CleanerSolutions Database
Toxics Use Reduction Institute · Surface Solutions Laboratory
 
Toxics Use Reduction Institute




Surface Solutions Laboratory

TURI Lab Safety Screening Score Help

The Safety Screening Score is used as a guide to help deterine the potential safety concerns of a product. This screnning tool was developed by the TURI Lab to help guide the selection process for cleaning products.

Click on the hazard topic areas to see how each category is assessed at the TURI Lab

VOC

GWP ODP HMIS/NFPA pH

Volatile Organic Compounds  (VOC's)

  • Chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature
    • The term "organic" indicates that the compounds contain carbon
    • VOC exposures are often associated with an odor while other times there is no odor
      • Both can be harmful
    • There are thousands of different VOCs produced and used daily
  •  Hazards
    • Acute
      • Eye irritation / watering
      • Nose irritation
      • Throat irritation
      • Headaches
      • Nausea / Vomiting
      • Dizziness
      • Asthma exacerbation
    • Chronic
      • Cancer
      • Liver damage
      • Kidney damage
      • Central Nervous System damage
  • Source control
    • Eliminate products that have high levels of VOCs
    • Purchase new products that contain low or no VOCs
      • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

VOC Content Range (g/l)

Pts

0-24

10

25-49

9

50-74

8

75-99

6

100-149

5

150-199

4

200-299

3

300

2

>300

0

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Global Warming Potential (GWP)

  • Used to compare the ability of different greenhouse gases to trap heat in the atmosphere
  • Based on
    • Heat-absorbing ability of the gas relative to base chemical =>  carbon dioxide (CO2)
    • Decay rate of each gas relative to CO2
  • Some greenhouse gases occur naturally in the atmosphere
    • Include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone
  • Others result from human activities
    • Very powerful greenhouse gases that are generated in a variety of industrial processes, including cleaning processes

GWP Value

Pts

GWP = 0

10

GWP = 1 (CO2)

5

All others

0

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Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP)

  • Ozone layer screens out the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation
    • Small amounts of ozone are constantly being made by the action of sunlight on oxygen
    • At the same time, ozone is being broken down by natural processes
    • The total amount of ozone usually stays constant because its formation and destruction occur at about the same rate
    • Human activity has recently changed that natural balance
  • The ratio of the amount of ozone depletion of a chemical compared to the amount of ozone depletion of the same mass of CFC-11
    • Certain manufactured substances can destroy stratospheric ozone much faster than it is formed

ODP Value

Pts

ODP = 0

10

All Others

0

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Hazardous Material Information System/

National Fire Protection Association (HMIS/NFPA)

  • HMIS
    • Hazard Communication standard requires employers to evaluate materials and inform employees of the hazards
    • Developed by comparing information on the health hazard, flammability, and physical hazard of the product to a set of criteria for each hazard category
  • NFPA
    • Originally developed this set of hazard rankings for their own purposes
    • The rankings have proven to be very useful in the chemical industry
  • HMIS/NFPA
    • Health
    • Fire
    • Reactivity/Instability
  • Lab attempts to use products with a hazard less than 3
    • 4 = Severe Hazard
    • 3 = Serious Hazard
    • 2 = Moderate Hazard
    • 1 = Slight Hazard
    • 0 = Minimal Hazard
  • Individual Indicator Scores
    • Add up HMIS/NFPA for each category
    • Use table to determine the number of points to assess

HMIS/NFPA Points Assessment

Value

Example

Pts

0

H-0, F-0, R-0

10

1

H-0, F-0, R-1;   H-0, F-1, R-0

9

2

H-1, F-1, R-0;   H-0, F-2, R-0

8

3

H-1, F-1, R-1;   H-2, F-1, R-0

7

3

H-3, F-0, R-0

2

4

H-2, F-2, R-0;   H-1, F-2, R-1

6

4

H-3, F-1, R-0

1

5

H-2, F-2, R-1

5

5

H-2, F-3, R-0;   H-1, F-3, R-1

0

6

H-2, F-2, R-2

4

6

H-3, F-3, R-0

0

>6

H-3, F-3, R-1;   H-4, F-2, R-1

0

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pH Readings (pH)

  • Provides a measure on a scale from 0 to 14 of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution
    • = 7     neutral
    • <7      acidic
    • >7      basic
  • Try to avoid
    • >11    very basic, likely to cause corrosion and/or tissue damage
    • <3      a strong acid
  • Neutral substances receive the highest Individual Indicator points
  • Both very acidic and very basic are both avoided

pH

Pts

0-1.0

0

1.1-2.4

4

2.5-2.9

6

3.0-4.0

7

4.1-5.9

8

6.0-6.4

9

6.5-7.5

10

7.6-8.9

9

9.0-9.9

8

10.0-11.4

7

11.5-11.9

6

12.0-12.5

4

12.5-12.9

2

13-14

0

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