Product Safety

U.S. Chemical Regulations

We believe that Americans deserve to have confidence that the government is adequately protecting our health, our children's health and the environment. To boost that confidence, we have called for improvements that will streamline the current federal chemical management system to reflect the latest advancements in science and technology, and to equip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the necessary tools and authority to make informed decisions and enforce them in a timely manner.

ACC supports legislation that would provide:

  • Sufficient levels of EPA funding and authority to expedite science-based decision-making and make well-informed judgments regarding the management of chemicals, including the power to make formal safety assessments on priority chemicals;
  • Increased levels of participation by everyone along the value chain—from manufacturers to retailers—in order to provide robust information sufficient to assess chemical safety;
  • Increased transparency, including requirements that companies explain the need for information to be classified as business confidential and public dissemination of health and safety information; and
  • Establishment of clearly understood scientific principles and protocols to evaluate all chemical research and testing.

For further information on regulations on chemicals in the U.S., please click here.

The business of chemistry is moving beyond government requirements for public access to health and environmental information about chemicals. The products of chemistry are evaluated for safety through a combination of broad governmental authority and progressive voluntary initiatives, such as the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program. Through the HPV Challenge, health and environmental information on thousands of chemical products produced in high volumes has already been made publically available on EPA's database: http://www.epa.gov/chemrtk/.

Safety of Bisphenol-A (BPA)

About BPA

Plastics made with bisphenol A (BPA) contribute safety and convenience to our daily lives because of their durability, clarity and shatter-resistant properties. BPA is extremely important to public health and food safety, helping protect the safety of packaged foods and preserve products from spoilage and contamination. Clear, shatter-resistant food containers made with BPA allow food to be stored safely and visibly; epoxy resins in can linings protect the integrity and safety of food.

BPA Safety

Approved by FDA for safe use in food-contact materials for decades, BPA is one of the most thoroughly tested chemicals in commerce today. The consensus of major government agencies across the world is that BPA is safe as used in food-contact materials. The assessments of scientists informing those bodies is that exposure levels to BPA are many times lower—even 1,000 times lower—than government-set safety levels. The European Food Safety Authority recently examined the science on BPA, including more than 800 studies, and concluded that low doses of BPA are not a risk to human health. In August 2010, Health Canada stated: "the current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and infants."

For more information about BPA, visit http://factsaboutbpa.org/.

Phthalates

Phthalates are a family of compounds whose primary use is to soften vinyl plastic. Phthalates have been thoroughly reviewed by multiple government agencies both here in the United States and abroad and found by those authorities to be safe for their intended uses in consumer products.

ACC is dedicated to the continued safe use of phthalates and supports ongoing research, testing, and review of the health and safety of phthalates to assure they are safe for their intended uses. Phthalates provide many product and consumer benefits.

Phthalates are used in products such as life-saving medical equipment, and as protective coatings on wire and cable. Public health and safety are our highest priorities. Phthalates have been extensively reviewed by multiple regulatory agencies in the U.S. and abroad who have found it safe for use in a wide variety of every day uses.

ACC supports the ongoing reviews of phthalates that are underway at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel (CHAP) process for determining safety standards for phthalates.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) sets specific safety standards on the presence of certain phthalates in toys and child care articles. CPSC has never expressed immediate concerns about phthalates used in toys and child care articles and, therefore, consumers should not be alarmed or concerned that some children's products may still contain phthalates.

Over a decade ago, the industry voluntarily removed some phthalates from teethers, rattles and pacifiers, and as a result, phthalates are NOT expected to be used in any of these products.

For more information about phthalates, visit: http://www.phthalates.org.