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Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/EHP483

Advancing Alternative Analysis: Integration of Decision Science

Timothy F. Malloy,1,2,3 Virginia M. Zaunbrecher,1,2 Christina Batteate,2 Ann Blake,4 William F. Carroll, Jr.,5 Charles J. Corbett,6,7 Steffen Foss Hansen,8 Robert Lempert,9 Igor Linkov,10 Roger McFadden,11 Kelly D. Moran,12 Elsa Olivetti,13 Nancy Ostrom,14 Michelle Romero,2,3 Julie Schoenung,15 Thomas Seager,16 Peter Sinsheimer,2 and Kristina Thayer17
Author Affiliations open
1School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; 2Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; 3UC Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; 4Environmental and Public Health Consulting, Alameda, California, U.S.A.; 5Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.; 6Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; 7Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; 8Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark; 9RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.; 10U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; 11McFadden and Associates, LLC, Oregon, U.S.A.; 12TDC Environmental, LLC, San Mateo, California, U.S.A.; 13Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; 14Safer Products and Workplaces Program, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.; 15Henry Samueli School of Engineering, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, U.S.A.; 16School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.; 17Office of Health Assessment and Translation, National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Morrisville, North Carolina, U.S.A.

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  • Background: Decision analysis—a systematic approach to solving complex problems—offers tools and frameworks to support decision making that are increasingly being applied to environmental challenges. Alternatives analysis is a method used in regulation and product design to identify, compare, and evaluate the safety and viability of potential substitutes for hazardous chemicals.

    Objectives: Assess whether decision science may assist the alternatives analysis decision maker in comparing alternatives across a range of metrics.

    Methods: A workshop was convened that included representatives from government, academia, business, and civil society and included experts in toxicology, decision science, alternatives assessment, engineering, and law and policy. Participants were divided into two groups and prompted with targeted questions. Throughout the workshop, the groups periodically came together in plenary sessions to reflect on other groups’ findings

    Discussion: We conclude the further incorporation of decision science into alternatives analysis would advance the ability of companies and regulators to select alternatives to harmful ingredients, and would also advance the science of decision analysis.

    Conclusions: We advance four recommendations: (1) engaging the systematic development and evaluation of decision approaches and tools; (2) using case studies to advance the integration of decision analysis into alternatives analysis; (3) supporting transdisciplinary research; and (4) supporting education and outreach efforts.

  • This EHP Advance Publication article has been peer-reviewed, revised, and accepted for publication. EHP Advance Publication articles are completely citable using the DOI number assigned to the article. This document will be replaced with the copyedited and formatted version as soon as it is available. Through the DOI number used in the citation, you will be able to access this document at each stage of the publication process.

    Citation: Malloy TF, Zaunbrecher VM, Batteate C, Blake A, Carroll WF Jr., Corbett CJ, Hansen SF, Lempert R, Linkov I, McFadden R, Moran KD, Olivetti E, Ostrom N, Romero M, Schoenung J, Seager T, Sinsheimer P, Thayer K. Advancing Alternative Analysis: Integration of Decision Science. Environ Health Perspect; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/EHP483

    Received: 16 December 2015
    Revised: 19 September 2016
    Accepted: 19 September 2016
    Published: 28 October 2016

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