Green and safer product chemistry

Green and safer product chemistry is formulating or designing a new product (or reformulating an existing one) to reduce harmful environmental, workplace, human health, and energy use effects over the product's entire life cycle. A product's life cycle includes design and manufacture, sourcing and production of material and energy inputs, end use, end-of-life recovery, and all packaging and transportation between these steps.

Product chemistry should take into account green and sustainable chemistry and green engineering principles, which include preventive approaches, designing out toxicological effects (including at the molecular level), energy and water consumption during production and use, and recyclability.

Green chemistry and design represents a high-level commitment to pollution prevention. It's more common for product makers to reduce pollution in the manufacturing process than to redesign the products themselves. But the product design stage is critical to reducing a product's environmental impact. Learn more:

From products to the environment

Some 90% of the products we use contain one or more chemicals, such as paints, dyes, fragrances, lubricants, germ-killers, preservatives, cleaners, adhesives, solvents, water and stain repellents, or flame retardants. Many of these find their way into our environment and our bodies, where they can disrupt ecosystems and health. Learn more:

Through the Chemicals in Products Interagency Team, the MPCA partners with the Minnesota Departments of Commerce and Health to:

  • Monitor chemical hazards in products and the environment
  • Educate residents and businesses about chemical hazards and how to avoid them
  • Accelerate the development and use of safer alternatives

Resources