Making Comparisons Between Chemicals

Jul 15, 2016 4:19:43 PM

Features, Product Design

Everyone wants to make safer products, but it's very easy (and common) to make "regrettable substitutions."  

In lots of cases companies preferentially pick chemicals with similar functional properties because there's simply less known about them.  Unfortunately there's a good chance that the new chemical has hazards that are the same or worse than the one it's replacing.  That's both regrettable and unnecessary.  

Comparisons are important not just to see relative hazard profiles but also data gaps.  This post will show you how to make comparisons and share them so your whole company and supply chain can get on the same page and find real preferred alternatives.

Making comparisons

Most comparisons start with a baseline substance, this may be what you use today or what most people in your industry are using.  You can find this chemical by searching on the Toxnot home page.  Once you've searched, check the substance you want and click the 'Add to Comparison' button at the top of the search results like the figure below.


Once you've added the substance to a new comparison you can name it, which is handy for adding future substances and giving others a hint as to what you are comparing.  To add more substances simply search for them and go through the same process but instead of adding them to a new comparison, add them to the one you just started and named.


toxnot_software_-_Materials_Management_for_the_Circular_Economy Add Substances to Your Comparison


The comparison view lets you see the complete hazard tables for both items to make a quick assessment of both relative hazards and data gaps.  This example shows BPA and one of it's alternatives, and it looks like we need to be cautious in jumping to an alternative.


toxnot_software_-_Materials_Management_for_the_Circular_Economy Compare Hazard Tables to See Improvements and Data Gaps


Sharing comparisons

Sharing this with folks who are ready to promote BPA-free irrespective of the substitute shows the data gap and explains why you should do a hazard assessment before proceeding.  In this case Bisphenol F isn't better, it's just unknown.

 Telling everyone your product is BPA-free is going to come back to bite you when someone fills in the data gap and it turns out to be the same or worse.  Share this comparison by clicking the share button.  Since you're sharing access to toxnot's third party database, with free public information, you can share it with whoever you like in your company or supply chain.


toxnot_software_-_Materials_Management_for_the_Circular_Economy Share Comparisons to Align You Team and Supply Chain




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