Business and Academic Partnerships for Safer Chemicals
Following the 2010 GC3 Innovators Roundtable, a project group was formed to initiate a project designed to develop and pilot a model for companies and universities to collaboratively evaluate safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. The aim was to develop a collaborative model that will support decision-making for GC3 companies and their supply chain partners. To be successful, the model must yield better and more cost-effective results than those that companies can achieve on their own, through pooling of knowledge and costs for evaluations, as well as facilitating conversations within supply chains that can lead to better overall outcomes.
This model is being developed through a pilot project, focused on identifying and evaluating alternatives to known toxic phthalate plasticizers in PVC & non-PVC wire & cable applications. The original workplan called for an assessment of the relative hazard/safety of the alternatives, as well as evaluations of technical performance and cost.
Highlights of the Plasticizer Pilot Project
The following companies, government agencies and NGOs have been meeting on monthly calls to provide direction and input on the project: BASF, Dow Chemical, Hallstar, Teknor Apex, Dell, EMC, HP, Staples, Washington State Dept. of Ecology, Clean Production Action, and Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center.
The first phase of the project -- the selection and hazard assessment of alternative plasticizers -- has been completed. Nine plasticizers, which were selected by the workgroup, were evaluated by ToxServices using Clean Production Action’s GreenScreen™ Method. Project group members reviewed the Draft GreenScreen™ assessments and provided comments. ToxServices addressed the comments received. The draft assessments and all comments received were posted on a password-protected webpage. The group’s intention is to make the results of these assessments public shortly after the GC3 Roundtable.
The project group has succeeded in demonstrating that collaborative assessments can be done. The group faced and overcame numerous challenges and learned many valuable lessons. Several protocols were developed, such as a process to document and discuss dissenting views on the chemical hazard assessments. The dialogue within our supply chain group created robust, usable results and appears to have yielded more data than might have otherwise been available to an individual company.
Finally, the project has resulted in robust, third party chemical hazard assessments for nine alternative plasticizers for wire and cable, which are of significant interest to suppliers, chemical users and other stakeholders.
Currently, the project group is finalizing a workplan for the 2012/2013 GC3 project year.
For more information or to join the project group, contact Monica Becker.
Upcoming call information, call notes, and working documents are available to
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