As valuable as these products of chemistry are, we also know that chemistry must be used responsibly. Promoting the safe use of the essential products of chemistry is a shared responsibility of manufacturers, the government and those who use or sell chemical products. Manufacturers and government must work together to:
- Develop sound regulations so chemicals are safe for intended use.
- Enhance scientific understanding of chemical safety.
- Produce publicly accessible safety information.
The HPV Challenge Program has made available more safety information on more chemical products in less time than any government initiative.
While we enjoy healthier and longer lives thanks to the many products of chemistry, we also know that chemistry must be used responsibly.
New chemical products in the United States undergo review and evaluation before use, yet much of that information historically had not been readily available to the public.
In cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Defense Fund, chemical makers in 1998 launched the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program to create a public source of health and environmental information on the most widely used chemical products. This program expanded globally in 1998 and was updated in 2005 to include additional chemical products and safety information.
The HPV Challenge Program has efficiently made available safety information about the products of chemistry.
Under the HPV Challenge Program, hundreds of chemical makers volunteered health and environmental information on 2,200 chemical products, representing approximately 95 percent of the commercial market by volume in the United States, to help create a database that is available to the public.
U.S. chemical makers in 2005 added additional high volume chemical products to the HPV initiative and began providing information on chemical product use and exposure (Extended HPV Challenge Program).
EPA can incorporate all safety information submitted to the HPV Challenge Program into the agency’s regulatory activities.
This voluntary initiative demonstrates that collaboration between public and private sectors can be an efficient method of developing safety information to help ensure the safety of the products of chemistry.