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Chemical Management Solutions for Consumer Products

Stay compliant with global regulations and enhance sustainability through UL’s chemical management services.

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Chemical management is key to protecting final consumers, workers and the environment

People often encounter chemicals in consumer products in their daily lives without realizing it. 

Liquids, gels, pastes and powders are just a few examples. If these kinds of mixtures are not properly formulated or produced, they may pose an even more serious threat to consumers than other types of products due to their more direct and prolonged exposure.

Consumers can be harmed from exposure of hazardous substances in chemical products by:

•    Inhalation
•    Dermal contact
•    Ingestion
•    Eye contact

An effective chemical management program from the concept phase through the finished product phase is also a key tool used to protect workers, communities and the environment from exposure to chemicals.

As the concern over chemical safety in consumer products has risen drastically in the past years, many countries established regulations to restrict toxic chemical substances to protect consumers and the environment.

Benefits of chemical management solutions by UL 

UL’s chemical management services can help untangle the complicated map of regulations across the world and take a more sustainable approach: a good chemical management system is an example of applied sustainability as the intent is to eliminate toxic chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment, from the entire production cycle.

The restriction of toxic substances covers a broad range of consumer product categories available in markets, including but not limited to:

  • Toys and juvenile products
  • Textiles, apparel and footwear
  • Food contact materials
  • Electrical and electronic products
  • Lighting
  • Small appliances
  • Furniture
  • Promotional premiums
  • Cosmetics
  • Packaging materials

In our global, state-of-the-art laboratories, UL’s experts are able to support brands, retailers and manufacturers in verifying their products for various country, state, regional and industry standards, including but not limited to:

  • EU REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 Substances of Very High Concern
  • EU REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 Annex XVII
  • EU RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU and further amendments
  • EU CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 – classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures
  • U.S. State Regulations including CA Prop 65 and Various State Regulations for Chemicals of High Concern to Children
  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
  • U.S. EPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • U.S. EPA and California CA CARB/Montreal Protocols
  • Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)
  • China Measures for the Administration of the Restricted Use of the Hazardous Substances Contained in Electrical and Electronic Products (aka China RoHS)
  • China GB 6675 National safety technical code for toys
  • China GB/T 39498 Guidelines for the use of and control of key chemical substances in consumer product

We can help customers in developing holistic solutions to evaluate critical control points at different production stages. 

Technical services – Equipped with cutting edge laboratories worldwide, we assist retailers, brands and manufacturers in safeguarding their products against hazardous substances through toxicological risk assessment (TRA), labeling review, component evaluation, after shipment surveillance, testing on raw materials, input chemicals and finished product.

Restricted substances list (RSL) support – UL can develop an RSL based on your product list to help you provide safe and quality goods to the market. This helps manage risks related to dangerous chemicals in an end product and is critical for monitoring the chemical legislation in a specific country while maintaining a high level of consumer and brand protection. In addition, it helps to communicate rules related to chemicals to all parties in the supply chain. 

Sustainability solutions – UL endeavors to be a customer-focused partner. We help facilities implement best practices of chemical management, with key elements such as chemical purchase policy and inventory, risk assessment and control, chemical communication including Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and labeling, personal protective equipment, chemical storage, chemical waste and disposal, and consultation to investigate root causes of failures. For the fashion and luxury industry, we also offer a wide portfolio of zero discharge of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) solutions, such as wastewater analysis and official training.

Global regulatory support and testing program development – UL offers solutions for companies willing to understand the impact of global regulations on their products marketed around the world. Our regulatory research team monitors the developments starting from legal drafts to enacted regulations and is maintaining a worldwide regulatory database. We are also active members of several technical working groups (ISO, CEN, ASTM) active in the field of standardization.

Shifting from making a safe product to making a product safely

One of the most effective strategies to manufacture a product safely and responsibly, while reducing chemical risks, is to shift the focus from the finished product (the production output) to the formulations and chemicals used in the manufacturing process (the production input).

Though the compliance of a finished product is a must according to most of the regulations governing restricted substances, the use of safer input chemicals is paramount to make the production sustainable. Proper control of input chemicals helps production comply with legal requirements and can lead to a more protected environment, a safer workplace, and a more sustainable industry with the final goal of eliminating the use of hazardous substances.

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