Toxic Chemicals & Corporate Integrity: New “Code of Conduct” Needed, Say Business Leaders

For Immediate Release: 
May 9, 2012

(Washington DC)  Business leaders called for companies to adopt a new market code of conduct and practices after the investigation by the Chicago Tribune Sunday revealed that corporations making halogenated flame retardants spent tens of millions of dollars on lobbyists and front groups to market “toxic and ineffective products.”

“Deceptive business practices by a few companies won’t help rebuild the U.S. economy,” says David Levine, CEO of American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC). ”We need to rebuild trust in companies and their products and invest in healthier and safer chemicals and products, with regulatory framework to ensure a transparent and fair marketplace beneficial to all businesses.”

“Our consumers have the right to know what’s 'in' the products they buy, for making smart, informed purchasing decisions,” says Sarah Beatty, Founder, Green Depot, a 1-stop shop for Green building materials.  “Unknown to consumers, healthy products are bunched into the same category as potentially toxic options, without consequence, transparency or consideration.   Emerging green technologies, materials and green chemistry are key to America’s reinvention."

“Making products with chemical laden highly flammable ingredients, and then adding even more chemicals in the form of ‘flame retardants’, only provides a false sense of security.  These chemicals are less, not more, safe, providing almost meaningless protection, and add to the toxic chemical burden,” says Barry Cik, Technical Director, Naturepedic, a mattress manufacturer. “Naturepedic creates its products with safer, less flammable components to begin with.“

 “Construction Specialties is committed to transparency and offering our customers the safest and best quality products," said Howard Williams, Vice President and General Manager of Construction Specialties. "Our hope is it becomes standard course for other manufacturers like us to fully disclose the material content of their products, leading to healthier built environments and a more informed market."

“At EKLA HOME our goal is to make affordable non-toxic furniture. Our only option for foam without harmful chemicals is certified organic natural latex. Unfortunately, the price of this option is five times that of conventional flame retarded foam. It is upsetting that we are unable to democratize our products; those most harshly affected by dangerous chemicals are the very young who have no voice with regard to this issue” says Emily Kroll, CEO, of EKLA HOME.


The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 100,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations, and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy, and women and minority business leaders.  ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy.


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