QC ensures you can create the most accurate reporting for customers (e.g. retailers) and internal stakeholders. With high quality lists, you’ll feel confident when reaching your transparency goals.

Once we’ve calculated hazard endpoints and GreenScreen scores, we compute all the changes reflected in the new data relative to our existing database. We perform a rigorous quality control cycle and analyze all changes before we put them in production.


5. Continuous Improvement. 

Are you continuously improving the way your utilize chemical data lists? Collecting supply chain data and updating chemical data lists take time. Toxnot helps improve efficiency and reduces the time spent in reconciling data.

We’re continuing to streamline our data collection process with a goal of 100% accuracy to the source data and the GreenScreen List Translator™ specification.

We are committed to helping you streamline product transparency. Do you have another suggestions or data sources you’d like us to incorporate?


Read Next:

3 Ways Analytics Propel Safer Chemical Selection

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