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Design for the Environment Program. Overview April 6 th , 2005. Overview. DfE’s Unique “License to Operate” Past Success and Lasting Change Current Focus and Potential for Success. DfE Projects have touched more than 200,000 business facilities and approximately 2 million workers.

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design for the environment program

Design for the Environment Program


April 6th, 2005

  • DfE’s Unique “License to Operate”
  • Past Success and Lasting Change
  • Current Focus and Potential for Success

DfE Projects have touched more than 200,000 business facilities and approximately 2 million workers.

dfe s unique license to operate
DfE’s Unique License to Operate

DfE’s value to industry and our unique “license to operate” come from applying the technical tools, models and expertise that OPPT has developed through reviewing thousands of new chemicals under TSCA.

example from the drycleaning industry
Example from the Drycleaning Industry
  • The DfE Garment Care Partnership
    • Encouraged the use of environmentally preferable cleaning methods and
    • Promoted technology and best practices for drycleaning with perchloroethylene
  • Industry Perc. Use

has Decreased


    • DfE contributed to the reduction
examples from the electronics industry
Examples from the Electronics Industry

DfE aided U.S. manufacturers to promote competitiveness and environmentally friendly manufacture

  • DfE Printed Wiring Board (PWB) Partnerships -- Examined cost, performance and environmental profile
    • Surface Finishes – comparison of lead and non-lead methods
      • Reduction in lead use was estimated to be 2 million pounds per year over the first 3 years
    • Making Holes Conductive
      • Benefits include:
        • 240,000 lbs. per year decrease in formaldehyde use
        • 400 million gallons of water saved per year
        • 15 billion BTUs of energy saved per year
lead free solder partnership life cycle assessment
Lead-Free Solder Partnership Life-Cycle Assessment
  • The U.S. electronics industry is moving away from lead solder
    • E.U. will ban lead in electronics by 2006
    • Industry approached DfE based on past relationship
    • Partnership will help U.S. Industry adopt lead-free alternatives and maintain international competitiveness
  • Tin-lead and three alternatives
  • Significant potential for improvement

– Annual lead solder use in electronics

estimated at 176 million pounds

  • Draft results in Spring 2005
furniture flame retardancy partnership
Furniture Flame Retardancy Partnership
  • Collaboration between DfE, chemical and furniture manufacturers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and NGOs.
  • Inform and influence the selection of flame retardants for foam
    • Predominant flame retardant being phased-out by the end of 2004.
    • Need for fire safety will likely increase based on planned national standards.
    • Decision-making for alternatives to a 15.7 million pound per year chemical.
    • Environmental and human health data paired with industry performance data.
  • Longer-term
    • Develop health and safety data needed to adequately risk characterization
    • Flame retardants in all furniture components – continued role for partnership
    • Targeted DfE Innovation Challenge – for chemical and non-chemical solutions
DfE FormulatorPartners with Chemical Product Manufacturers to Improve Health and Environmental Profile of Products

DfE Review

  • Considers Every Formulation Ingredient
  • Prepares Health and Environmental Profile

(Existing Data, Estimation Models, Chemical Expertise)

  • Situates Chemical on Continuum

of Improvement

  • Recommends Safer Substitutes

Continuum of Improvement

Formula Ingredient by Use Class



Of Concern

Characteristics of Sustainable Ingredient

Characteristics of Improved Ingredient

Characteristics of Ingredient of Concern

dfe formulator partnerships
DfE Formulator Partnerships
  • Offer Companies Access to EPA Expertise, Advice and Recognition
  • Yield Measures of Environmental Benefit
    • Partnerships have reduced the use of

millions of pounds of chemicals of


    • More than 60 recognized products in

the following sectors:

Industrial/Institutional Cleaners and

Laundry Detergents, Holding Tank

Treatments/Deodorizers, and

Industrial Coatings

asthma reduction strategy

Foam Producer

Total Air Diisocyanate Releases: 22,306 lbs

Nearest School: 0.6 miles

Nearest Hospital: 1.2 miles


Asthma Reduction Strategy
  • Background:
    • Diisocyanates - leading cause of occupational asthma
    • Linked to asthma in children near foam facilities
    • Ranked among the most toxic risk-screening (RSEI) chemicals
    • Most Significant Uses
      • Foam manufacture uses 69% of 2.2 billion pounds of diisocyanates produced annually
      • Auto Refinish is most dispersive use
  • DfE’s Role:
    • Leverage the successful auto refinish

partnership best practices approach

    • Develop best practices for flexible foam
    • Identifying hybrid isocyanate-free polyurethanes
asthma reduction strategy cont
Asthma Reduction Strategy (cont.)
  • Project Planning for Flexible Foam:
    • Evaluate process efficiencies and best practices
      • Identify incentives and cost/benefits
      • Partner with foam facilities and conduct pilot to measure results
    • Promote safer chemicals and processes
      • Measure reduction in emissions and impact on asthma reduction in community and workplace
  • Project Planning for Auto Refinish:
    • Work with stakeholders to develop a plan to leverage best practices
asthma reduction strategy cont1
Asthma Reduction Strategy (cont.)
  • Potential Benefits:
    • Industry partnership and commitment to continuous improvement
    • Cost savings, reduced emissions in plants and neighborhood
      • Foam facilities: >331,000 lbs diisocyanates and 22 million lbs of other toxic air emissions reported
      • Auto refinish: > 50,000 shops around the country with potential worker and community exposure to automotive paint overspray
  • Stakeholders:
    • Polyurethane foam manufacturers, chemical manufacturers, paint formulators, trade associations, raw material suppliers, ATSDR/CDC, local government and communities
  • Collaborate broadly;
  • Leverage OPPT technical tools and expertise;
  • Help businesses weigh environmental considerations; and
  • Focus on opportunities for lasting change.