Green products

EPA Increases Access to Chemical Information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted additional data and added new functions to ChemView, EPA’s publicly-accessible, one-stop online tool to find information for chemicals regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

“In the absence of TSCA reform, EPA is moving ahead to improve access to chemical health and safety information, and increase the dialogue to help the public choose safer ingredients used in everyday products,” said James Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The additional data along with a customer satisfaction survey will make chemical information more readily available for decision-makers and consumers.”

The enhanced data functions include: improving the display and content for the Chemical Data Reporting information, adding a new link that displays the pollution prevention information generated as part of the Toxics Release Inventory program, and launching an administrative tool that will save EPA resources by streamlining the loading of future information.

The updated database now includes the following new information: 244 consent orders, an additional 1,205 Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for new and existing chemicals, 16 additional chemicals with test rule data, and updates to the Safer Chemicals Ingredient List. This is the first time EPA has posted consent orders and new chemical SNURs to ChemView. With these additions, ChemView now contains information on almost 10,000 chemicals.

EPA is also encouraging people to complete a ten minute customer satisfaction survey to help guide future improvements to ChemView. This survey asks about how people use ChemView, the usefulness of the tool, how it can be optimized to help advance chemical safety, and suggestions for additional content and functionality. EPA will use the information from the survey to continuously improve ChemView.

ChemView was launched in 2013 to increase the availability of information on chemicals as part of a commitment to strengthen the existing chemicals program and improve access to and usefulness of chemical data and information. The tool displays key health and safety information and uses data in a format that allows quick understanding, with links to more detailed information. Searches can be conducted by chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Service number, use, hazard effect, or regulatory action and has the flexibility to create tailored views of the information on individual chemicals.

By increasing health and safety information and identifying safer chemical ingredients, manufacturers and retailers will have the information to better differentiate their products by using safer ingredients.

To complete the survey, or to view and search ChemView, visit: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/chemview/index.html

Green Seal at 25: Still looking to make its mark

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Eco-labels remain a key resource for consumers, says Green Seal CEO Arthur Weissman. Sustainability is complex, and labels help consumers make informed decisions, Weissman says. “Asking a consumer to do it in the 20 seconds that they have to make a choice in the aisle with the limited information they have — it’s just totally absurd,” he adds.

 

No Proof EPA Pollution Prevention Program Works as Claimed: Report

Read the full story from Bloomberg BNA.

The Environmental Protection Agency has no proof that a key pollution prevention program has cut U.S. use of hazardous materials as claimed, the agency’s inspector general said in a report.

The EPA Office of the Inspector General also has a podcast, podcast transcript, and at-a-glance report available on the OIG web site.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Resource Update: Household Products Database (HPD) now contains over 14,000 products

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Household Products Database (HPD) now contains over 14,000 products. The latest update includes a new product category “commercial/institutional”. Product manufacturers of the more than 300 products in this category use various descriptions,  including professional grade, professional use, hospital grade and more.

Users can locate products using the new “commercial/institutional” link under “Browse by Category” on the HPD homepage or by entering the category/description terms (e.g. commercial, institutional, professional, hospital) as a Quick Search.

The Household Products Database links over 14,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
  • Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
  • What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?

Information in the Household Products Database is from a variety of publicly available sources including brand-specific labels and Material Safety Data Sheets when available from manufacturers and manufacturers’ web sites.

When Going Green Backfires: How Firm Intentions Shape the Evaluation of Socially Beneficial Product Enhancements

George E. Newman, Margarita Gorlin, and Ravi Dhar. “When Going Green Backfires: How Firm Intentions Shape the Evaluation of Socially Beneficial Product Enhancements.” Journal of Consumer Research: October 2014. Online at http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/677841.
Abstract: Many companies offer products with social benefits that are orthogonal to performance (e.g., green products). The present studies demonstrate that information about a company’s intentions in designing the product plays an import role in consumers’ evaluations. In particular, consumers are less likely to purchase a green product when they perceive that the company intentionally made the product better for the environment compared to when the same environmental benefit occurred as an unintended side effect. This result is explained by consumers’ lay theories about resource allocation: intended (vs. unintended) green enhancements lead consumers to assume that the company diverted resources away from product quality, which in turn drives a reduction in purchase interest. The present studies also identify an important boundary condition based on the type of enhancement and show that the basic intended (vs. unintended) effect generalizes to other types of perceived tradeoffs, such as healthfulness and taste.

9 sustainable solutions you will see in the future

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

For the third year now the international think tank Sustainia has released its “Sustainia100” guide. The idea behind the competition is to identify the 100 most promising sustainability solutions from around the world. With a focus on advocating readily available, financially viable and scalable innovations, Sustainia’s mission is to mature markets for sustainable products and services.