Branching Out
After several years sharing space with other AIHA events, the Product Stewardship conference is striking out on its own. From Sept. 10 to 12, Product Stewardship 2019 will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The conference features 44 educational sessions; in addition, two half-day professional development courses on Sept. 9 will address tools for product exposure modeling and the establishment of global product stewardship surveillance. Below, the Synergist editors provide notes on several intriguing sessions at Product Stewardship 2019. For more information about the conference, including the full list of sessions, visit the conference website. OPENING KEYNOTE: ADVANCING PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP BY ACCELERATING SAFER CHEMISTRY Tuesday, Sept. 10, 8:00–9:30 a.m. Joel Tickner, a professor of environmental health at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, will deliver a keynote address about the potential for safer chemistries to reduce risks throughout the product lifecycle. Companies that wish to develop safer chemicals face a number of obstacles, including the potential for unintended consequences from switching to an alternative chemical without thoughtful assessment of the replacement. Tickner is an advocate for “alternatives assessment,” a process for selecting safer alternatives to replace hazardous chemicals with the objective of promoting sustainable production and consumption. “I’m proposing we shift the way we think about the science of toxic chemicals from a risk assessment-based approach to an alternatives- assessment-based one,” he told the Product Stewardship Society’s Full Circle blog. “When we have concerns about a certain chemical, why don’t we spend our scientific and technical resources on finding a better alternative rather than spending years debating how dangerous or safe that chemical might be?” OBESEGENS: WHAT, WHERE, AND WHY? Tuesday, Sept. 10, 1:30–3:00 p.m. The term “obesegens” refers to chemicals that may be partly responsible for increases in obesity by making people more susceptible to weight gain. According to the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, chemicals that may be obesegens include cigarette smoke, flame retardants, phthalates, bisphenol A, some pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls. This session will explore the mechanisms through which scientists hypothesize that these chemicals exert obesogenic effects: by altering the number and size of fat cells, changing hormone levels that regulate appetite and satiety, and interfering with normal metabolism. The session will also consider how these chemicals may be affecting the environment. LVES SINCE LAUTENBERG: HOW TSCA REFORM HAS CHANGED THE LVE PROCESS Tuesday, Sept. 10, 4:00–5:00 p.m. LEARNING TO LIVE WITH REVISED TSCA: NAVIGATING SIGNIFICANT NEW USE RULES (SNURS) Wednesday, Sept. 11, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. This pair of sessions assesses components of the 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which updated and amended the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. The Lautenberg Act introduced changes to EPA’s low-volume exemption process, or LVE, which applies to chemicals manufactured at 10,000 kilograms per year or less, and to Significant New Use Rules, which EPA uses to require manufacturers to notify the agency before chemicals are used in new ways. CONSUMER PRODUCTS: MODELING VS. MEASURING USER EXPOSURES Wednesday, Sept. 11, 9:30–10:30 a.m. This session will discuss considerations for choosing an appropriate model to assess exposures to consumer products, including costs, accuracy, precision, and level of effort. Attendees will learn about the benefits and limitations of currently available consumer product exposure models as well as the potential value added by supplementing models with exposure measurements. For an introduction to product exposure models, read Thomas W. Armstrong’s article “Downstream Modeling” in the September 2017 Synergist. IMPLEMENTING THE REVISED PROP 65 WORKPLACE WARNING RULES FOR CALIFORNIA AND OUT-OF-STATE EMPLOYERS Wednesday, Sept. 11, 9:30–10:30 a.m. FROM 60-DAY NOTICE TO COMPLIANCE: NAVIGATING PROP 65 TESTING AND EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT CHALLENGES Wednesday, Sept. 11, 4:00–5:00 p.m. Originally passed in 1986, Proposition 65, also known as California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was amended in 2018 to require businesses to supply “clear and reasonable” warnings before exposing people to substances that cause cancer or have reproductive toxicity. These two sessions take different approaches to covering Prop 65. The morning session provides a general overview of the new labeling requirements while the afternoon session discusses the technical and logistical challenges of meeting the requirements. MANUFACTURING SITE REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION OF REACH EXPOSURE SCENARIOS Wednesday, Sept. 11, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. SUBSTANCE AUTHORIZATION UNDER REACH: CHALLENGES FOR GLOBAL COMPANIES Wednesday, Sept. 11, 4:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. These sessions explore different aspects of the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals regulation. In the morning session, attendees will learn how to meet requirements in REACH for conducting site risk assessments. The afternoon session will provide an overview of the REACH authorization process and discuss the challenges posed by use of Substances of Very High Concern, or SVHCs.  AN UPDATE ON EUROPEAN POISON CENTERS Tuesday, Sept. 10, 11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EUROPEAN POISON CONTROL—MANAGING THE COMPLEX SUBMISSION UPDATE REQUIREMENTS Thursday, Sept. 12, 8:30–9:30 a.m. In 2017, the European Union adopted legislation known as Annex VIII to its Classification, Labeling and Packaging regulation, or CLP. Annex VIII requires importers and downstream users of hazardous chemical mixtures to provide information about a mixture’s hazards that may be quickly referenced by poison control centers, which handle emergency calls concerning poisoning incidents. The text of Annex VIII notes that poison control centers in the EU reported difficulty identifying the mixture concerned in up to 40 percent of the calls they receive. Annex VIII goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.  At Product Stewardship 2019, the shorter session on Tuesday will provide an overview of Annex VIII while the longer Thursday session will discuss strategies for compliance with the regulation.

The Product Stewardship Society Holds Its First Standalone Conference This Month
European Union: “Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/542” (March 2017).
Full Circle: “Shifting from Risk Assessments to Alternatives Assessments(July 2019). National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences: “Obesegens.”