CHEMICAL PROFILES|Scorecard's Source for Data on Chemicals in Consumer Products

Scorecard's source of information about the chemical constituents of consumer products is the Source Ranking Database, developed by EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. The SRD database has been developed to systematically review a large number of consumer products, building materials, and furnishings that are potential sources of airborne chemicals to which individuals can be exposed while indoors. Note thatthe Source Ranking Database does not cover consumer product categories like prescription or over-the-counter drugs, because they do not contribute to indoor air pollution.

To compile the Source Ranking Database, EPA identified products that are components of construction of buildings, used as fixtures or furnishings, or consumer goods that are brought into buildings in the course of normal use. EPA then ascertained the chemical composition of these products by reviewing a variety of sources on product formulation as well as laboratory and field studies of emissions from building materials and furnishings.

Scorecard only abstracts information from SRD about the chemical constituents of different types of consumer products. SRD contains additional valuable information for identifying consumer products that have a high likelihood of contaminating the indoor environment. The primary information available for products is their formulation (weight fractions of various chemicals comprising each product) and duration and frequency of use. The SRD software includes a ranking system that can prioritize product classes based on the magnitude of chemical emissions, the size of potentially exposed populations in various environments where the products are used, and the potential health hazards associated with the inhalation of released chemicals.

EPA distributes the Source Ranking Database with the following caveats: "Much of the information in the Source Ranking Database is from secondary sources and has generally not been verified against primary sources. Additionally, many values used in exposure calculations are based upon professional judgment because of the lack of relevant data. The Source Ranking Database is a tool for developing risk-based rankings of products and product categories, but does not provide actual risk assessment conclusions on products or chemicals. Mention of trade names or commercial products in the Source Ranking Database does not constitute a recommendation for use, nor does it represent an EPA conclusion regarding risks associated with a product or chemical."

EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. Source Ranking Database. Consumer product use data were obtained from SRD software (SRD*.exe and IE2690.*). 1998.

EPA Science Advisory Board, Office of Research and Development. Review of the Source Ranking Database. EPA-SAB-IHEC-98-004. EPA, Washington, DC. 1998.