Timothy Malloy in UCLA Anderson Review: Should Manufacturers Use Formal Procedures to Evaluate Alternative Materials?
“Green chemistry” laws, adopted by a handful of states and the European Union, aim to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products. These laws require manufacturers to determine whether there are less harmful alternatives and evaluate possible substitutes to make sure that they aren’t any more toxic than the substances they’re replacing.
This process, called an alternatives assessment, isn’t simple, though. It has to balance the health and environmental benefits of the new material with the cost and technical feasibility of making the change.