Jim Jones

Walmart to Help its Customers Save Money, Live Better— with Safer Chemicals

Design for the Environment image

Walmart will now help its customers save money and “live better” with safer chemicals through a recently released and ambitious plan to move toward safer, more sustainable chemistry in products. As the largest retailer in the world, the significance of this action can’t be overstated in its potential to rewrite the basic formulas by which consumer products are designed, manufactured, and marketed in the U.S.

By placing safer chemistry at the heart of their expectations and guidance to product suppliers, and by walking the talk by requiring manufacturer’s of its in-store brands to lead the way in safer formulation, Walmart has created a new manufacturing paradigm for consumer products, one that adds safer chemistry and ingredient transparency to the traditional elements of performance and cost.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Is Your Child’s School Stuck on a Pest Control Treadmill?

Many schools are stuck on a “treadmill” of never-ending pesticide applications, without addressing the underlying issues that make schools attractive to pests. If we can make it so pests aren’t attracted in the first place, the need for pesticides in schools would be greatly reduced.

Choosing a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach can reduce pests and pesticide risks, create a healthier environment for our children, and save schools money in pesticide treatment and energy costs from improved insulation as a result of sealing cracks and adding door sweeps. We call this approach Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

John McDonogh High

Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, and school leaders toured John Mcdonogh High School

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Going Green & Making Green: Insights from a Sustainable Business Roundtable

There’s an unfortunate perception that environmental regulation — and even EPA’s voluntary programs — are at odds with economic growth. The reality is that growing numbers of leaders across industries and market sectors are seeking out and adopting sustainability initiatives and business models, and supporting prudent environmental regulation while maintaining a robust bottom line — proving you can make green while going green.

More than a dozen of these corporate leaders participated in a recent roundtable discussion hosted by the White House and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) that I had the honor of attending. I heard directly from Council members and partners who are working within their respective industries to advance social and environmental responsibility.

The discussion concentrated on chemical safety reform and EPA’s Green Chemistry  and Design for the Environment (DfE) initiatives.  The Council also presented independent research showing that consumers are increasingly “leaning green,” demanding more information on safety of ingredients in consumer products and factoring in product safety and sustainability when they purchase products.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Ingredients for a Safer (Chemical) Recipe

EPA's Safer Chemical Ingredients List helps manufacturers formulate products that are safer for families and the environment.

EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients Lists helps manufacturers formulate products that are safer for families and the environment.

Have you ever wondered what chemical ingredients are in those cleaning products we all keep under the sink or in the garage?  Here at EPA, we want to ensure that the products Americans are using in theirs homes are as safe as possible.

Until recently, choosing ingredients to make a safer and effective product has been challenging for manufacturers, requiring lots of research and educated guessing.  No single resource existed to help manufacturers select safer ingredients.

EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program has taken much of the guesswork out of safer ingredient selection by making available the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL). EPA just added close to 50 chemicals (including 40 fragrance chemicals) to this dynamic database bringing the tallies to nearly 650 chemicals in all.  The list will continue to be updated with chemicals that meet the DfE safer ingredient criteria in key ingredient classes such as solvents, surfactants, and fragrances.  These ingredients help make products including household cleaners, laundry detergents, car care products, floor finishes and even a firefighting foam.  More

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Control Mosquitos & Protect Bees – We Need to Do Both

Did you know that in 1906 more than 85% of Panama Canal workers were hospitalized with mosquito-borne yellow fever and malaria? That was an extreme public health crisis. But don’t we all know someone who has personally experienced the devastating impacts of Lyme disease or West Nile virus?

Slug on a soybean. Photo credit: Nick Sloff

Sometimes we need insecticides to control pests and prevent disease to protect our health. But sometimes these same insecticides can be hazardous to bees, which are essential for growing crops and ensuring a wholesome, healthy food supply.

How do we protect public health from the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses, and at the same time protect bees? How do we balance the need for pesticides to control pests that wreak havoc on our crops, and prevent unintended consequences to our health and environment?

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America’s got (Manufacturing) Talent

Did you know that we help small-to-medium sized local businesses to be more sustainable? EPA works with five other federal agencies through a special partnership called E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment to connect these companies and their communities to technical experts.

Did you know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a network of Women’s Business Centers throughout the United States to help women start and grow small businesses?

Did you know that the Census Bureau has extensive county-level economic and demographic data and is making that data available to communities to help them assess their regional business environments?

You’ll find these resources in a new playbook recently created by a federal team of experts under the President’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).  The IMCP Playbook pulls together existing federal planning grant and technical assistance resources and best practices in economic development.

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And This Year’s Winners of the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards Are….

The automobile, the cell phone, the internet— the 20th century was a century of unparalleled innovation and discovery. What technologies and innovation will define the 21st century?

I predict that Green Chemistry innovations will. They are solving some of our most pressing environmental problems, bringing us safer chemicals, reducing energy, waste and water, and improving the bottom line for America’s manufacturing sector.  When these groundbreaking technologies hit the marketplace or are applied in manufacturing, their impacts are significant.

For nearly 20 years now, EPA has sponsored the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, in partnership with the American Chemical Society, to recognize cutting-edge Green Chemistry technologies.

Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution, Jim Jones, joins the 2013 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners before the award ceremony

Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution, Jim Jones, joins the 2013 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners before the award ceremony

 

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Green Chemistry – Making that fresh coat of paint safer

Paint BrushOne of the most exciting parts of my job is learning about technologies by American innovators and researchers that are solving some of our most pressing environmental problems.   These discoveries are bringing us safer chemicals, reducing hazardous waste, energy and water, and improving the bottom line for America’s manufacturing sector.

Did you know that one of the ways we traditionally make paint can use up tremendous amounts of energy, water, and chemicals in the manufacturing process, as well as being costly? Scientists have recently found a technology that can help solve this problem – and I recently visited the facility where it’s happening.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Is that the Right Bug Repellent for You? This New Graphic Should Help

repel_mark_1Remember the days before SPF when you weren’t so sure how long your sun screen would protect you from the sun’s harmful rays? Maybe I’m dating myself. I burn easily and had no idea how to protect myself, what to apply, and when to reapply suntan lotion.

Many of us continue to experience the same problems when trying to decide which mosquito repellent to use and when to reapply it. And what about ticks?

Nowadays we know that both mosquitoes and ticks carry some serious diseases. Mosquitoes can give you West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis, and ticks can transmit serious diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Like sunscreens, mosquito and tick repellents can provide important protection against potentially lifelong health problems.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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It’s National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week – Why Does it Still Matter?

Lead Poisoning Prevention

The use of lead in residential paints and lead in gasoline was banned in the 1970’s, so why do we keep talking about the problem of lead in paint?

The fact is that lead in paint is still in homes built before 1978. It’s still there in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint. It’s still a hazard in deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged or damp paint, or in paint dust) and needs immediate attention.

Also, every time I look around, we are finding out more about how subtle and damaging the effects of lead can be. Even low-level lead exposure at a young age can result in a range of irreversible and untreatable lifelong health and developmental issues, such as lowered IQ, shortened attention span, and behavioral issues. Children suffering from lead poisoning or exposure can have diminished opportunities and well-being, burdening both families and societies.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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