Of the thousands of chemicals available for commercial use, only about 1% have ever gone through testing to assess their effects on human health and the environment. In TCO Certified, we use the GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals to identify a pathway to safer alternatives to be used in certified products. GreenScreen offers an objective, scientific way of assessing these potential effects and identifying safer alternatives to the most hazardous substances.

Developed by the US-based non-profit Clean Production Action, GreenScreen provides a structured approach to evaluating human health and environmental safety data for a variety of chemical substances. Once a substance is assessed in accordance with these risks, the GreenScreen methodology assigns it to one of five possible Benchmark scores, based on the level of concern.

Since 2015, TCO Certified has incorporated the use of GreenScreen to identify safer flame retardants that replace restricted halogenated substances. These safer alternatives are listed on the TCO Certified Accepted Substance List. In TCO Certified generation 8, we have added plasticizers to this process since we have identified safer alternatives to the four plasticizers currently restricted in RoHs, for use in certified products. We will also be assessing industrial cleaners and solvents process chemicals in accordance to GreenScreen with the goal to identify safer alternatives that can be used during manufacture.

For compliance with TCO Certified, a chemical substance included in a certified product must achieve a GreenScreen score of Benchmark-2, -3, or -4.

TCO Certified Accepted Substance List

FAQ – GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals

Answers to some common questions about GreenScreen are listed below. For complete information or to contact a Licensed GreenScreen Profiler to purchase or commission an assessment, visit the Clean Production Action website.

1. Why is TCO Development interested in the GreenScreen methodology?

TCO Certified is aimed at guiding the IT industry towards safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals used today. In the current generation, we include requirements for GreenScreen assessments in an effort to provide more knowledge about the non-halogenated flame retardants used in the products we certify. For TCO Certified, generation 8, we expanded its use to plasticizers. GreenScreen is a method for comparative Chemical Hazard Assessment (CHA) and builds on the US EPA DfE approach and other national and international precedents (REACH, OECD, GHS). We have reviewed other assessment tools but selected GreenScreen since we consider it has several advantages:

  • Based on a structured decision logic
  • Looks at all constituents
  • Looks at several stages in the life cycle of the chemical such as transformation/breakdown products and also includes the environmental evaluation of those
  • Takes into account new studies/data and assessments are updated every few years. GreenScreen assessments and resulting Benchmark scores are valid for 5 years.
  • Considers 18 environmental and human health endpoints
  • Helps close data gaps by providing incentives for companies to produce data (chemicals missing important data are downgraded to a lower benchmark or listed as “Unspecified”)
  • Information on what we allow and not only what we ban
  • Information is freely and publicly accessible, transparent and peer reviewed