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Business

Dating site opens for hazard-free chemicals

Environmental group Chemsec seeks to hook up potential sellers and buyers

by Alex Scott
May 24, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 22

The Swedish environmental group ChemSec has introduced the Marketplace, a website linking companies selling alternatives to hazardous chemicals with those seeking to buy them.

Chemical firms can advertise hazard-free products on the site for free. Buyers seeking such chemicals may post requests, also at no cost. The website acts only to introduce parties and does not facilitate transactions.

Credit: Chemsec
Marketplace users can search for providers of substitute chemicals.

Clothing retailer H&M has made the first product request: alternatives to the bisphenol A found in thermal paper for cash register and credit card receipts.

Chemical companies including Chemours, Clariant, Rivertop Renewables, and Valspar have put products on the Marketplace.

Chemours, for example, is offering Zelan R3, a nonfluorinated, 60%- biobased coating for preventing stains on fabrics. “We are excited that ChemSec Marketplace can be a positive place for industry to find sustainable solutions,” says Bob Buck, technical fellow for Chemours.

ChemSec has established requirements for chemicals that may be offered, including a maximum content of 1,000 ppm of any substance recognized by Europe’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals law as being carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic, persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic.

ChemSec says it launched the website to raise the visibility of hazardous chemical substitutes. Other guides exist, “but very few of these show the way forward,” says Anne-Sofie Andersson, the group’s executive director.

ChemSec is a not-for-profit organization. The Marketplace initiative is being funded by the John Merck Fund, a Massachusetts-based charitable organization that aims to spend up to $100 million on human health and environment projects by 2020.

Future versions of the Marketplace will include guides to chemical substitution and further information about safer alternatives.

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