The substitution is possible in the future, it should be possible, where possible, to have a lower impact on the environment. An example of a strong, hazard-based interpretation of the principle in application to chemicals is that „Hazardous substances should not be identified“. [1]

The principle has been historically promoted by environmental groups. The concept is becoming more mainstream, being a key concept in green chemistry and a central element of EU REACH regulation. [2] Criticism of the principle claim is very difficult to implement in reality, especially in terms of legislation . quote needed ]

Nonetheless, the concept is an important and a key driver in the identification of substances and the development of hazardous substances in the SIN List and the ETUC Trade Union Priority List . EU-funded projects such as the following are under development for the safer substitutes for hazardous chemicals. [3]


  1. Jump up^ Greenpeace, (2003, 2005). Safer Chemicals Within Reach: Using the Substitution Principle to drive Green Chemistry. London. p.7(PDF)
  2. Jump up^ European Commission website on REACH.
  3. Jump up^ Lissner L, Romano D. Substitution for Hazardous Chemicals on an International Level-The Approach of the European Project „SUBSPORT“. New Solut. 2011 Jan. 1; 21 (3): 477-97. PubMedPMID 22001043.