The Environmental Protection Agency continues to work on regulatory priorities such as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances to the Superfund list and preparing a final rule to update the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard. On Thursday, the EPA extended the public comment period for its Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science proposed rule.
BASF, Dow Chemical and other chemical companies are ramping up production of hand sanitizer and disinfectants to help fight the coronavirus, and regulators in many countries are paving the way by streamlining the permitting and approval process. Dow Chemical worked with several agencies to secure approvals and is now positioned to produce 200 metric tons of hand sanitizer per week, says official Kyle Bandlow.
Synthomer has acquired Omnova Solutions for $455 million. "Synthomer now has global reach, a broader product portfolio and increased R&D capabilities with an exciting platform from which to attract talent and invest in future growth," says CEO Calum MacLean.
Eastman Chemical will manufacture 10,000 face shields for health care workers in Nashville, Tenn., through a partnership that utilizes 3D printing technology, polyethylene terephthalate glycol film and a copolyester.
Eight in 10 Americans are confident in the ability of cleaning products to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but many don't follow the recommended disinfection procedures, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos for the American Cleaning Institute. Only 42% of respondents respect the contact time indicated by the disinfectant's label or let the product air dry.
To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, clean your car's steering wheel, door handles, gear shift and other germ hot spots using a disinfectant spray or wipes, and make sure to use the appropriate type of cleaner for upholstery, says the American Cleaning Institute's Brian Sansoni. "Folks being picked up by ride sharing services can bring along a hand sanitizer or hand wipes if they're worried about touching too many surfaces," Sansoni recommends.
Change your clothes and wash your hands immediately after entering the house as they can be a vehicle for the coronavirus to spread, health and cleaning experts say. Pay particular attention to frequently touched surfaces, but make sure to clean before disinfecting and leave the disinfectant on the target surface as long as the product label recommends, says Brian Sansoni of the American Cleaning Institute.
The American Cleaning Institute is looking to work with state lawmakers to develop uniform ingredient transparency rules, while helping member companies navigate the complex regulatory landscape, said Douglas Troutman, ACI's general counsel and senior vice president of government affairs. "Ultimately, ingredient transparency and regulation will be best resolved at the Federal level and ACI continues to advocate for common sense ingredient transparency policies federally," Troutman added.
Chemical manufacturers, including Ecolab and Dow, are doing their best to keep the supplies needed for combating the coronavirus flowing, while ensuring operational safety and maintaining liquidity. Ecolab has seen demand spike for hand sanitizers, hand care products and hard surface sanitizers, and chairman and CEO Douglas Baker expects the coronavirus pandemic to create a "new normal" where "hygiene, antimicrobial, and [environmental, social, and governance] ESG knowhow will matter even more."
Washing hands with clean water is the ideal way to prevent infections from pathogens, but hauling it to communities in less developed countries that lack access can be costly and unsustainable, aid groups say. Small-scale innovations such as public handwashing stations, introduced in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak, have proven to be affordable and effective solutions, and when clean water is not readily available, washing hands with soap and non-potable water is better than not doing it at all.