Toxics & Pollution

The use of toxics and the generation of pollution should be minimized to reduce risks to health, safety, and the environment.

Procurement activity may include:

  • Refrain from procuring cleaning or disinfecting products (i.e. for janitorial or automotive use) containing carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens. Chemicals to be avoided are listed by the U.S. EPA or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on the Toxics Release Inventory.
  • Phase out chlorofluorocarbon-containing refrigerants, solvents and similar products.
  • Procure readily biodegradable surfactants and detergents that do not contain phosphates.
  • Maintain buildings and landscapes, and manage pest problems through the application of prevention techniques and physical, mechanical and biological controls.
  • Procure products with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no formaldehyde in materials such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of products that contribute to the formation of dioxins and furans, including, but not limited to:
    • Paper, paper products, and janitorial paper products that are bleached or processed with chlorine or chlorine derivatives
    • Products that use polyvinyl chloride (PVC), including, but not limited to, office binders, furniture, flooring, and medical supplies
  • Procure products and equipment with no lead or mercury. For products containing lead or mercury, give preference to those with lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs.
  • Consider vehicle procurement alternatives to diesel such as compressed natural gas, biobased fuels, hybrids, electric batteries, and fuel cells, as available.