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12/7/2015 Mark Rossi GreenBiz

A 10-year checkup on the quest to detox commercial products

In the last 50 years, manmade chemicals have made their way into almost every industrial and manufacturing process-basically every commercial product.

Synthetic chemicals have become the foundation of our society, and the United States alone produces and imports tens of billions of pounds of chemicals every single day. It’s a staggering amount, and it’s expected to double in the next two decades.

The law that regulates this massive amount of chemicals is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed in 1976. Since then, our chemical use has grown along with our understanding of the risks. Yet the law has remained untouched.

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This isn’t groundbreaking news. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been fighting for change for decades. And businesses have been shifting toward safer chemicals simply because it’s better for the bottom line by meeting customer demands and reducing liabilities.

What if they worked together?

Ten years ago, Clean Production Action looked across the landscape of business leaders moving to safer chemicals, along with the NGOs orchestrating campaigns promoting the same goal. We saw many synergies, so we brought them together to see if indeed there was common ground.

BizNGO was born out of this 2005 meeting – a first-of-its-kind collaboration of businesses and environmental groups working together for safer chemicals and sustainable materials.

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