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November 9, 2009

New Initiative to Provide Ingredient Information

While legislation has been introduced in U.S. Congress to mandate labeling schemes for a variety of consumer products, a major initiative is already being implemented that will provide consumers with more information on products and their ingredients.

While Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) have both introduced bills, dubbed “The Household Product Labeling Act,” aimed at household cleaning products and similar items found in the retail sector, the industry insists the bills are unnecessary.

“The cleaning products industry is already well on the way to providing this information to consumers through the Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative, and we don’t believe legislation is needed,” said Douglas Troutman, director of government affairs at The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA).

The Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative is a voluntary program—announced in 2008 by SDA and other industry associations representing cleaning and other consumer products—that will take effect in January 2010.

“The initiative is modeled on labeling systems already in place for food, drugs and cosmetics, and will allow manufacturers to provide ingredient information to consumers in a uniform, meaningful and easy-to-understand way,” added Mr. Troutman.

SDA has unveiled a new consumer fact sheet about the issue. Available at, it provides details on the new industry initiative, information on reading product labels correctly, what changes consumers can expect on product labeling and communications, and reminders about using and disposing of products safely.

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RIFM Adds Two New Members To its Environmental Group

The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) has bulked up its Environmental Adjunct Group. According to RIFM, the addition of new members supports the expert panel’s efforts in furthering RIFM’s commitment to the environmental assessment of fragrance materials and the development of IFRA’s Environmental Standards.

The group will include Michael McLachlan, professor of analytical environmental chemistry at the Institute of Applied Environmental Research at Stockholm University in Sweden, and Professor Beate Escher, deputy director of the National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology at the University of Queensland in Australia. Both professors have expertise in the areas of environmental fate and bioaccumulation.

RIFM’s environmental sciences program encompasses aquatic and terrestrial testing, biodegradation and bioaccumulation studies, and risk assessments of priority fragrance materials, which have been used for agency evaluations and industry REACH compliance. It also helps to improve the understanding of fate and effects of organic chemicals in the environment, as well as contributing to the development of environmental science.

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CSPA Applauds EPAfor Chemical Management Policy

Chris Cathcart, president of the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), released the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s introduction of principles for modernization of the more than 30-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):

“We welcome the Administration’s leadership in the effort to modernize our federal chemical safety law, and to harness the advances in science and technology made over the past three decades. Those modifications will help build public confidence in the federal government’s ability to regulate chemical substances while at the same time foster innovation.

“CSPA last fall established its principles for chemical management that have guided our organization as it evaluates TSCA and identifies needed changes to the law and how those changes may impact a broad range of consumer products. From those principles we formed several working groups to address TSCA modernization. Those groups are addressing several key issues, many of which are in alignment with the principles developed by the Administration, including the pivotal role the downstream users will play in providing EPA with use and exposure data.

“We also support the development of a new safety standard for TSCA and urge that the new standard take into account the intended use of the chemical.

“We continue to urge Administrator Jackson and Congress to establish a stakeholder process to develop the most comprehensive gold standard for chemicals management policy in the world.”

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