EPA Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications through January 29, 2016, for its second annual Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards.

“Safer Choice partners and award winners have shown that safer products are good for the health of our families, the environment, and business,” said EPA assistant administrator Jim Jones. “We look forward to recognizing the next group of award winners who have innovated and promoted the use of Safer Choice products.”

Award winners will be recognized for advancing the goal of chemical safety through exemplary participation in or promotion of the Safer Choice Program at a ceremony in late spring of 2016 in Washington, D.C.

EPA will present at least one award in each of these five categories:

  • Product and Chemical Manufacturers
  • Purchasers and Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Supporters
  • Innovators

To qualify for the Safer Choice label, a product must meet EPA’s Safer Choice Standard, of stringent human and environmental health criteria. Currently, the Safer Choice Program has nearly 500 formulator-manufacturer partners who make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers.

More information on the 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards and application process can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards

Women Businesses-Owners Lead the Way with Safer Products

Read the full post from U.S. EPA.

Elisa Cuan immigrated to the United States from Peru at the age of 16. After battling allergies for many years, she set out to learn more about the science behind air quality and allergens. She vowed to help prevent others from suffering the way she had.

Meanwhile, Mary Anne Auer, a registered nurse, saw first-hand that cleaning measures are essential to protecting medical staff and patients. She wanted to make sure that the products being used to keep people healthy weren’t also causing damage.

Today, both women are CEOs. And they both run companies that carry products with EPA’s Safer Choice label.

Last Friday, I sat down with Elisa from JOSELI LLC, Mary Anne from Wexford Labs, Inc. and other women CEOs and senior managers from Earth Friendly Products, Grignard Company LLC, Case Medical, Sun Products, Jelmar, LLC, Osprey Biotechnics, and State Industrial Products.

Advancing Safer Chemicals in Products: The Key Role of Purchasing

Download the document.

This report describes the potentially harmful environmental and health impacts associated with some of the chemicals in products commonly used by public agencies and businesses, and how six organizations—Seattle City Light, Oregon Environmental Council, Perkins+Will, Danish retailer Coop, Kaiser Permanente, and the National Institutes of Health — are taking leadership roles to identify and screen out toxic substances in the products they purchase. The report discusses the role that ecolabels play in helping purchasers source safer products, and also the lessons learned from the experiences of these leading organizations who have gone beyond ecolabels.

Among the lessons learned are:

  • Understand and identify the potentially harmful substances in the products your organization is purchasing, and set priorities to phase them out
  • Create a strong toxics reduction policy based on these priorities, and follow up with specifications that will put your policy into action
  • Include a broad range of chemicals and products
  • Engage employees and suppliers in your efforts to ensure that your goals are understood, safer products identified, and there are open channels for feedback
  • Build a broad network that can help you understand changing science and keep up with best practices.

Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Purchasing Products with Safer Chemistries

Wed, Sep 30, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4278701489425281537

There are tens of thousands of chemicals in commerce in the United States, many of which may have a range of negative impacts on health, the environment, and the economy during their lifecycle. It should be a key part of any sustainable purchasing program to understand which of these chemicals could pose hazards in products and services procured, and how to find safer alternatives.

The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, Responsible Purchasing Network, and Green Electronics Council have joined together to present this webinar on steps that public and private institutions can take to purchase products with safer chemistries.

The webinar will cover a new report from the sponsoring organizations on how six leading institutions have taken advanced steps to purchase products with safer chemistries, including how they are engaging with their staff, suppliers, and other stakeholders. The webinar will also identify key steps that can be taken by purchasers who are just starting to look at chemicals in the products they buy, as well as those who are more advanced in doing so, including understanding ecolabels.

Where to Buy a Safe Couch

Read the full post at CityLab.

Recently I wrote about the high rates of cancer among firefighters, which many researchers believe are driven by their exposure to flame retardants and other chemicals in burning furniture.

But it’s not just firefighters’ health that might be threatened by flame retardants, which still lace most furniture and electronics. Even in the absence of a fire, our sofas and TVs are constantly sloughing off these chemicals, which some studies link to thyroid and other endocrine problems.


SC Johnson makes steady progress on improving its ingredients list

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The idea is to lower the impact of its cleaning and household products on the environment and on human health.

This Company Does Something Cool With Something Most of Us Recycle

Read the full story in HuffPost Green.

Most of us see old milk jugs as something for the recycle bin (or, in the case of one blogger, the makings of a D.I.Y. Storm Trooper helmet). But for toy maker Green Toys, the plastic jugs become the start of something fun: toys.

Green Toys’ line — which ranges from kitchen sets to vehicles piloted by little bears — is made completely from recycled milk jugs. To date, the company has recycled over 24,000,000 jugs. The plastic that milk jugs are made out of is called high-density polyethylene. Since this type of plastic is used for food storage, it is also safe for children. Green Toys products pass several safety tests, including the FDA regulation for food contact.