In an article published on August 28, 2017, the non-profit organization International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) discusses the substitution of chemicals of concern (COCs) and the common mistake of ‘regrettable substitutions.’ ChemSec outlines how COCs are often used because of certain desired functionalies and performance. Therefore, when replacing a COC, the alternative needs to exhibit the same function and performance. ChemSec highlights that “chemicals that share the same performance quality often share the same origin” and further explains that “they are created from the same raw material and therefore also often share the same problematic properties.” ChemSec therefore recommends to assess chemicals in groups of structural similarity rather than looking at them individually. The organization further recommends to embrace the principles of green chemistry: “Rather than simply make the smallest possible molecular change of a chemical and call it “new”, you would instead need to focus on developing safer kinds of chemicals altogether.”

In 2015, ChemSec launched an online tool called SINimilarity that screens if a chemical is structurally similar to well-known toxic substances (FPF reported). The non-profit organization Green Science Policy Institute recently published videos on six classes of COCs in everyday consumer products (FPF reported).

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ChemSec (August 28, 2017). “It’s smarter to look at groups of chemicals rather than individual substances.