EDANA AHP Stewardship Programme to give consumers further assurances about the safety of the products
During the upcoming OUTLOOK20 online conference Marines Lagemaat, Scientific and Technical Affairs Director at EDANA and Anna Brodowsky, Vice President Public Affairs at Essity Hygiene & Health will speak about de-mystifying the debate about trace chemicals , and on how the stewardship programme allows stakeholders to find a common way forward and provides guidance to the suppliers along the supply chain. They will also make a quick review of the test approach and talk about EU regulatory aspects.
In prelude to the presentation, Marines Lagemaat, answered the following questions.Why was the Stewardship Programme, which focusses on trace chemicals in Absorbent Hygiene Products, devised?
Various reports from competent authorities and media articles have highlighted the presence of chemicals at trace levels in different AHPs. These are at extremely low levels that pose no risk to health. While all recent studies have concluded that the products are safe to use, there is a debate around the presence of traces of chemicals in AHPs. And as responsible producers we want inform that debate
With the Stewardship Programme, EDANA’s members are demonstrating of our commitment to ensuring that our products are safe. Under the programme, open to all producers, participants commit to go beyond existing product legislation to give consumers maximum confidence in the safe use of these products.
With the publishing of product composition and a commitment to enhance consumer understanding, the programme also serves to reinforce transparency, enabling consumers to make informed choices.
Put simply, signatories to the programme undertake to monitor the presence of a defined list of trace chemicals in AHPs and take action to ensure that they do not exceed agreed limits. These limits are lower than those required by existing EU and national legislation. The programme consists of 3 core elements:
- A List of Trace Chemicals: substances potentially present at a trace level including PAHs, DLPCBs, dioxins, furans, phthalates and formaldehyde.
- Guidance Values: levels which the listed trace impurities should not exceed
- Standardised Test Methods: harmonised laboratory procedures to test for the presence of impurities and assess levels
The Stewardship Programme is part of an ongoing process by EDANA’s members to ensure the maximum level of safety and understanding of our products, including longstanding industry-led research and dialogue across the supply chain.
EDANA’s AHP-producing members pledge to take action to ensure a continuous and thorough implementation of the principles laid out in the programme, providing the most up-to-date information and answers to stakeholders.Further information is available on EDANA AHP Stewardship Programme
Will the programme reduce trace chemicals in AHPs?
The level of trace chemicals has decreased over the course of time as a result of ongoing efforts of the industry and the programme will build on these efforts.
The aim of the programme is to track, monitor and control the trace chemicals present at trace levels. Indeed, various reports have concluded that while chemicals are present at trace levels, they do not pose any threats for consumers’ health and they never have.Which are the chemicals covered and how were they selected?
The programme will create an industry-wide list of chemicals, including chemicals such as PAHs, DL-PCBs, dioxins, furans, phthalates and formaldehyde.
These 80 chemicals relevant were selected based on a literature review of studies of chemical impurities found in AHPs, known auxiliary materials, lists found in other regulations and standards that govern other consumer products such as toys and textiles and other third-party lists, such as those developed by various NGOs.The list is detailed in the Stewardship Programme Codex 1.1
Who has committed to this programme?
EDANA’s members make up over 85% of AHP products sold in the European market. Our members include the leading consumer brands in these categories as well as own-label competitors supplied to many of Europe’s largest retailers. As such, it is probable that, if a consumer buys a tampon or diaper, it most likely comes from one of our members.
Initial signatories include brand owners Kimberly-Clark, Procter & Gamble, Ontex, Johnson & Johnson, Paul Hartmann, Abena, Lil-lets, Fater and Essity alongside key private label manufacturers Corman and Drylock, suppliers to many of Europe’s largest retailers.