What are Environmental Compliance Regulations?
Environmental compliance regulations are standards and specifications designed to protect both consumers and the environment from excess quantities of certain controlled substances. In simple terms, these regulations dictate the maximum quantity or concentration of a controlled substance within a product or compound, and manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products abide by those guidelines.
While there are many different types of environmental compliance regulations in circulation, probably the three most well known are:
- The Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). REACH was first released by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) in 2007 and is a European Union (EU) regulation. Over 200 different chemicals are regulated by REACH.
- The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). Like REACH, RoHS comes from the EU. RoHS lists the maximum allowable percentage of certain substances in the rubber components of electrical and electronic products
- The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, mostly known as Prop 65. To comply with Prop 65, all products sold in California must disclose, via label, the presence of any of 900 chemicals that may cause cancer, birth defects, and other issues.
Importance of Meeting Compliance Standards
Environmental compliance standards and regulations for rubber products have several key purposes.
Keeps People Safe
Consumer safety is a major driver behind the development and implementation of many environmental compliance regulations, for rubber materials and countless other products. Many chemicals and substances currently available for manufacturing can be harmful to human health. Environmental compliance standards limit the quantities and/or concentrations of these substances in consumer products to ensure health and safety. Some environmental regulations also require manufacturers to disclose the presence of certain substances, allowing consumers to decide for themselves whether they want to purchase the product or choose an alternative.
Benefits the Environment
Just as some substances can be harmful to human health, certain chemicals and compounds pose a threat to the environment. Humans, flora, and fauna alike can be placed at risk if harmful chemicals enter the water supply or ground soil. Environmental compliance standards ensure that these substances are controlled, so that the risk of leaching is reduced. Additionally, environmental compliance regulations may limit the concentration of given substances within a rubber compound to ensure that the product is recyclable.
Supports Brand Image
The degree to which any consumer is concerned about certain chemicals varies significantly. But some consumers are more cautious than others about the presence of certain substances in the products they buy. In turn, some brands choose to cater directly to these buyer groups by manufacturing and selling products that don’t contain certain chemicals. Their marketing strategies, from advertising to package design, are largely built around communicating the absence or strict control of substances that their customers may be concerned about. For some brands, environmental testing boosts their brand image by providing the data they need to back up the claims in their messaging.
ACE’s Commitment to Environmental Standards
ACE Laboratories has the instrumentation and in-house expertise to support environmental testing for a wide range of rubber materials, products, and components. Our experts are well versed in REACH, RoHS, Prop 65, 21 CFR 177.2600, and many other environmental testing standards. Whether you’re developing a new product or testing for compliance before launch, you can count on ACE to guide you through the process and deliver the fastest turnaround times in the industry.
To learn more about environmental testing from ACE, talk to a member of our team >