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Environmental Health and Safety


Product Stewardship


Product Risk Characterization, Prioritization, Management and Communication

Characterization

Dow Corning has a Product Documentation Management (PDM) system that is the basis for directing the production and distribution of its products. This system documents the key technical aspects that fully characterize the raw materials and intermediates Dow Corning uses as well as the finished products that Dow Corning sells. This comprehensive system covers physical/chemical properties, product application and use information, regulatory information, packaging and storage requirements as well as the detailed formulation and chemical composition.

Prioritization

Dow Corning has a two-tiered prioritization process:

(a) At the chemical substance  level, the basic chemicals that Dow Corning produces are prioritized, in line with our REACH registration program in the European Union (EU), according to high hazard, then by volume on the EU market. This approach enables Dow Corning to align our production of Global Product Strategy (GPS) Product Safety Summaries with that of the consortium managing the REACH registrations to ensure consistency across the silicone industry. Completed summaries are available on the ICCA's Global Product Strategy Chemicals Portal or Dow Corning's Product EH&S Information Portal.
(b) At the formulated product level the detailed composition, documented in our PDM system, along with product application and use information, is reviewed by experts in the Health and Environmental Opinion (HEO) process to determine if enough safety information exists for the intended uses of the product. This process utilizes data on the physical, health and environmental hazards of the substance in conjunction with volume and use information, to prioritize the need for additional safe handling guidance or to recommend the product is not used in the proposed application.

Management

Before products are commercialized, Dow Corning businesses use a risk management approach to consider all of the above information and more. Development and implementation of the Risk Management Plan helps to assure the product can be handled and marketed safely for all of its intended applications.

Communication

Dow Corning communicates product safety information through Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). In some instances for selected products, Dow Corning has developed toxicology summaries, bulletins, fact sheets, and/or videos aimed at ensuring safe and responsible use. In addition, Dow Corning is publishing Product Safety Summaries for all substances as required by the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care® initiative. The order in which these are developed is based on our substance prioritization process. Completed summaries are available on the ICCA's Global Product Strategy Chemicals Portal or Dow Corning's Product EH&S Information Portal.

The Product Stewardship processes summarized above allow for evaluation of both potential concerns and opportunities from environmental, societal and business perspectives. Consistent use of this approach helps us determine where and how our products can be used - preserving the commercial freedom of our businesses, enabling our Values and Sustainability Guiding Principles (PDF size = 1520 KB), and protecting human health and the environment.

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