will help companies to ensure a more efficient management of chemicals and to substitute hazardous substances

Our scientific articles

Inspired by the activities and achievements of LIFE Fit for REACH, project partners have developed and published scientific articles about the substitution of hazardous substances in general as well as in the particular fields.

Reduction of Health and Environmental risks by substitution of hazardous chemical substances

Media: Environmental Research, Engineering and Management. 2016, 72 (3), 5-6. ISSN 2029-2139.
Access via: http://erem.ktu.lt/index.php/erem/article/view/17762

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Water-based and Solvent-based Primer Paints for Steel Plate Priming

Media: Environmental Research, Engineering and Management. 2016, 72 (2), 83-96. ISSN 2029-2139.
Access via: https://doi.org/10.5755/j01.erem.72.2.16236


Nowadays, hazardous substances such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are still being used and released in steel plate priming processes. These releases might have severe negative impacts on the environment. One of the well-established methods for the evaluation of these impacts is the life cycle assessment method. In this study, life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to justify product substitution in a Lithuanian company due to regulatory concerns. In this study, life cycle impacts of this substitution were assessed by using LCA methodology. The results, within the mentioned uncertainties, indicated that the substitution to the water based primer paint was beneficial in all environmental impact categories. The study results also showed the importance of conducting an LCA study, and the shortcomings of local assessments.

Approaches to chemical alternatives assessment (CAA) for the substitution of hazardous substances in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Media: Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy. March 2017, vol. 19, 361-378.
Access via:  DOI 10.1007/s10098-016-1291-z https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10098-016-1291-z.pdf


Six alternatives assessment frameworks have been reviewed for specific features that might affect the implementation of alternatives assessment and cause regrettable substitution. These features are: the assessments included, the assessment flowchart structure, the inclusion of the assessors with limited resources (e.g., SMEs) in terms of resource intensity, the tools and methods included or guided to, and the indicators. The purpose of this review was to point out the existing important differences among the frameworks and also to stress the possibility of future improvements for the application of frameworks in SMEs. In general, it has been determined that, although there are similar features (e.g., hazard assessment methods) among the reviewed frameworks, there are also serious differences that might affect the assessment outcome, such as the use of physicochemical properties, the scope of life cycle thinking, and decision methods. These differences are caused by the exclusion of particular assessments, as well as the differences among the assessment methods used and the flowchart structure of the framework that incorporates these assessments. Ideally, the frameworks should give the same results under the same circumstances. Also, frameworks usually ignore the follow-up stage of the alternatives assessment, which is an important shortcoming of the frameworks. Common approaches, such as the exclusion of assessments or the use of the sequential elimination method seem to be a temporary solution to the existing problem of the implementation of these frameworks by SMEs. Common principles and methods should be in place to be able to minimize those differences among frameworks toward an optimized framework that enables assessors with limited resources to conduct a comprehensive assessment that is necessary to avoid a regrettable substitution.

Environmental impact assessment model for substitution of hazardous substances by using life cycle approach

Media: Environmental Pollution. November 2019, vol. 254, part A.112945, 1-11.
Access via:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.07.113


Regulations that are indirectly driving the substitution of hazardous chemicals, such as the EU REACH regulation, necessitate improvements in chemical alternatives assessment frameworks. In those frameworks, life cycle thinking lacks some important aspects such as systematic and quantitative occupational safety methods and risks from intermediate chemicals that are not released to the environment under normal operating conditions. Concerns of companies about regulatory drivers regarding substances of very high concern often lead to inadequate evaluation of the baseline situation; an issue also overlooked by the frameworks. Moreover, life cycle assessment is optional for assessors with limited resources, such as small and medium enterprises. However, the success of substitution should not be evaluated without life cycle concerns. An environmental impact assessment model has been suggested to overcome these shortcomings of the chemical alternatives assessment frameworks. The model was applied to a case study of primed metal sheet production, where the company was driven to substitute reprotoxic 2-methoxypropanol used in their formulations. The results show that the proposed model is promising for solving the mentioned shortcomings, informing the assessor about substances of very high concern along the life cycle, and it has the potential to be further improved with the help of supporting software and databases. Particularly, in the occupational safety area that concerns risks of accidents at work, improvements to the EU occupational health database can drastically increase the accuracy of the assessments. Besides, the development of methodologies for the quantification of the impacts of reprotoxic, bioaccumulative and endocrine disruptor substances is necessary.

Substitution requires all possible support

Media: ELNI Review. No.2/2018, 39-46.
Access complete issue here


The article gives background information on different factors influencing the readiness and abilities of companies to substitute substances of concern that have been discussed at a seminar organised by three EU projects on chemicals management. It is a good introduction to how legislation, market instruments as well as management styles and governance tools can support substitution and how they could be better interlinked to increase their impact in this regard.