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Policy

Group Promotes Use Of Greener Chemicals

by Cheryl Hogue
November 3, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 44

Executives from the electronics, health care, retail, and building sectors are joining with health and environmental advocates to promote the development and use of safer chemicals. On Oct. 29, the Business-NGO Working Group for Safer Chemicals & Sustainable Materials unveiled principles designed to encourage chemical producers to supply compounds with low to no toxicity and which degrade into innocuous substances. The principles call for manufacturers to identify the chemicals that are used to make or are contained in a product and for buyers to request chemical data from their suppliers. In addition, they call for manufacturers to determine the hazards of substances in their products; use chemicals with inherently low hazard potential; and target persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic compounds for elimination. Roger McFadden, vice president of product science and technology for Corporate Express, an arm of office products retailer Staples, explains that the principles “mark a significant step toward incorporating green chemistry into consumer goods.”

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