Inside the Australian home can be a health hazard with a range of unsuspecting products hiding toxic ingredients that are risky for families (even unborn babies) to live with, but a radical new certification tool for delving into product toxicity, designed by Global GreenTag International, is set to finally expose and disclose these hazards to help consumers make healthier buying decisions.
Called a Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ the new certification tool will be the first of its kind in the world. The tool was launched today in Sydney at Total Facilities 2017 by David Baggs, CEO and Technical Director of GreenTag who told a packed industry audience:
“A product health declaration of this level is a radical entry into the market but it is very necessary. We have known for a long time from studies that negative human health issues are connected to product toxicity, causing skin irritations, allergies, reproductive and endocrine defects, cancer and other illnesses. Unfortunately, there are personal care, cleaning and even building and interiors products still being sold that hide toxins and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, BPA and banned Phthalates in composite wood panels, packaging or fabrics, or solvents from wood lacquers, which have a disproportionately high impact on small children and can even have significant affects on babies while they are still in the womb.”
The PhD health tool will demand of manufacturers a 100 percent transparency to 100 parts per million of any product’s individual ingredients’ toxicity information to make a PhD HEALTH certification rating. The good news is, GreenTag announced, a number of progressive manufacturers in Australia and Europe have already signed up.
For professional users, the GreenTag PhD tool will also work hand in hand with building rating platforms, including Green Star®, WELL®, LEED®, Living Building Challenge® and BREEAM® and industry delegates welcomed the tool as a positive boost for building professionals who need critical and transparent specification information to reduce risks in designing for healthy interiors, and workplace efficiency.
Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation at the Green Building Council of Australia said:
“When most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, there is a huge potential for our buildings – and the products within them – to positively influence the health and wellbeing of occupants. We support innovative approaches, like the PhD Product Health Declaration, that can accelerate market transformation.”
Global GreenTag’s job is to assess the toxicity of products against the classification and labelling of chemicals under the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) originally developed by the United Nations. Three categories of hazards are assessed and organised as to how they can affect human health and also environmental health.
Behind the development of GreenTag’s latest certification process – the Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ – are a number of third party studies that link product health with human health. The most recent evidence which addresses product toxicity and impacts on human health were highlighted in a study from the US, released in 2016, in which dust studies were conducted for their window into chemicals present in a range of typical indoor scenarios, particularly residential.
The study published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) found a concerning combination of chemicals present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways.
The study found:
- Nine general hazard traits associated with 35 chemicals that were both included in the intake assessment and were listed under the Safer Consumer Products Candidate Chemical Listings.
The study identified:
- Exposure to one or more of these chemical classes has been associated with adverse health effects including reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, cognitive and behavioral impairment in children, cancer, asthma, immune dysfunction, and chronic disease.
The study called for:
- A full understanding of these household level drivers of high exposure is critical to the development of mitigation strategies including regulatory interventions.
GreenTag’s product assessment procedures for Australia, which now includes the Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ are aligned to the new GHS system, from January 1st, 2017, which also applies to all workplace hazardous chemicals in NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS, NT and Commonwealth systems under the GHS and the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations and their Hazardous Substances Information System.
Within this scope, GreenTag’s assessment procedures address risk of hazards pertaining to human health, such as carcinogenicity, also risks to the environment, such as toxic release to waterways and of course physical hazards – a pertinent category, especially in light of the urgent need in recent years in the Australian building industry that has seen a number of fire outbreaks, due in part to flammability in the chemical components in sub-par and uncertified materials.
For more information or to speak further with David Baggs, please contact Debra Robertson, firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone 1300 263 586 | +61 7 3399 9686