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Flexo Sustainable : Winter 2008
Criterion HUMAN HEALTH CRITERIA Description Priority Criteria (rated problematic if known or suspected) Carcinogenicity Endocrine Disruption Mutagenicity Teratogenicity Reproductive Toxicity additional Criteria Acute Toxicity Chronic Toxicity Irritation of Skin and Mucous Membranes Sensitization Potential to cause cancer Potential to negatively effect hormone function and impact development Potential to damage DNA Potential to harm fetus Potential to negatively impact reproductive system Potential to cause harm upon initial, short-term exposure Potential to cause harm upon repeated, long-term exposures Potential to irritate eyes, skin, and respiratory system Potential to cause allergic reaction upon exposure to skin or airways Other Any additional characteristic (e.g., flammability, skin penetration potential) relevant to the overall evaluation but not included in the previous criteria clability or compostability of the base materials. Such products are now prepared for recycling or composting within a specific system. The manufacturer should explore various strategies for fully recycling or composting its product, which often requires connections with external partners, such as customers, retailers, recyclers, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Fully closing the loop on these materials requires their safe recovery and reformulation into new products or biodegradation into the soil. To “use current solar income,” the final manufacturing process and suppliers’ manufacturing should be powered by 100-percent renewable energy (e.g., solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass) produced on-site, purchased from a “green” energy producer, or offset with Renewable Energy Certificates (REC). To “celebrate diversity,” manufacturers and their suppliers should ensure they are using as little water as possible and ideally keeping that water within closed loops. In addition, water being released back to the environment after it is used in production should achieve the same water quality measures as it did before it was removed from the environment, to promote ecosystem and watershed health. Social responsibility should guide relationships with workers, local residents, customers, suppliers, the larger business community, the government and other stakeholders, to optimize this side of the product lifecycle. www. f le xomag.com Heavy Metal Content Criterion MATERIAL CLASS CRITERIA Description Organohalogen Content Presence of a carbon – halogen (i.e., chlorine, bromine, or fluorine) bond Presence of a toxic heavy metal (e.g., Antimony, Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Lead, Mercury, Nickel) Criterion ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH CRITERIA Description Fish Toxicity Measure of the acute toxicity to fish (both saltwater and freshwater) Daphnia Toxicity Measure of the acute toxicity to Daphnia (invertebrate aquatic organisms) Algae Toxicity Persistence/ Biodegradation Bioaccumulation Climatic Relevance Other Measure of the acute toxicity to aquatic plants Rate of degradation for a substance in the environment (air, soil, or water) Potential for a substance to accumulate in fatty tissue and magnify up the food chain Measure of the impact a substance has on the climate (e.g., ozone depletion, global warming) Any additional characteristic (e.g., soil organism toxicity, WGK water classification) relevant to the overall evaluation but not included in the previous criteria As one would expect, these improvements may not be achieved easily or quickly. Performance and cost considerations also may prevent preferred solutions from coming into use in the short term, but at least manufacturers are prepared with an ecologically-intelligent solution once other market conditions are met. The cradle-to-cradle goal may take a long time to completely realize for a particular product, but designers, material fabricators and manufacturers should accept the challenge, establish a trajectory toward this ideal, and begin to implement strategies to help them achieve it. Leveraging ecologically intelligent design within and across industries will help create materials and products that define an expanded notion of quality for the company, its stakeholders and the environment. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Steve Bolton is manager of busi- ness development with MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry), Charlottesville, VA. He can be reached at steve@mbdc. com or 434/295-0204, ext. 228. Cradle to CradleSM of MBDC. WINTER 2008 Sustainable FLEXO is a service mark 15