Advances in research, coupled with the demands of increasingly stringent environmental and safety rules, promote the development of improved chemical products. However, advances are often met with skepticism regarding a product's effectiveness, and claims of improved safety and environmental characteristics. Improved products often have to overcome a certain resistance, even f there are significant technical and environmental advantages. In spite of discussions on regulatory rollbacks, existing laws continue to influence the selection and use of many water treatment products. The effectiveness of a product may be equal to or even less important than acceptability under environmental and safety regulations. Ideally, products should be selected on the basis of many aspects and by consensus of company decision-makers to assure optimum choices. Unfortunately, users of water treatment products may choose less than optimum products, and with inappropriate reasons, based on perceived faults or advantages. How then can chemical products be selected, and what are the "right" reasons? A method for evaluating products is offered, in which new and existing compounds can be more consistently evaluated.