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Cutting through Greenwashing Techniques for sleuthing product data sheets Dave Waddell LHWMP in King County, WA

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Presentation on theme: "Cutting through Greenwashing Techniques for sleuthing product data sheets Dave Waddell LHWMP in King County, WA"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cutting through Greenwashing Techniques for sleuthing product data sheets Dave Waddell LHWMP in King County, WA

2 Where things stand, chemically The US produces and imports 42 billion pounds of chemicals every day. 82,000+ different synthetic chemicals currently in use in the United States 85% of producer notices to EPA for new chemicals lack health effects data.

3 Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County’s Plans in 1991 Collect HHW at our facilities Improve CESQG waste management practices Come up with a shorter name

4 I was hired as a hazwaste investigator

5 LHWMP Reassesses – mid 1990s Our plan was to increase collection and construct more facilities We realized that providing more collection services and facilities was not sustainable and might increase use of hazardous products.

6 Prevention and Upstream Focus We still collect HHW and inspect CESQGs, but.. Our strategies address products at the design and manufacturing phases of development

7 I’m paid to figure out what’s hazardous

8 Choosing less hazardous chemicals

9 Selecting green cleaners

10 Lemon-Lime citrus components Plant-based Exceptional biodegradability Recognized as safe by FDA Replaces toxic, hazardous, dangerous petroleum chemicals Not a carcinogen, developmental toxicant or mutagenic This one sounds good

11 Found this natural fruit chemical concentrate Natural, plant-based, from fruit seeds Biodegradable Used in homeopathic remedies Tree named for a Catholic saint “among the most valuable and widely prescribed drugs“ – Guide for nurses* Non-carcinogenic, non-flammable, non-corrosive, non-reactive *-1934 Photo © Lalithamba – Attribution licensed at

12 Wait. It’s rat poison!

13 It’s actually pretty benign Meets Design for Environment standards No on-line MSDS available Contains some d-limonene So what is this stuff?

14 d-Limonene (citrus solvent) Allergen Skin Sensitizer Combustible

15 Sensitizers Response Dose Photo ©meddygarnet. Used within rights expressed at

16 Safer choices for cleaners Good place to start is

17 Words used in greenwashing Green Natural Organic Plant-based Biodegradable Photo © Tavis Ford – Attribution licensed at



20 Febreze advertising “It’s like a breath of fresh air because it actually sweeps away stifling odors from the air using our patented technology and leaves only a clean, refreshing scent.” Chemicals don’t freshen air Air Clean Air freshens air

21 Not just green ULTRAGREEN!!


23 Here’s the result. Triclosan? What’s that?

24 Problems with Triclosan Not broken down in sewage treatment plants Toxic to aquatic organisms, especially algae Endocrine disruptor in animals Often used to prevent catching a cold virus It doesn’t kill viruses, only bacteria Avoid antibacterial soaps

25 BestScent Smoke and Odor Eliminator Is it hazardous?



28 This contains 40% ethyl alcohol

29 Household pesticides Hey, they’re Green!!!

30 Stand in a room & fill with spray

31 But don’t let it touch your skin or clothes How do I do this safely?

32 Selecting safer lawn and garden products Portland, ORThurston County, WA

33 Simple graphics aid selection

34 Download the new iPhone app!

35 Then there’s pesticides…



38 “Information on Pendimethalin” Non-mutagenic Non-carcinogenic

39 RCRA: D028!!!



42 – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Tox FAQ for 1,2-Dichloroethane

43 1,2-Dichloroethane ToxFAQs data Nervous system disorders Liver and kidney disease Damages animal’s immune system DHHS – Reasonably expected to cause cancer EPA – Probable human carcinogen IARC – Possible human carcinogen

44 Why do so many MSDSs stink?

45 I suspect there are several reasons Paranoid lawyers Inept writers Spin doctors They’re focused on safe use, not waste characterization

46 Looking at labels



49 Safer art products (comparatively) King County photos by Dave Waddell


51 51 MSDS -

52 52 Labeling conforms to ASTM D-4236 Approved for the AP seal as per ACMI Certified to be non-toxic Evaluated by a Toxicologist DO NOT DEVIATE FROM INTENDED USE

53 “Do not deviate from intended use” 53

54 54

55 During inspections, I need to quickly assess hazards to ID harmful products

56 Fabric dye in theater




60 Product info should improve soon

61 61 MSDS -

62 62

63 63

64 At least it’s not a carcinogen 64


66 Exercise: Match GHS Statements to Symbols 1.Compressed & liquefied gases 2.Corrosive to skin, eyes, metals 3.Skin sensitizer, irritant, somewhat toxic 4.Respiratory sensitizer, carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive toxin, target organ toxin 5.Acute or chronic hazard to aquatic environment 6.Acutely toxic 7.Oxidizing liquids, solids or gases 8.Flammable liquids, gases or solids; self-reactive, air-reactive or water-reactive substances and mixtures; organic peroxides 9.Explosives, unstable explosives, self-reactive substances and mixtures, organic peroxides

67 GHS exercise sheet ____

68 GHS Exercise Answers __6__ __2__ __5__ __3__ __9__ __8__ __7__ __1__ __4__

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