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ACI Calls for Coordination Of Green Chemistry Guidelines

March 11, 2011

ACI Calls for Coordination Of Green Chemistry Guidelines

ACI Calls for Coordination Of Green Chemistry Guidelines

• There is no apparent coordination between California agencies that are charged with publishing rules affecting chemicals in commerce, which would result in confusion among stakeholders and the public and likely duplication of efforts, according to the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), formerly The Soap and Detergent Association.

In a Feb. 15, 2011 document sent to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), ACI offered detailed suggestions on the agency’s proposed regulations that would create a toxics information clearinghouse.

ACI said that OEHHA should coordinate with the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which is charged with issuing rules to create “Safer Consumer Product Alternatives” regulations under the state’s Green Chemistry Initiative.

ACI also questioned OEHHA’s definitions of chemical “hazard traits,” saying there is confusion about these traits throughout the entire package of proposed regulations. Similarly, language attempting to classify certain chemicals’ particular hazard traits are“unnecessary, unauthorized and in some cases duplicative.”

In separate communications, the Green Chemistry Alliance (which counts ACI as a member) expressed concern over the proposed regulation for green chemistry hazard traits.

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SC Johnson Approaches Senate,Calls for TSCA Modernization

• Kelly M. Semrau, senior vice president, global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability for SC Johnson, recently testified on behalf of the company before the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health of the Committee on Environment and Public Works on the need to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

“There is a clear consumer and business case for modernizing TSCA, a statute that has not been modified in more than a generation,” said Semrau. “Chemically-formulated products can be found under nearly every kitchen sink in America, and the chemical management of these products has evolved beyond current regulation.”

Specifically, Semrau focused on four key areas:

• Balancing Transparency: Transparency is imperative, but it has to balance the desire to inform and empower consumers with the need to protect legitimate confidential business information.

• Providing Adequate Use, Exposure and Toxicity Information: Understanding and addressing data gaps and ensuring the EPA has timely, adequate information on chemical hazards, exposures and uses is a critical part of modernization. It means that companies such as SC Johnson would agree to a new reporting responsibility, but Semrau stated this was necessary to properly inform the chemical safety evaluation process.

• Promoting Greener Chemistries: SC Johnson regularly invests in green chemistry, whether through its Greenlist process or the partnership with the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program. Green chemistry is an avenue for motivating the selection of better, safer raw materials and TSCA modernization should promote the transition to more sustainable alternatives.

• Ensuring Adequate Time to Respond to New Requirements: TSCA modernization needs to move ahead, but it is important to ensure that the chemical industry has sufficient time to transform itself and implement the technological and scientific tools needed to modernize TSCA.

“We believe it simply makes good business sense to bring TSCA into the 21st century, while still protecting and enhancing the spirit of innovation that lies at the heart of SC Johnson, the consumer products industry and the U.S. economy,” she concluded.

NAD Rules on Vaseline’sSheer Infusion Body Lotion

• The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has determined that Unilever U.S. can support certain moisture claims for the company’s Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body Lotion (VSI), but recommended that Unilever stopclaims that compare VSI to “leading everyday body lotions.”

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, reviewed claims made for VSI in broadcast, print and internet advertising following a challenge by Johnson & Johnson. It noted in its decision that Unilever has the initial burden of presenting a reasonable basis for its claims. If NAD finds that a reasonable basis exists, the burden shifts to the challenger to show that the advertiser’s evidence is fatally flawed, according to the bureau.

In this case, Unilever relied upon multiple studies and measurements of the presence of moisture—made primarily by the Skicon 200EX—as support for comparative claims that referenced “superior moisture” or “twice the moisture,” NAD determined that the evidence demonstrated that VSI caused a relative change in moisture levels twice that of the competing products and found the claims supported. However, NAD recommended that Unilever modify the product’s advertising.