SUBSPORTplus Methodology on case stories

Evaluation, Selection and Criteria for Preparation of Case Stories

The evaluation and selection of case studies is carried out according to a methodology developed in the original SUBSPORT project, which will continue to be used for the maintenance of the database. At the centre of the assessment methodology are the SUBSPORTplus screening criteria (see table below) for the evaluation of the hazardous properties of substances. According to these criteria, a list of hazardous substances (SDSC list) has been established, which is part of the database of restricted and priority substances. Ideally, no substance on the SDSC list is present in the case story described. If, according to the current state of knowledge, only alternatives with substances on the SDSC list are known, it should be discussed whether the use of the alternative substance is safer compared to the original substance. Performing life cycle analysis and/or risk assessment for the identified substitution examples is beyond SUBSPORTplus scope of evaluation.

In order to utilize information in the published case stories in the best way, please read the methodology, which explains the selection of case stories for the database.

The detailed methodology is available as pdf-download. Alternative Assessment Methodology and Data Presentation for the General Database of SUBSPORTplus (PDF, 158 KB)

The case stories have been gathered from different sources. Users of the SUBSPORTplus portal have the opportunity to contribute their successful substitution as a case story. Could your substitution solution be interesting for other users?
In order to ensure a certain quality of the case stories, we ask you to consider the following criteria to decide whether a substitution solution is suitable for the preparation of a case story. SUBSPORTplus lives from your contributions. Contact the SUBSPORTplus team!

Criteria for Case Story Descriptions

What is Substitution?

Substitution can be accomplished by the use of an alternative, less hazardous substance. In many cases other technologies that do not need hazardous chemicals can be applied. We do not consider the reduction of exposures to dangerous substances, e.g. by means of protective or containment measures like extraction or waste water treatment plants, to be substitution. Case studies are real life situations meant to provide information on possible solutions for safer alternatives to chemicals but also to encourage others to follow the example.

Screening Criteria for Case Stories

Alternatives matching any of the SUBSPORTplus screening criteria below (see table) can only be published in exceptional cases. Please check the table before submitting a case story.

SUBSPORTplus-Screening-Criteria, which has been applied to establish the SDSC list of hazardous substances:

CMRHarmonised classification (according to CLP) for
CMR categories 1A, 1B
(until 2015 Directive 67/548/EEC: cat. 1 and 2)
IARC cat. 1, 2A
(v)P(v)BTREACH Regulation – Annex XIII
EC PBT Expert Group
OSPAR List of substances of possible concern
Endocrine disruptorsEndocrine Disruptor Lists
SIN List database
NeurotoxicantsISTAS RISCTOX Database of Neurotoxicants, cat. 2-4
Sensitisation agentsHarmonised classification (according to CLP) for
H334, H317
(until 2015 Directive 67/548/EEC: for R42, R43)

Measures that will only reduce the level of exposure by e.g. lowering the quantity of used substance, containing or extracting the emissions, water treatment, personal protective equipment, are not considered as suitable case stories. On the other hand, recipe optimisation and low-emission forms of use could be suitable case stories, especially if it is demonstrated that 1:1 substitution by another substance is NOT possible

Safe and Sustainable

Substitution requirements for sustainability and safety for man and environment will come more to the fore in the future. Criteria for sustainable and safe alternatives are currently being developed in the EU and will be applied in the selection of case studies. Alternatives that are demonstrated to be safer and bring about sustainable benefits will be increasingly integrated into the database.

General Quality Criteria

Information published by SUBSPORT has to meet the following criteria:

  • Relevance: the issue is relevant to substitution as defined by SUBSPORTplus
  • Usefulness: the information is useful for the site users
  • Precision: information is not misleading
  • Actuality: information reflects current legal, technical situations
  • Clarity: the text is comprehensible as regarding terminology and concepts
  • Completeness: information is sufficient to give an intelligible image on the matter described
  • Concision: unnecessary details are avoided
  • Reliability: the information is supported by documents (e.g. MSDS, reports, authorizations etc.) and checked in the relevant substance databases, e.g. ECHA substance database.

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Alternative Assessment Methodology and Data Presentation for the General Database of SUBSPORTplus

(PDF, 158 KB, Not barrier-free file)


Do you have useful information on substitution, which is missing in our portal? Please contact us.