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Digital tools and resources for chemical substitution

Here we list useful databases, guides, case studies and other resources that you can benefit from in your systematic chemical work. Most resources are free to use.

The Swedish Center for Chemical Substitution has done a comprehensive review of the databases and resources that are useful in chemical substitution and choice of alternatives. Below is our compilation of good resources for everything from gathering information on chemical content and tips on approaches to assessing and testing alternatives. We have divided the resources into different categories to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for at the moment.

Many of the resources we recommend below are also described in the Substitution Guide. There you can find more information about which part of the substitution process and resource can be extra useful. For example, we go through several of the databases in Step 3: Invent better alternatives.

Tips! Please contact us if you have questions about how to use the resources or have tips on more tools that we should add on this page. Contact us at: substitutionscentrum@ri.se


Databases with information on chemicals

The databases listed below can be used to easily search for information on chemicals, for example using the substance's CAS number. The databases can be used to investigate whether a substance has undesirable properties or are on restriction lists, to find toxicological data for risk assessment, to investigate a substance's function or to identify better alternatives. Some databases are general and others are industry specific.

Name Type of database
Chemsec SIN List 900 hazardous substances for over 10 industries
Danish EPA Hazardous chemicals in consumer products
Hazardous chemicals in plastic packaging (HCCP) Hazardous chemicals in plastic
Kemi i Kredslöb Hazardous chemicals in materials
SUBS PORT "List of List" of restriction lists that exist globally
eChemPortal Search for the toxicological profile of a substance
the German Environment Agency Hazardous substances in drinking water covers that are vPvM
ECHA Database for goods with more than 0.1% by weight of SVHC substances
ECHA Identify any function of a substance
the List of Positive Lists Compiling positive lists to find better alternatives
Pharos Mainly a tool for comparing alternatives, but also positive lists
Kemi i Kredslöb Compilation of better alternatives to SVHC substances
Prospector Search over 10,000 materials with transparency around content
Materiom Recipes for waste materials, renewable raw materials without unwanted chemicals

Case studies - evaluation of alternatives

Case studies are a research strategy to gain in-depth knowledge. There are case studies that evaluate and test alternatives to unwanted chemicals in the form of new chemicals, materials or technologies. Below we list searchable websites with case studies for evaluated alternatives or in-depth assessments called Alternatives Assessment. It is a method of comparing alternatives that take into account both toxicology, function, life cycle and other variables - to avoid unhealthy substitution.

Name Type of case studie
SUBS PORT About 500 case studies of better alternatives
GreenScreen Store Free Alternatives Assessment based on Green Screen's method conducted by licensed assessors
Toxic Use Reduction Institute Case studies and Alternatives Assessment especially for industrial production
European Agency for safety and health at work Case studies for workplace substitution
Cleaner Production Germany Case studies of alternative technologies
Interstate Chemical ClearingHouse About 20 free Alternatives Assessment for different applications
Danish ECO innovation Case studies for solvents, preservatives and optical brighteners

Guides show the way to a sustainable future

Active chemical work involves several steps and a broad perspective. Do you need to set environmental goals for your company or organization, change product design or learn to compare alternatives? Below we list guides for different challenges that may be relevant when working with chemicals.

Name Type of guide
Länsstyrelsen Set environmental goals, including chemicals, for SMEs (Swedish)
Länsstyrelsen Set environmental goals, including chemicals, for SMEs in the construction industry (Swedish)
Environmental Objectives Guides to environmental goals (Swedish)
OECD Substitution and Alternatives Assessments toolbox Guides and frameworks for comparing options
Product Redesign Workshop Manual Guides that provide a holistic perspective as well as workshop materials for sustainable and non-toxic product design
Chemsec - Textile Guide Guide for the substitution of chemicals in textiles
GHS Column model - an aid to substitute Method for comparing alternatives based on hazard ratings (beginner friendly)
Cradle to Cradle – Material Health Assessment Methodology Method for comparing materials based on hazard ratings and exposure
GreenScreen Method for comparing alternatives of chemicals, blends, materials and polymers (advanced)
Swedish Chemicals Agency Guide: To set chemical-related product requirements when purchasing (Swedish)

Information on chemicals and legislation

Below is a compilation of websites with information about chemicals in goods. Here you can get answers to questions such as: What is legislation, are there specific topics to focus on and what to consider before choosing alternatives?

Name Type of information
Swedish Chemicals Agency Legislation, obligations, definitions of chemicals and goods etc.
The National Agency for Public Procurement How to buy for a non-toxic environment?
Echa everyday chemicals Consumer web site about everyday chemicals, all about selected chemical groups, products, tips and advice
The Common Principles for Alternatives Assessment 6 principles to find better alternatives
SIXCLASSES Information, news, articles, videos on 6 selected problematic chemical groups

Marketplace – search for alternatives

In marketplaces you can advertise for or search for alternatives to chemicals, products, materials, new technologies or partners.

Name Type of marketplace
Chemsec Marketplace Marketplace for better alternatives
Cradle to Cradle Marketplace for better materials
WIPO Green Marketplace for better technology
European Enterprise Network Partner Databas Marketplace for finding partners

Network for cooperation

Together we have a greater impact. Below we list both open networks that are free to join, and membership networks. In a membership network, companies and organizations within, for example, an industry or area come together. Within the framework of the network one can exchange knowledge and experience, follow and possibly influence legislation, conduct research projects and hold training courses. Examples of membership networks are Normpack for food contact materials and the Chemicals Group for the textile and electronics industry.

Name Type of network
Circular Design Guide Linkedin group for circular design
Substitution to Safer Chemicals ECHA's Linkedin group for substitution
Green Chemistry and Commerce Council American business network bringing together supply chains to promote green chemistry
European Enterprise Network Business networks for SMEs
the Chemicals Group Membership network for the textile and electronics industry
Normpack Membership Network for Food Contact Materials, FCM

Ecolabelling and testing services

If you want to eco-label your products, a number of requirements are set, including chemical content. Here we suggest different types of ecolabelling that may be relevant for your products. When working with substitution of chemicals, tests of the new material or finished products may also be necessary. 

Name Type of service
the Nordic Swan Ecolabelling of goods
TCO Certified Ecolabelling of electronic products
About Bra Miljöval Ecolabelling of goods
Testbed Sweden Develop and verify materials, products and services

Educations in substitution

Here we list courses in, among other things, substitution of chemicals and assessment of alternatives, but also courses in circular economics. We list both short and longer courses and those that are held entirely digitally as well as those held at various locations in Sweden and internationally as well as combinations of digital and physical meetings.

Name Type of education
ECHA webinar in Alternatives Assessment 6h review on how to compare and choose better alternatives
Biolyftet Training for SMEs to transition to greener, circular materials
GreenScreen A shorter webinar on the GreenScreen method, how to compare and choose better alternatives
Green Chemistry & Commerce Council Free webinar for green chemistry, engineering, supplier work, Alternatives Assessment, etc.
Our basic course in substitution How to get started on systematic chemical work
Our advanced course Choose alternatives using the Alternatives Assessment method
Our customized couses Customized courses in substitution for organizations and industry associations, among others

Tools helping you in the substitution work

In addition to the databases we listed above, there are a number of tools that can be of help in various phases of the substitution work. Below we list tools that are helpful when it comes to contacting suppliers about chemical content in goods, prioritizing substances to substitute, comparing alternatives, staying up to date and avoiding unhealthy substitution.

Name Type of tool
Our Support Material Supplier certificate with chemical requirements for general goods
PRIO-guide Identify and prioritize substances for substitution
Pharos Compare chemical alternatives from toxicological aspects (Limited free version)
Toxnot Compare chemical alternatives from a toxicological aspect (Limited free version)
MaterialWise Compare chemical alternatives from a toxicological aspect (Limited free version)
OECD Substitution and Alternatives Assessment toolbox Compilation of several tools for substitution
Chemsec, SINimilarity User-friendly tool to compare if a molecule is similar to a substance from the Chemsec SIN list
TURI, P20Asys Risk assessment and compare alternatives, developed with SMEs in mind
QCAT Risk assessment and compare alternatives, developed with SMEs in mind
Chemycal External monitoring specifically for chemicals

Tips! Please contact us if you have questions about how to use the resources or have tips on more tools that we should add on this page. Contact us at: substitutionscentrum@ri.se


Nina Melander

Contact person

Nina Melander

Rådgivare Substitutionscentrum

+46 10 516 52 16
nina.melander@ri.se

Read more about Nina