Publication Title: 
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Regulators are implementing new programs that require manufacturers of products containing certain chemicals of concern to identify, evaluate, and adopt viable, safer alternatives. Such programs raise the difficult question for policymakers and regulated businesses of which alternatives are “viable” and “safer.” To address that question, these programs use “alternatives analysis,” an emerging methodology that integrates issues of human health and environmental effects with technical feasibility and economic impact. This study finds that multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methods can play a critical role in emerging prevention-based regulatory programs by offering a means for transparent, objective, and rigorous analysis of products and processes, providing regulators and stakeholders with a common baseline understanding of the relative performance of alternatives and the trade-offs they present.