Full GreenScreen Method

The GreenScreen Method: An Overview

GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals is a method for comparative Chemical Hazard Assessment (CHA) that can be used for identifying chemicals of high concern and safer alternatives. It is used by industry, government and NGOs to support product design and development, materials procurement, and as part of alternatives assessment to meet regulatory requirements. It is used by businesses like Hewlett-Packard, governments like Washington State, and NGOs such as the Healthy Building Network in their Pharos Project.  GreenScreen can also be used to support environmentally preferable product procurement tools including standards, scorecards and ecolabels.

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Step 1:  Assess and Classify Hazards

Assessing and classifying a product’s chemical hazards will involve research and data collection on 18 Human and Environmental Health endpoints coupled with expert judgment to classify each hazard endpoint as ranging from Very High (vH) to Very Low (vL).  GreenScreen is applicable to single chemicals or more complex mixtures and polymeric materials. GreenScreen also includes consideration of feasible and relevant transformation products.


GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals: Hazard Endpoints
Environmental Fate Environmental Health*   Human Health Group 1 Human Health Group II  Physical Hazards
Persistence (P) Acute Aquatic Toxicity (AA) Carcinogenicity (C) Acute Mammalian Toxicity (AT) Reactivity (Rx)
Bioaccumulation (B) Chronic Aquatic Toxicity (CA) Mutagenicity & Genotoxicity (M) Systemic Toxicity & Organ Effects (incl. Immunotoxicity) (ST) Flammability (F)
    Reproductive Toxicity (R) Neurotoxicity (N)  
    Developmental Toxicity (incl. Developmental Neurotoxicity) (D) Sensitization (SnS)  
    Endocrine Activity (E) Respiratory Sensitization (SnR)  
      Skin Irritation (IrS)  
      Eye Irritation (IrE)  
*Other ecotoxicity studies when available.


The first step in assessing and classifying hazards is to research and collect data from all relevant sources, including, measured data from standardized tests and scientific literature, GreenScreen Specified Lists, and information derived from models and suitable chemical analogs.

The data are used to classify the hazard level for each GreenScreen Hazard Endpoint according to the GreenScreen Hazard Criteria.  A data gap is only assigned after an exhaustive search has been completed and no hazard classification can be made.

Once the classifications are made, determine the level of confidence for each hazard classification using the GreenScreen Guidance.  Bold letters indicate high confidence.   Italic letters indicate lower confidence.

Step 2: Apply the GreenScreen Benchmarks™.

GreenScreen Benchmarks are unique to GreenScreen and are a major strength of the method. Each Benchmark is determined by analyzing specific combinations of hazard classifications.  The Benchmarks were developed to reflect hazard concerns that have been established by governments nationally and internationally.  For example, if a chemical is a GreenScreen Benchmark™ 1, it has hazard criteria that align with the definition of a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under REACH.

Each hazard classification generated in Step 1 is used in applying the Benchmark Criteria to determine the final Benchmark score.  Only certain numbers and types of data gaps are allowed for each Benchmark level, and it is possible that a Benchmark cannot be assigned at all if the data are insufficient.  See GreenScreen Guidance.

For help calculating Benchmark scores, visit the GreenScreen Inspector™ by ToxServices, a GreenScreen Licensed Profiler.  The GreenScreen Inspector evaluates your GreenScreen hazard endpoints to confirm you are correctly following GreenScreen Benchmark scoring rules.

Step 3: Make Informed Decisions.

The GreenScreen Method is used to support more informed decision making about the use of chemicals in products and processes.  The Benchmark scores provide a high level indicator and the Hazard Summary Table provides specific information on relevant hazards -- all of which is supported by an in-depth report.  All of this supports better decision making and knowledge for product design and development, chemical and material procurement, risk management, workplace safety, and more.

For practical applications of GreenScreen, visit GreenScreen in Practice.

Ready for more?  Download the Guidance and Resources.