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These are just some of the benefits that the Chemical Assessment and Ranking System (CARS) can provide.

All organizations use chemical products, whether for cleaning or business and manufacturing operations. And all employers desire to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees, protect the environment, and be a welcome and respected member of their community. The most pressing needs of organizations are often related to the use of chemicals.

ZWA has developed the Chemical Assessment and Ranking System (CARS), a decision support tool that uses a broad credible database of chemical hazard related information, in conjunction with information on how your organization uses chemical products, to assess and rank chemicals and to set goals for substituting or eliminating problematic materials. The database includes publicly available and well-documented information on the potential chemical hazards related to human health and safety, ecological health, and ecosystem-wide impacts.

CARS Brochure (.pdf)

Additional Applications

More applications

How did CARS evolve?

Through ZWA's work with businesses and governments, it has become clear that that the most pressing needs are related to the use of chemicals. Our experience shows that there is a demand for a credible tool like CARS that allows companies to assess the hazards associated with their chemical inventories. This was true for the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Service Wastewater Division (BES), with whom we developed and implemented an Enhanced Chemical Management System. The more we worked with BES, the more we saw the need for a way to systematically assess chemical inventories.

Chemical usage was also a significant consideration for the State of Oregon's Department of Administrative Services (DAS). Following Governor John Kitzhaber's Executive Order to make the state sustainable by 2025, DAS's Publishing and Distribution Division enlisted ZWA to implement an environmental management system. During an assessment of aspects and impacts, the team realized that the information on chemicals was too limited to do an adequate ranking. Both the BES and DAS projects clarified the need for such a ranking system; and thus a CARS template and protocol was developed.

Support of the initial development and application of the Chemical Assessment and Ranking System was generously funded by the Bullitt Foundation.