Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate (KEMI).
The Priority-Setting Guide is part of a wider web based tool called PRIO-a tool for risk reduction of chemicals developed by KEMI to facilitate the assessment of health and environmental risks of chemicals, so that people who work as environmental managers, purchasers and product developers can identify the need for risk reduction. PRIO also provides a source of knowledge for environmental and health inspectors, environmental auditors, risk analysts and those who in some other way can influence the use and handling of chemicals.
PRIO allows users to:
The Priority-Setting Guide is a step by step guide that defines levels of risk reduction priorities. It is not aimed to compare substances; however, it can be used to define risk levels of different chemical alternatives.
1st step: Inventory of substances
2nd step: Hazard assessment of substances searching on the PRIO database or on the EU classification system.
3rd step: Prioritization of the substance in two categories: phase-out substance or risk reduction substance.
Properties for consideration as phase-out substances are:
Properties for consideration as risk reduction substances are:
4th Step: Risk review of risk reduction substances. The risks must be analysed on the basis of the life cycle of the product:
Substances should be classified according to their risk level:
5th step: Phase out and risk reduction recommendations.
Pase-out substances and high risk substances should be substituted. Risk reduction recommendations are made for other substances.
The criteria and source of information used to define the hazardous properties of the substances are mainly the EU classification system. However, only a minority of existing substances has undergone EU classification work, therefore, substances that may have toxic properties as stated by scientific literature may not be considered.
The guide is only intended for the assessment of individual chemicals. It is intended for all types of users, including SME, professional users and consumers. It is applicable only to chemical hazards and risks.
If substances are included in the PRIO database it is easy to use and not time consuming. Neither expertise nor training is needed. It is suitable for all types of users including SME’s and consumers.
Since the method is based on R phrases, it only covers 7000 chemicals classified with such phrases, included in Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 CLP. However, estimates can be drawn using the description of hazards associated with R phrases if there is an additional source of information on the assessed risks. For these estimations a higher level of expertise would be recommended. If the substance is not included in the PRIO database access to information on PBT/vPvB and endocrine disrupting process is difficult and requires expertise.
Physicochemical properties are not considered.
The most important advantage of this method is that is very easy to handle by non-professional users and facilitates a quick assessment on chemicals.
It is available in Swedish and English, free of charge at the KEMI website.