Heubach attaches particular importance to product stewardship. Our Product Stewardship teams ensure that products can be used over their entire life cycle in a safe manner by all who get in contact with them – be it employees, customers or consumers. Our guidelines and systems ensure product and production safety and compliance with all applicable national laws, all regulations, and all internationally accepted guidelines.
REGULATORY STANDARDS FIRST
Our Global Product Stewardship team is responsible for ensuring that our product portfolio corresponds to all applicable environmental and safety standards at national and regional levels, such as those specified by REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) regulation and the Global Product Strategy (GPS) of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). Employee trainings take place on a regular basis, while processes, procedures and measures are continually monitored both internally and by means of external audits. Through comprehensive evaluation and customer communication on how to safely manage and use our products, we uphold this commitment to chemical safety.
FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
Heubach is constantly looking for opportunities to further enhance sustainability – both in the production processes and in the products. We aim to consistently minimize any risks to the environment and public health and ensure that clear sustainability perspectives are embedded in product development, allowing for a sustainable business and a product portfolio based on sustainability.
INTELLIGENT TESTING METHODS
Chemicals are part of most products we use today – in cars, in jeans, in laundry detergents, in televisions and telephones. The list is endless. This is why such chemicals are subject to stringent testing procedures and evaluations, regulated and required by law. For some of the complex toxicity endpoints, like specific organ toxicity or reproductive toxicity, animal models cannot be replaced immediately. However, increasing ethical concerns in addition to the scientific need to use more human-relevant data has set the stage for the development of alternative approaches like in silico, in chemico and in vitro methods to assess the human and ecological toxicity potential of chemicals. We place a strong emphasis on applying new approach methodologies in our testing strategies and integrated testing techniques such as computer modelling and in vitro techniques. We are also proactively engaged – directly or through industry associations – in scientific and regulatory exchanges in order to promote the development of alternative methods and the validation process of these methods.
DETAILED SUBSTANCE RISK ASSESSMENTS
Sound chemicals management is a global responsibility. In this respect, regulatory bodies worldwide, like the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), have adopted specific statutory regulations and guidance to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals. A risk assessment is the process of analyzing information to determine whether an exposure to identified chemical hazards might cause harm to human health and/or the environment and consists of four general steps: hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization.
- Hazard identification refers to the characterization of inherent adverse toxic effects of substances.
- Dose-response-assessment refers to the characterization of the relationship between doses of hazardous substances and incidences of adverse effects in exposed populations
- Exposure assessment refers to the characterization via measurement or estimation of the intensity, frequency, and duration of exposure to substances
- Risk characterization refers to the estimation of the incidence of effects to human health and/or the environment under various conditions of exposure
The chemical risk characterization depends directly on the results from the hazard characterization (including dose-response analysis) and exposure assessment steps and allows qualitative and quantitative statements about respective risks including the exposure conditions under which the risk may occur. In its simplest terms, risk characterization basically represents the use of exposure information to interpolate along the dose-response curve. However, this is somewhat over-simplified as risk characterization usually involves more extrapolation than interpolation, and many different types of extrapolation are generally necessary for establishing robust risk characterization results, e.g. inter- and intraspecies extrapolation, high to low dose extrapolation, exposure duration extrapolation, etc. The final outcome of the risk assessment process, the risk characterization step, defines the nature and degree of a certain risk to a certain hazard under specific exposure conditions in sufficient detail to allow consideration of appropriate risk management options for chemicals.