The Organics Council ® maintains the highest standards of scientific rigour and impartiality at the basis of all our assessment decisions. For this purpose, we have developed the first global safety testing protocol of its kind; this includes a three-stage assessment process:

  1. Identification of potential risks, based on a review of all current knowledge relevant to human and environmental health associated with the substance;
  2. Assessment and grading of the potential risks based on severity and scale of the effects of exposure;
  3. Characterisation of potential risks leading to an approval decision. If a substance is approved, we then establish any necessary conditions or restrictions of use to ensure safety.

Substance Approval Process is literature review, assessment of human and environmental toxicity, and risk characterisation


The Organics Council ® substance approval process is a global gold standard

Starts afresh. Our assessments are based on thorough and extensive screening of scientific literature combined with up-to-date information regarding international policies and regulations. Our assessments are performed at the same level on both new substances and those already commonly used by industries.

Real-life considerations. We take a holistic approach to safety assessment, looking not only at current scientific knowledge on individual substance toxicity, exposure data and regulations, but also more complex aspects often neglected by statutory assessments, such as possible bioaccumulation and the effects of co-exposure with other potentially harmful substances.

Absolute ban on seriously harmful substances. Substances associated with serious or irreversible toxicity, such as carcinogens or endocrine disruptors, and persistent environmental pollutants are banned from the Approved Substance List. We do not approve substances that are harmful to human or environmental health, no matter how widely used worldwide.

Environmental pollution matters. We assess the environmental impact and sustainability of all substances as a standard procedure in our substance approval process, as we believe human health goes hand-in-hand with our planet’s health.

Fully protocolled safety assessment procedures. We have developed robust, standardised systems to ensure we perform complete and thorough literature screenings free from bias and subjective judgement. We screen all scientific evidence using search aggregators to create the most complete body of evidence on any substance safety and sustainability assessment known worldwide. For a full description of our data collection processes, you can download our search criteria summary and protocol.

Specified data weighting. All of the data we collect are categorised and weighted in a formalised process, according to the type of research and content.

Substance are assessed based on the most relevant research studies on toxicity, environmental impact and nanoparticle occurrence

Transparent assessment criteria. Transparency is at the core of our decision-making; an outline of the standardised assessment processes and decision reports is available as part of the Organics Council ® Approved Substance List.

Quality assurance audit. We have thorough procedures for checking and reviewing data built into our test protocols, ensuring the accuracy and completeness of our data collection processes. In addition, all our substance assessment decisions are monitored and approved by the Organics Council ® Audit Committee and summarised in the Organics Council ® Approved Substance List.

Continual review of substance assessments. As part of our test protocol audit, we keep up-to-date with scientific advancements by annually assessing all new information available for substances approved for use, to ensure our guidance is scientifically accurate and in line with current statutory regulations.