United States
Environmental Protection
Prevention, Pesticides And
Toxic Substances
August 2002 (rev.)

                  Design  for  the Environment  Projects
What is Design for the Environment (DfE)?
DfE is an approach companies use to make business
decisions that consider environmental impacts along with
traditional business considerations of cost and
performance.  Manufacturers are increasingly thinking in
terms of "design for" qualities or traits in their products
and processes.

For over a decade, EPA's Design for the Environment
Program has promoted voluntary partnerships on safer
chemicals, comparative risk analysis, and  alternative
technology development.

DfE is a voluntary, partnership program that works directly
with industries and other partners, with a focus on small
businesses, to integrate health and environmental
considerations in business decisions.	

The DfE Program:  DfE is a testing ground for new
approaches to risk reduction through pollution prevention.
By balancing business needs and environmental concerns,
the DfE Program is serving as a catalyst for lasting change.
DfE's approach is grounded in comparing the risks,
performance, and costs, of alternative technologies or
processes. Rather than rely on end-of-pipe controls, DfE
encourages pollution prevention or front-end innovations
through the redesign of formulations and manufacturing
and disposal processes.

DfE can help an industry comply with regulations through
cleaner technologies and safer chemicals.  To move an
industry beyond compliance, a DfE project looks at cross-
media impacts, energy and resource  use, and the risks from
unregulated, hazardous chemicals. A DfE project may use
a cleaner technologies substitutes assessment (CTSA) to
evaluate the environmental risks, performance, and costs
of competing technologies.

DfE Partnerships:  DfE partners with an entire industry
sector, usually through industry leaders and trade
association representatives, to conduct an  assessment. DfE
assessments are disseminated throughout the industry, so
businesses can make better informed decisions that reduce
environmental impacts and even boost a company's
bottom line. DfE partnerships include the following:

Printing: DfE partnered with all sectors of the printing
                             industry to improve environmental performance in the
                             printing shop. The Screen Printing Project evaluated 18
                             screen reclamation technologies. The Lithography Project
                             assessed 37 blanket wash formulations. The Flexographic
                             CTSA, published in February 2002, compares
                             environmental impacts, costs, and performance of the three
                             primary ink systems (uv, water-based, and solvent).  The
                             study found that each of the ink systems had different
                             advantages as well as health and environmental concerns.
                             DfE concludes that selecting the best ink formulation is
                             just as important as  system selection. Contact:
                             Ch u. Karen(a)iepa. gov

                             Printed Wiring Board: The printed wiring board (PWB) is
                             the critical building block of the electronics industry. The
                             traditional manufacturing process includes the use of
                             substantial amounts of water, energy, and some toxic
                             chemicals. DfE first collaborated on an evaluation of the
                             "making holes conductive" step of PWB manufacturing.
                             The CTSA evaluated nonconveyorized electroless copper
                             and six alternative technologies that use direct
                             metalization, and found that the alternatives perform as
                             well or better, are more efficient, and may pose less risk to
                             workers and the environment. The partnership recently
                             completed it's second evaluation comparing several "lead-
                             free" surface finish alternatives to the standard hot air
                             solder leveling process. The PWB Surface Finishes
                             CTSA, published in June 2001, indicates that the
                             alternative finishes perform as well as, or better than, the
                             baseline technology, and many of the alternatives cost less,
                             use less water and energy, and appear to pose less potential
                             risk to workers and the environment. Contact:
                             Hart.Kathy(a)epa. gov

                             Computer Display Screen: The Computer Display Screen
                             project used life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the
                             environmental impacts of traditional cathode ray tube
                             (CRT) and the new active matrix liquid crystal display
                             (LCD) technologies. The analysis indicates that CRT has
                             greater impacts than the LCD in all but two impact
                             categories (eutrophication and aquatic toxicity).  Further,
                             the results indicate several areas where improvements can
                             be made during the life-cycle of both technologies, such as
                             reducing energy consumption during manufacture, cutting
                             back on usage of chemicals that pose greater aquatic
                             toxicity risks, and eliminating the use of mercury. The
                             Computer Display Screen LCA published in December,

2001 encourages companies to use the LCA results to
conduct their own improvement assessments.Contact:

Solder in Electronics: This project, initiated in late 2001,
will be conducted as a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of tin
lead solders and 3-4 alternatives.  The primary focus will
be on the potential impacts of the  alternatives. Legislative
and market pressures to remove lead from electronics are
continuing to increase, both  domestically and abroad, due
to potential environmental concerns posed by leaded
solders.  The partnership has concern that if all
environmental aspects of replacement solders are not
carefully considered, the replacement of lead could have a
net negative impact on the environment. Contact:

Dry Cleaning:  DfE worked in partnership with the
drycleaning industry to reduce exposure to
perchloroethylene or "perc.", a chemical solvent used by
most drycleaners that poses health and environmental
concerns. Through this partnership, greener technologies
have become well-established in the dry cleaning industry.

Industrial/Institutional Formulations Project: DfE is
partnering with detergent and other formulators to design
and adopt safer, more efficient products.  Billions of
pounds of chemical ingredients are used in laundry and
other detergents each year and ultimately wind up down
the drain and, in some form, out in our environment. DfE
is working with companies through memorandums of
understanding (MOUs) to reformulate products and,
thereby,  prevent pollution and reduce impacts to human
health and the environment.  This approach is being
expanded to include other industrial formulations. In
addition, the two laundry trade associations (UTSA &
TRSA) have adopted the DfE approach as their
environmental stewardship program and have identified
industry-wide goals to improve chemical formulation
ingredients, water, and energy use by 10-25%. Contact:
Difiore.David(a) or Cushmac.Mary(a)

Automotive Refinishing: DfE is working with the
automotive refmish industry to increase awareness of the
risks and pollution issues associated with spray painting
and related activities. DfE is promoting adoption of cost-
effective technologies and best practices that reduce
exposure and emissions of toxic chemicals used in
autobody shops such as diisocyanates and volatile organic
solvents. Diisocyanates are the leading cause of
occupational asthma. There are over 60,000 shops and
over 150,000 painters. These numbers do not include other
persons in the shops and neighboring areas impacted by
odors and toxic emissions from the shops, many of which
are located in residential areas. DfE identified
technologies that reduce worker exposures, more efficient
workplace practices, and practical ways to adapt new
technologies to the real-world parameters of the small
shop. DfE also supported a virtual autobody website at containing easily
accessible information for painters, shop owners, and
technical assistance providers. Contact:
Cushmac.Marv(a> or Difiore.David(a)

Adhesives: Environmental and occupational regulations
are causing rapid changes in the use of adhesive solvents
in the foam furniture industry. The industry's concern is
that affordable, effective, and safe adhesives will not be
available in the future. DfE is investigating solvents and
processes with the goal of providing information on
alternative adhesives that are less harmful than the
chlorinated and flammable solvents currently in use. Case
studies are being developed to share information on
alternative adhesives. The CTSA is expected in fall 2002.
Contact: Sparks. John(a)epa.sov.

Supplier Initiative: Original Equipment Manufacturers
(OEMS) of products, such as  automobiles, depend on a
network of suppliers for parts and assemblies. Many of the
suppliers are small businesses. A pilot is underway with
General Motors, Inc. and Saturn Corporation to investigate
using the network to promote prevention and risk
reduction. Contact: Sparks. John(a)

DfE Approaches to Developing an Environmental
Management System (EMS): The DfE Program has
integrated DfE, pollution prevention, and risk reduction
approaches and methodologies into an EMS framework.
The DfE Integrated Environmental Management Systems
(IEMS) Manual and the IEMS Facilities Template have
been widely distributed. Also, DfE partnered with the
Screen printers and Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA)
to pilot DfE/EMS with screen printers - SGIA is now
implementing  a national DfE/EMS program.
Contact: Chu.Karen(a),eva.sov
    Design for the Environment
 To learn more about the Design for the Environment Program, visit the DE web site
 at If you are interested in joining a DfE Partnership Team for any
 of the projects described above, please contact the appropriate Project Manager.
 DfE looks forward to working with you as a new partner. We also welcome your ideas
 on new projects that use the DE approach to cleaner, safer technologies. Please
 contact Carol Hetfield at Hetfield.Carol(a)epa.aov with your suggestions, or write to:
   Design for the Environment Program (7406-M), U.S. EPA
   1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW , Washington, DC 20460