Baltimore, Maryland – The Lautenberg reform of the US Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA) gives the polyurethane industry a chance to become more innovative, said Tom Feige, global strategy director at Dow Chemical and chair of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) steering committee.
The TSCA was passed in the early 1970s and was the US’ primary chemicals management law until it was updated by the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.
“It somewhat levels the playing fields around expectations, the methods and procedures while evaluating products. The toughest thing in any business is working in an environment of uncertainty. If you have that uncertainty, people will be less willing to invest or innovate,” Feige said in an interview with UTECH-polyurethane.com.
He added that reforming the TSCA “may allow us as an industry to become more innovative, a bit more willing to go and do things.”
Feige continued that the CPI is the lead organisation for polyurethanes in North America and “we need to lead… to be proactive in our advocacy of the industry.” He said that means talking to regulators, addressing industry concerns, and “highlighting the positive things were doing to benefit society”.
“We have been able to reach out to end-users, and consumers in their homes through our versatile durable incredible polyurethane campaign. We decided to be positive and explain the roles that polyurethane plays in people’s lives by putting it in a context that people can relate to.
“If you are talking about a chemical or an isocyanate; unless you’re a chemist or someone with a technical background and you hear a word like isocyanate it may conjure up things that may not be good. But when you put it in the context of this is what makes our running shoes better; our cars safer; our homes more energy efficient; or our sleep better, people may start to think differently about this product area,” he added.