Moving towards safer alternatives

News

The News section as well as the Newsletter will be provided in English. The News articles can be sorted by four categories: SUBSPORT Project News, Events & Training, Legislation and Publications & Tools. A click on a category name in red directly below the title of an article generates a compilation of articles in this category. Publications that are available as pdf documents can be downloaded from the SUBSPORT archive. To ensure that the document is up to date, please use the links to the original websites.

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BizNGO – New “Guide to Safer Chemicals”

The Guide to Safer Chemicals was released on 3 December 2012. BizNGO is a collaboration of leaders from businesses, environmental organizations, government agencies, and universities. Their mission is to promote the creation and adoption of safer chemicals and sustainable materials.  The BizNGO Guide to Safer Chemicals—is a unique resource for downstream users of chemicals. It is a hands-on-guide that charts pathways to safer chemicals in products and supply chains for brand name companies, product manufacturers, architects and designers, retailers, and health care organisations. SUBSPORT is mentioned in the guide as a publicly available source of alternatives.  The guide also refers to a SUBSPORT case story on substitution of broiminated flame retardants (HP).

Go to www.bizngo.org or to  the report

Electronic companies once again rated by Greenpeace – now including SUBSPORT case stories

Greenpeace has published the 18th edition of their Guide to Greener Electronics, evaluating leading consumer electronics companies based on their environmental commitment and progress.
In this edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics, Greenpeace has included the sharing of substitution case stories in the SUBSPORT case story database as a way of gaining points.

“Top marks are only given to those companies who also publicly advocate for the use of alternatives to hazardous substances, for example, by providing case studies on the process of substituting these substances (…) with safer alternatives,” states Greenpeace.

So far HP and Dell are the companies who have gained points for submitting their case stories to SUBSPORT. HP describes how they have evaluated, and now use, alternatives to brominated flame retardants. Dell describes elimination of mercury in displays.

“Information on available and functioning alternatives is often identified as one of the main barriers to the phase-out of hazardous substances. Therefore, sharing such knowledge among companies is crucial. These two companies have put effort into describing their substitution work for the benefit of others, and I am pleased to see that they have now also been ‘rewarded’ for this in the Greenpeace ranking”, comments Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist.

The Greenpeace guide scores companies on overall policies and practices, not on specific products, and is intended to provide consumers with a snapshot of the sustainability of the biggest names in the electronics industry.

Go to the Guide to Greener Electronics and to the Ranking Criteria

If you would like to share your experiences in substituting hazardous substances with safer alternatives, contact us at info@subsport.eu or use the entry form

The Danish Consumer Council and the Danish Ecological Council in cooperation with DTU Environment launches Nanodatabase in English

Publications & Tools | 30.11.2012

Nanomaterials are used in ordinary consumer products such as cosmetics, clothes and dietary supplements, but no one has a clear overview of where the nanomaterials are used or in which quantities. The Danish Consumer Council and the Danish Ecological Council has in cooperation with DTU Environment developed a database, which help consumers identify more than 1,200 products that may contain nanomaterials. The Nanodatabase gives consumers a choice.

Go to: http://nano.taenk.dk/

Norwegian study links phthalate metabolites to childhood asthma

Publications & Tools | 28.11.2012

High-molecular weight phthalates in indoor dust have been associated with asthma in children, but few studies have evaluated phthalate biomarkers in association with respiratory outcomes. Norwegian scientist could associate current asthma in children with urinary concentrations of breakdown products of common phthalates, following a study of over 600 ten-year old Norwegian children. But the authors remain caution to the result of this study due to the cross-sectional design and the short half-life of the phthalate metabolites.

Go to: ehp.niehs.nih.gov

Updated Guidance on the Application of the CLP Criteria

Publications & Tools | 27.11.2012

The European Chemicals Agency has published on its website an update of the Guidance on the Application of the CLP Criteria related to health hazards following the conclusion of a consultation process.
The updated guidance provides:

  • Guidance on the setting of lower and higher specific concentration limits (SCLs) for the following four health hazard classes: skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation, reproductive toxicity and specific target organ toxicity – single exposure (STOT-SE).
  • Relevant background information on setting SCLs for the reproductive toxicity hazard class based on potency considerations included in the new Annex “Annex VI

Go to: http://echa.europa.eu

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons – harmful to the environment – toxic – inevitable?

Publications & Tools | 26.11.2012

Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has published a briefing paper on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons – harmful to the environment – toxic – inevitable?”. It includes information about risk and hazards of PAH as well as tips for private households to reduce PAH emissions.

Go to the report (German): www.umweltdaten.de

Cefic Guidance on Specific Environmental Release Categories (SPERCs)

Publications & Tools | 22.11.2012

The guidance is issued by the Cefic Exposure Scenario Task Force, which provided the project lead for the SpERC-project. The SpERCs  (Specific Environmental Release Categories) have been developed by the industry to comply with the REACH requirements for ERC (Environmental Release Categories) but with realistic data and assumption for a particular use. This document outlines the concepts behind the SpERCs and presents the terminology used in conjunction with the SpERCs (Section 1). In Section 2 the concept of emission assessment under REACH is addressed in order to provide the necessary background information. Section 3 explains the SpERC factsheet, in which the full set of SpERC information is documented. It also outlines the relation of SpERCs with CHESAR (CHEmical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool).

Go to: www.cefic.org

Marks & Spencer to eliminate hazardous chemicals from clothing

Publications & Tools | 20.11.2012

On 24 October 2012, fashion retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has made a breakthrough commitment  to eliminate all releases of hazardous chemicals throughout their entire supply chain and products by 2020, in response to the Greenpeace “Detox” campaign. The commitments relate to the safe use of chemicals in textile production. They are now part of the M&S approach to managing chemicals in its supply chain and will support its existing Environmental & Chemical Policy (ECP) – the environmental standards that all dyehouses have to meet in order to work with M&S suppliers.

Go to: www.greenpeace.org or to M&C environmental and chemical policy

Greenpeace calls for ban on PFCs in outdoor clothing

Publications & Tools | 20.11.2012

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace is calling on the outdoor clothing industry to ban perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) from production after tests found the toxins in a number of leading brands. Outdoor clothing brands are selling women’s and children’s clothes with perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and other hazardous chemicals, according to findings from two independent laboratories commissioned by Greenpeace Germany. Greenpeace is now urging the outdoor clothing industry to ban PFCs from production and to speed the development of fluorine-free alternatives.

Go to: http://fashionsnoops360.com or to the report (German)

Webinar: Guidance for the production and use of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and related chemicals

Events & Training | 15.11.2012

The Stockholm Convention Secretariat is hosting a web-based seminar on  BAT (best available techniques) & BEP (best environmental practice)  for the use of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) and related chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention on POPs. PFOS is a fully fluorinated anionic substance, which is commonly used as a salt in some applications or incorporated into larger polymers. PFOS and its closely related compounds, which may contain PFOS impurities or substances that can result in PFOS, are members of the large family of perfluoroalkyl sulphonate (PFAS) substances. A guidance on BAT and BEP for the production and use PFOS and related chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention has been developed to assist Parties in developing strategies for applying those techniques and practices and for implementing the recommendations of the COP on risk reduction for PFOS.

The webinar takes 1 hour and will be held on
Thursday, 6. December 2012, at 4 pm, (GMT +1:00)

Go to: Stockholm Convention 

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