Greener Chemicals

Manufacturers and regulators can use a new ASTM standard to determine whether the most sustainable chemicals are being used for a wide range of consumer products. The new standard (E3027, Guide for Making Sustainability-Related Chemical Selection Decisions in the Life Cycle of Products) will encourage companies to use "green" chemicals while also ensuring that products work properly and are economically viable.

Michael Schmeida, chairman of ASTM's Committee on Sustainability (E60), notes that the new standard provides guidance on how to perform an analysis of alternative chemicals that is now a regulatory requirement in U.S. states like California. An example is the analysis of flame retardants in children's bedding, an important consumer safety concern. Other products that are being considered for such analysis in California include fishing gear and adhesives.

In addition, Schmeida says there is a need for companies to have a structure to evaluate their products in meeting overall green chemistry goals while ensuring that products also meet other requirements.

"The analysis in the new standard helps set the overall context of how green chemistry tools such as assessment of alternatives and risks can fit into the overall product development scheme within an organization," says Schmeida.

Schmeida notes that while E3027 has now been approved, all interested parties are invited join in working on the continuing evolution of the standard.

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CONTACT Technical Information: Michael Schmeida, Gypsum Association • Medina, Ohio • tel +1.301.277.8686 | ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn • tel +1.610.832.9726 | Upcoming Meeting: April 12-15 • April Committee Week • San Antonio, Texas

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