Moving away from toxic substances toward safer and cleaner chemicals and products will drive innovation and job creation while also making workplaces and communities safer. By changing the laws that govern the rules of how chemicals in commerce are used, tested and reported on, we can establish a fertile landscape for green and renewable chemistry to create new and exciting alternatives to toxic chemicals. Downstream users can have the confidence of knowing what is in the products they make and sell when meaningful transparency rules are in place.
Using safer chemicals makes sense for our economy, health, and environment. The benefits of reform to businesses are significant and include:
- Leveling the playing field by requiring existing chemicals to meet the same testing requirements as new chemicals. Expanding markets for safer and greener chemicals and products.
- Creating a more predictable regulatory system.
- Reducing the costs and risks associated with managing chemicals in products and across supply chains. Lowering expenses from chemically-induced employee illness and enhancing productivity from improved employee health.
- Identifying chemicals of high concern to human health or the environment.
- Increasing trust among consumers, employees, communities, and investors.
- Improving transparency and communication throughout the supply chain, leading to increased confidence for downstream users.
- Creating a more competitive, innovative and economically sustainable chemical industry in the U.S.
PFAS is a diverse class of chemicals used in a wide range of consumer goods, including cosmetics, cell phones, computers, automobiles, textiles (such as stain- resistant fabrics), paints, adhesives, cookware, and more. There are currently more than 3,000 individual PFASs in the global marketplace.
Cleaning product manufacturers do not have to label ingredients on their products, yet companies in other industries are used to labeling ingredients—and consumers expect it. We call for legislation requiring cleaning product manufacturers to fully disclose the ingredients in their products. Transparency in the marketplace is an essential business value, and will give consumers the information they need to make informed choices.
The Accurate Labels Act (S. 3019 and H.R. 6022) overly restricts disclosures to consumers and provides a poor and constrained definition of “sound science.” Fundamentally, the bill is aimed at preempting state transparency and labeling requirements. At a time when consumers are demanding more transparency about what is in the products they use in the workplace and in their homes, this bill aims to limit their access to this this information. Sign on to tell Congress that these bills are not what consumers want, and not what a transparent and vibrant marketplace should look like.
The Safer Choice program—formerly known as Design for the Environment—is the voluntary labeling program that epitomizes effective collaboration between the government and the private sector. It sends a signal to consumers that products certified under the program meet a higher, safer standard. Upending this safety approach would lead the program into analytical paralysis, creating time delays and cost inefficiencies. This does not make smart business sense. Please help preserve this safer chemicals program.
Leading businesses aim to capture emerging market opportunities by reformulating their products and catalyzing change in their supply chains. These opportunities abound in furnishings and materials used in homes, offices and other environments where people spend time (and invest money). In the “What’s It Made of?” initiative, ASBC is committed, along with its partner, the Sustainable Furnishings Council, to supporting businesses in improving their supply chains, and to helping consumers seeking more environmentally safe furnishings.
Responsible businesses believe ingredient transparency gives their employees and consumers the information they need to make safer, more informed choices about the products they work with and/or bring home to their families. Many of these businesses voluntarily disclose the ingredients in their cosmetics and salon products, while other manufacturers are allowed to keep potentially harmful ingredients a secret. Join other responsible businesses and demand disclosure of fragrance and flavor ingredients to ensure the public health protection of employees and consumers!
Making the Business Case
These reports contain clear and compelling business and economic benefits exist for our policy positions. In fact, most of our policy positions include ones that have been painted by others as bad for business. These documents can be used to help educate policymakers and others about how policies based on sustainable principles can be good for all stakeholders, including the planet.