Getting chemicals out of health care settings, with a little help

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The Hippocratic Oath declares that disease should be prevented whenever possible because prevention is preferable to cure.

Furthering this oath, the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI), a program involving more than 1,300 hospitals and health care centers in the United States and Canada, has developed a safer chemicals program as part of its broader sustainability mission.

U.S. health care spending accounted for nearly 18 percent of GDP in 2014. The health care sector’s immense purchasing power is effectively tipping the marketplace in favor of suppliers adopting safer chemicals policies and practices.

Good News for our Health at Home: Safety Sells

Read the full post on the EPA Blog.

Last spring, EPA unveiled a new label to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use at home.

Today, hundreds of products with the Safer Choice label are on store shelves at major retailers in all 50 states. We’re starting with household cleaners and laundry detergents, and will soon expand the label to a wider range of other cleaners, car and yard-care products, and do-it-yourself items like coatings and adhesives.

Spring Cleaning? National Library of Medicine Household Products Database can help

Spring cleaning?

The Environmental Protection Agency ranks indoor air pollution among the top environmental dangers.

Common cleaning products can contribute to this problem. Immediate effects of exposure to indoor pollutants can include headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, as well as irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and exacerbated symptoms of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Learn what’s in these products, their potential health effects, and about safety and handling with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Household Products Database (HPD).

HPD links over 15,000 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 questions:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brand?
  • 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 chemical information is available from the National Library of Medicine?

Explore the Household Products Database at http://hpd.nlm.nih.gov/.

Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards application deadline is January 29

Call for Applications: 2016 Award Cycle Now Open

2015 Partner of the Year Award Winners

Awards were presented at the Partner of the Year Awards Ceremony on June 22nd, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Read more about the 2015 Award Winners.

The second annual Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards recognize program participants for advancing the goal of chemical safety through exemplary participation in or promotion of the Safer Choice Program. Please apply by January 29, 2016 to be considered. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony in late spring of 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Safer Choice Program participants are continually driving innovation to make chemical products safer. Our program currently labels more than 2,000 products, used by consumers, institutions and industry, that meet our Safer Choice Standard.

Award Categories

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

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

Within these categories, we may give additional awards in the subcategories of “small business” and “sustained excellence.”

You may apply in more than one award category, but must complete individual application packages for each.

Eligibility

Any current or past program participants in the Safer Choice Program are eligible to apply for the awards. Candidates must complete the application form(s) and have it signed by an appropriate company or organization official (e.g., CEO, vice president for governmental affairs, division head, or other authorized signatory).

How to Apply

Complete and submit the application materials by January 29, 2016. The application may be submitted via email to SaferChoice_Support@abtassoc.com. Supplemental documents (e.g., photos, pamphlets, advertisement videos, audio files) may be sent with your application as PDF files (each file must be less than 12 MB). Please refer to the application materials for instructions on how to submit paper copies.

Selection Criteria

For the 2016 awards, we will recognize program participants who have demonstrated leadership in:

  • furthering safer chemistry and products throughout the past year; and
  • promoting the new Safer Choice label.

Program participants that submit complete applications will be evaluated against the following five criteria:

  1. Participation in the Safer Choice Program
  2. Use of the Safer Choice label
  3. Promotion and use of products using the Safer Choice label
  4. Outreach and education on the Safer Choice Program to consumers and end-users
  5. Innovations in safer chemistry and other efforts to advance the Safer Choice Program

Responses will be weighted and points assigned based on the applicant/award category.

What’s holding green products back?

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

This article originally was published in the Fall ’15 issue of Trim Tab, the International Living Future Institute’s magazine for transformational people and design.

The sustainable products industry has garnered new traction recently, as more companies adopt sustainable practices in their operations and in the design of their products.

It is encouraging to see this surge in the movement toward a more sustainable manufacturing industry. People such as Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, and John Warner, one of the founders of the green chemistry field, have participated in this movement since its inception and have been integral to its growth.

Transforming the materials economy is a tall order. It is critical to focus on the creation of truly sustainable goods using both short-term and long-term thinking.

The gradual improvement of products to be better than their predecessors is an important step — a multitude of products in the marketplace simply need to be less carcinogenic.

And there is a growing demand on businesses to work toward long-term systemic change in both their internal processes and product design. Simultaneously focusing on both approaches will lend itself to a sustainable products industry.

Trim Tab talked with Jeffrey Hollender and John Warner about how business and green chemistry are using both approaches to change the manufacturing industry, and how the sustainable products industry effectively can address the social and environmental challenges we face.

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.