The 3rd Annual Safer Consumer Products Summit, held last week in Washington, D.C., brought together regulators, chemical producers, consumer product manufacturers, NGOs, consultants and other stakeholders to talk about a topic important to us all – the safety of the chemicals in products that we all use every day.
Chemistry is essential to thousands of ground-breaking products that make our lives healthier, safety, more productive and more enjoyable every day. Yet, as valuable as the products of chemistry are, we also know that they must be used responsibly.
Panel discussions at the summit addressed a range of issues related to product safety, including increasing transparency about chemicals used in consumer products; the impacts of these chemicals on health and safety; innovations in green chemistry; and a review and discussion of state and federal laws and standards governing consumer safety regulation.
I participated on a panel discussion focused on the steps businesses are taking to meet and exceed product safety regulatory requirements. I was pleased to be able to describe how the chemical industry has taken a big step this year in introducing its new Responsible Care® Product Safety Code. The Code sets forth specific actions that ACC member companies will take to manage the safety of their products.
The Product Safety Code requires all ACC member companies to identify high-priority chemicals, conduct risk characterizations – considering chemical exposure along the value chain with particular emphasis on children, consider lifecycle impacts of chemicals as they are developed and optimized, and make information about chemicals available along the supply chain and to the public. All ACC member companies must adhere to the Code, undergo third-party certification processes, and report their progress against the Code’s requirements starting in 2014.
The chemical industry takes its commitment to product safety and responsible use of chemicals very seriously. We know there are questions about the possible effects of chemicals in products on our bodies, and we support efforts to explore those questions and reach sound conclusions based on thorough, credible, scientific investigation.
As industry, we’re proud of the work we’ve done through platforms like Responsible Care, and the new Product Safety Code can only help facilitate better communications on chemical safety issues with all of our stakeholders. Working with downstream users, retailers, brand owners and government regulators, ACC looks forward to continuing to share information and enhance confidence in the products of chemistry that improve our lives.