AOCS wrap-up Day 3

The green blogger focused mostly on regulatory issues in the cleaningindustry during the last day of the American Oil Chemists Society(AOCS) centennial meeting in Orlando, Florida, even though herdoppelganger (who was lounging in the hotel pool) was ordered to attendeither the biobased surfactants session; green processing forindustrial veggie oil-based chemicals; or the session for new glycerineuses.

The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA)presented two topics, one on phosphate regulations for automaticdishwashing detergents (ADDs), and the other covering the growingconsumer demand for ingredient disclosures in consumer cleaningproducts.

The SDA’s general counsel, Michelle Radecki, pointedout that the cleaning industry is facing a lot of pressures towardsdisclosing ingredients in their products especially with the GreenChemistry legislation recently enacted in California.

The SDA,along with the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) and itsCanadian counterpart, the CCSPA, formed a voluntary consumer product ingredient communicationinitiative, where members will disclosed all their chemical ingredients(with the exception of fragrances, preservatives and dyes) in their aircare, automotive, cleaning and polishes and floor maintenance products,starting January 1, 2010.

Members are said to be hesitant inlisting down their fragrance, preservatives and dyes ingredientsbecause of their highly proprietary nature (not to mention that anyconsumers who see phthalates as part of the fragrance ingredient willhesitate in buying the product…).

SDA’s Radecki said more than 90% of their members are expected to participate in the program. SC Johnsonalready started listing their ingredients and even included dyes,preservatives and fragrances that they used. SDA said they are workingwith various fragrance industries in order for manufacturers to be ableto disclose their fragrance ingredients.

“Inthe long run, there is going to be increasing demand for ingredientdisclosure and in turn suppliers should be prepared to provideinformation to their customers.Also expect potential ingredient deselection such as phthalates,” said Radecki.

SDA’s vp of technical and international affairs Rich Sedlak listed down the 13 states where the use of phosphateson home ADDs are limited to a maximum of 0.5% effective July 1, 2010.These include Washington, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts,Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, andMontana.

Phosphatesuse in industrial and institutional detergent use as well as incommercial dishwashers are still exempted although New York state issaid to be proposing to limit the use of phosphates in commercial ADDsto 0.5%.

Because of these restrictions, the SDA advicesdetergent manufacturers to conduct research and development for newproducts; readjust their manufacturing facilities; and realign theiringredient supply chain. As you read in my first AOCS chapter saga,several chemical companies are already doing that by developing newphosphate alternatives.

Other presentations in the regulatorysession include AkzoNobel’s talk about cosmetic regulations focusing onthe European Union’s REACH as well as the animal testing ban under EUCosmetic Directives; Sasol straightening out a misleading informationabout 1,4 dioxane in detergent and personal care products; and SeventhGeneration talking about the changing chemical regulation landscape inthe soap and detergent industry.

With regards to AkzoNobel’stalk, he emphasized the increasing consumer use of natural andsustainable products although the challenge (as other chemicalcompanies note in the past) is making their performance as efficient asthe traditional products. AkzoNobel also pointed out the difficulty insourcing natural raw materials because most of them are seasonal.

Sasol, meanwhile, announced that they (along with chemical engineering firm Chemithon) discovered how 1,4 dioxaneis being produced as a byproduct within sulfation process of alcoholethoxylates. Environmental groups claimed well-known baby care productsare contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which is considered toxic.

Sasolsaid they were able to minimize the 1,4 dioxane content in thesulfation process by using different processing equipment, appropriatechoice of sulfation feedstock, and proper sulfation and neutralizationprocedures. The cost for these changes are not expensive they said.

That’sall folks! Hope these information helps you in any way. Stay tune formy next conference update this time about the Society of CosmeticChemists (SCC) Suppliers’ Day which I attended this week in New Jersey.

Accordingto several cosmetic ingredient manufacturers that I interviewed,natural ingredients are still, by far, the hottest trend aroundcosmetics and personal care.

For ICIS subscribers:

R&D in phosphate alternatives needed – US soap group

US cleaners expect most of industry to reveal ingredients

S Africa’s Sasol, US firm to reduce 1,4 dioxane in cleaners

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