Safe Chemistry

ACC Members Contributions to Safe Chemistry

Afton Initiative Enhances Transparency for Product Hazard Communications

Sustainability Challenge:

Manufacturers that use chemical products often need comprehensive information on hazards and risks so that they can use chemicals safely.

Chemistry Solution:

Afton Chemical undertook a comprehensive review of hazard data for its products to enhance transparency for product safety information.

Sustainability Benefit:

By transparently providing hazard information and environmental, health and safety data for the products it manufactures, Afton’s customers can more fully assess risks and understand how to use its products safely.

Afton Chemical Corporation develops petroleum additives, including engine oil, fuel and lubricant additives that have led to advancements in fuel economy, engine cleanliness and emissions reduction.

Beginning in 2016, Afton launched a three-year initiative to overhaul its hazard communication data and associated databases for all of the products it manufactures, with a goal of providing customers, emergency responders, employees and other stakeholders access to current, robust product safety information on its products.

Drum-Afton Chemical

Afton undertook an extensive review of the classification, toxicology, ecotoxicology and regulatory information used to support product hazard classifications. The initiative had several goals, among the most important being data integrity and transparency of information on hazard communication documents, including Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and product labels. Additionally, this project improved process efficiency, reduced SDS cycle time, and significantly reduced SDS error rate.

Afton reviewed environmental, health and safety (EHS) information on more than 1,000 chemical substances to identify potential data gaps for any relevant missing hazard information. As part of this review, Afton assessed current claims of confidentiality, or CBI, for its chemical substances, in order to claim CBI for only business-critical chemicals. This review resulted in the release of CBI claims for a large number of chemicals. The exact chemical identity now appears on the SDS so that there is a clear, transparent connection between the hazard information and chemicals present in Afton’s products.

The majority of Afton’s products are formulated into the customer’s finished products. Afton has used direct feedback from its largest global customers to assess the benefits of this initiative. Feedback from customers has been positive.

FMC’s Product Assessment Tool Provides a Comprehensive, Transparent Way to Evaluate Product Sustainability

Sustainability Challenge:

A growing global population depends on safe and environmentally sustainable products to increase the world food supply and food security.

Chemistry Solution:

FMC’s Product Stewardship and Sustainability Assessment Tool enables the company to evaluate products throughout their life cycle with a focus on enhancing sustainability and reducing its environmental footprint.

Sustainability Benefit:

By continually evaluating ingredients and sharing information, FMC is enhancing the safe and sustainable use of agricultural products.

With the global population expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, it is vital to develop tools and strategies to safely feed people all around the world. FMC develops agricultural products used to control pests such as insects, weeds, bacteria, mold and fungi in global food production.


In order to meet the needs of growers for pest control options that are safe and sustainable, FMC developed its Product Stewardship and Sustainability Assessment Tool (PSSA) to assess and determine the sustainability of its active ingredients and products, from initial concept through each stage of development.

The PSSA compares an active ingredient or formulated product to a benchmark active ingredient or product to determine a “sustainability matrix value,” based on stewardship and sustainability questions that consider the overall lifecycle of the product, including product hazards and environmental and human exposure.

Having committed 80 percent of its research and development budget to developing sustainable products by 2020, FMC uses this tool as part of its R&D process for new active ingredients, as well as to evaluate products currently on the market. This assessment, along with other stewardship processes and tools, helps ensure the introduction and continued use of environmentally sustainable agricultural solutions.

Furthermore, FMC evaluates the effectiveness of the PSSA annually to make sure the questions are clear, relevant and effective and that the benchmark of active ingredients and formulated products used for comparison are still relevant, with the goal of continually improving crop protection products in terms of worker/applicator safety, crop yields, process chemistry and environmental footprint.

In 2017, FMC completed a full analysis of its product portfolio to determine which ones may be classified as Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs), based on the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization criteria. After results indicated four active ingredients and several inert ingredients would be classified as HHPs, FMC determined it will phase out these active ingredients as it develops newer chemistries.

The PSSA incorporates local use risk assessments to evaluate if label instructions and guidance on use of personal protective equipment are adequate to mitigate risk from products containing these active ingredients. Further, FMC is undertaking an inert ingredient replacement program to help determine that no inert ingredients classified as HHPs will be used in future product formulations and has signed CropLife International’s declaration to not develop any future HHPs.

BASF’s Approach for Assessing Safety of Chemical Products

Sustainability Challenge:

Consumers want to know that chemical ingredients in the products they use are safe.

Chemistry Solution:

BASF applies a comprehensive approach to assess the safety and overall sustainability of the more than 60,000 chemistry products it manufactures.

Sustainability Benefit:

By undertaking a thorough sustainability and safety assessment for all of its products, BASF can accelerate development of sustainable products and technologies.

Consumers and other stakeholders are increasingly seeking detailed safety and sustainability information about chemical ingredients in the products they use every day.

To meet this demand, BASF applies its Product Stewardship Worldwide efforts and “ Sustainable Solution Steering” methodology to assess the safety and sustainability of all of its products, based on their specific applications.


BASF undertakes a transparent, consistent sustainability performance evaluation of the more than 60,000 products in its portfolio, to holistically evaluate the environmental, economic and social aspects of those products over their entire lifecycle. Company researchers and scientists review the safety of BASF products, from research and development, through production, customers’ use, all the way through end of life recycling, recovery or disposal.

This safety assessment includes an evaluation of the intended use of the substance and the extent to which people come into contact with a chemical ingredient in a product, for how long and in what amount. BASF has set a public target to review the safety assessments of all of the products sold worldwide in volumes great than one ton by 2020.

BASF provides safety information about the products it manufactures around the globe, through a comprehensive global product database that includes detailed safety data sheets for all of the products the company manufactures. BASF also maintains an extensive internal expert network to support the safe handling and use of their products along the supply chain.

Responsible Care® Product Safety Code: A Commitment to Chemical Safety

Sustainability Challenge:

Consumers have questions about the safety of chemicals in the products they use every day.

Chemistry Solution:

Chemists at ACC member companies evaluate chemical products for safety and environmental impacts, and adjust uses and formulations based on the latest scientific findings.

Sustainability Benefit:

Consumers can have greater confidence in the products they use each day.

While more than a dozen federal laws regulate the safe use of chemicals, Responsible Care® is the chemical industry’s commitment to go above and beyond these requirements, to use and manage chemical materials safely and responsibly.

As an industry, we are responsible for the health and environmental impacts of our chemical products. We proactively work with customers and suppliers to understand how they use our products, in order to protect workers, consumers and the environment.

The Responsible Care® Product Safety Code is a comprehensive set of practices that all ACC members must follow to safely manage the products they manufacture.

To meet this commitment, ACC member companies must:

  • Assess the public health and environmental impacts of chemical products and how consumers will use them.
  • Provide plain-language information about chemicals so consumers can make informed decisions about the products they purchase.
  • Identify and evaluate new information, such as if a chemical is used in a new application, or by a new customer, or in a larger than typical amount.
  • Adjust and modify chemical formulations based on the latest scientific findings to address chemical product safety, environmental or efficacy issues that may arise.
  • Screen prospective customers for their ability to properly store, process and use chemicals.

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