GSPI - Six Classes Precautionary List
GSPI - Six Classes Precautionary List
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the Six Classes Precautionary Lists, or for information about how the lists were created.
The Green Science Policy Institute has identified Six Classes of chemicals that broadly encompass many problematic substances in widespread use today. Three of the classes are characterized by their chemical structure (PFAS, Bisphenols & Phthalates, and Certain Metals) which can be related to their human health hazard. Others are identified by their functional use (Antimicrobials, Flame Retardants, and Some Solvents) and have many problematic chemicals within the class.
As described in our methods documentation, the chemicals on each list were largely identified by consulting authoritative lists of chemicals of concern. Our lists do not identify every harmful chemical, and not all the chemicals on the lists have been proven hazardous. Given known hazards of similar chemicals, those lacking hazard data should not be presumed safe and thus were included in the lists. Our Institute suggests that users should question if the use of chemicals in the Six Classes is really needed and worth the risk.
The classes are as follows:
Highly Fluorinated Chemicals: PFAS: PFAS are highly fluorinated chemicals used in cookware, clothing, outdoor apparel, food packaging and other products to provide oil- and water-resistant properties. They are persistent in the environment and have been detected in humans and biota all over the globe. In humans, some PFAS have been associated with kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disruption, elevated total cholesterol, and obesity.
Antimicrobials: Antimicrobials, such as triclosan and triclocarban, are used in products from soap, deodorant, and toothpaste to socks, lunchboxes, and counter tops to prevent microbial growth. Antimicrobials can be ingested or absorbed through the skin and are detected in most Americans. They are a concern because they are associated with adverse endocrine, thyroid, and reproductive changes and their use can lead to resistant strains of bacteria. Soap and water can be a better alternative.
Flame Retardants: Flame retardants are used in furniture and baby product foam, building insulation, electronics, and other products to reduce fire hazard. They are detected in most Americans, with the highest levels in children, and they have been associated with endocrine disruption and reproductive, neurologic, and immune impairment as well as cancer. As currently used in furniture, building insulation and some other products, flame retardants do not increase fire safety.
Bisphenols & Phthalates: Bisphenols and phthalates act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with the hormone signaling mechanisms of the human body. They are found in plastics, pesticides, flame retardants, and other products and are measured in all humans. They can cause disruption to reproductive, metabolic, neurologic, and immune systems and the thyroid at very low concentrations and are most harmful during critical windows of development of the fetus.
Organic Solvents: Organic solvents are used in paint, coatings, degreasers, dry cleaning chemicals, and many other products in order to dissolve other chemical constituents. Many non-water based organic solvents release vapors that humans inhale and absorb. Some organic solvents are associated with neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, and carcinogenic effects during short-term high level exposure and over prolonged periods of low level exposure.
Certain Metals: Certain metals, like lead, cadmium, and mercury, have been harming human health for millennia. Metal toxicity can result in reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels, and damage to blood, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Some metals like zinc that provide a health benefit in small doses can be toxic at high levels.