Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - 10:50 AM
South American AB (Capital Hilton)

The Importance of Chemical Ranking Systems: A Department of Defense Study

Carole A. LeBlanc, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Arlington, VA

To gain insight into improving the management of emerging contaminants (ECs) within the Department of Defense (DoD), the EC Directorate (Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health) worked with the Air Force Institute for Operational Health to gather and evaluate information on chemical ranking and substitution systems within the Department.

The review of chemical ranking systems was part of an effort to comply with White House Executive Order (EO) 13423 to reduce the environmental, energy and transportation impacts of federal activities by using lower-risk chemicals. Chemical ranking systems developed by industry, other government agencies and non-profit organizations were also surveyed for their applicability to DoD.

Seven chemical ranking systems were selected for detailed consideration based on accessibility, cost, flexibility, database quality and potential for wider usage. While the existing systems do not meet all of the needs likely to occur within DoD, the Department's compliance with EO 13423 could well be advanced by adapting a chemical ranking system(s) to accommodate ECs, as well as known toxic and hazardous chemicals. This talk aims to inform the audience of the availability and practicability of application-specific, decision-making tools in the selection of greener chemicals, in the hope of further minimizing future environmental, health and cost impacts incurred by organizations and suffered by society at large.