PPG to use EPA Framework to make safer chemicals

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "PPG to use EPA Framework to make safer chemicals", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 29 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/prt.2000.12929caf.003



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

PPG to use EPA Framework to make safer chemicals

PPG to use EPA Framework to make safer chemicals

Keywords: PPG Industries, Hazardous materials, Health and safety, Environmentally friendly

PPG Industries reports that it is incorporating federal environmental protection agency methodology for assessing environmental and health risks of chemicals in its Gatekeeper process for new product development.

It is thought that this methodology will enable the company to design and manufacture safer products while improving research and development efficiency.

The EPA's Pollution Prevention Framework, sometimes referred to as the P2 Framework, is a series of computer-based models that identify and quantify a chemical's potential for hazard.

These models estimate a chemical's effect in a number of areas, including toxicity to aquatic organisms, environmental fate, cancer-causing potential, and exposure to workers and the general population.

Using this information, PPG can address potential health and environmental issues, as well as opportunities for pollution prevention, at an early stage in the Gatekeeper process. Experts from sales, marketing, technical, purchasing, manufacturing and environment, health and safety disciplines convene at predetermined points in the Gatekeeper process to determine if a product under development meets marketplace requirements, such as economics, performance and environmental effect. No product proceeds to the next stage of development without approval of the Gatekeeper experts.

"Our society as a whole, and our customers in particular, want safer products", said Gerry Gruber, vice president, science and technology. "In its role as regulator, the EPA has accumulated vast quantities of information about chemical structures and their impact on people and the environment. By using the P2 Framework models, we can access the EPA database to design, develop and manufacture safer and more sustainable products."

Gruber said that, for example, researchers can evaluate several raw materials in the design stage and make a selection based in part on data from the P2 Framework. Furthermore, Gruber said the P2 Framework can reduce the amount of costly and often lengthy testing that PPG undertakes to understand the effects of coatings and chemicals in development. As a result, new products can reach the market sooner.

The University of New Hampshire, through a grant from EPA, provided information, training and technical assistance on the P2 Framework to PPG and other chemical manufacturers. This pilot program helped participating companies understand how the P2 Framework can help to design safer products and processes, enabling them to conduct an analysis similar to that done by EPA with each new product submitted for approval.

To verify the accuracy of EPA's database, PPG compared aquatic toxicity data from the P2 Framework models for a series of coatings materials the company developed and manufactures with data from toxicity testing. The findings confirmed that the EPA models provide a reliable method for assessing the product lines for hazards.

"We share a common goal - sustainable development", said Bill Waugh of EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxic Substances. "PPG's efforts show the P2 Framework helps to develop products that are sustainable both environmentally and economically. PPG's efforts are a model for addressing health and environmental concerns early on, not after the fact. Pollution prevention works best when industry and government work together."

Details available from PPG Industries, Inc., Tel: +1 412 434 3046.

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