Recent Blog Posts

Chemical Safety & Regulatory News

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TSCA risk management may include new risk assessments EPA is reviewing all of the first 10 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations to determine whether the agency needs to reopen those risk evaluations to include additional chemical use and exposure pathways that were previously excluded (e.g., EPA had determined not to include air emissions that were already regulated…

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ESG stock ratings vary widely

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Investment money is pouring into stocks that get good grades on environment, social and governance (ESG) issues, but determining how high- and low-rated companies perform is nearly impossible due to inconsistencies in the way they are rated, according to The Wall Street Journal. Depending on the time period and the provider of ESG data (Refinitiv; MSCI, Inc.; and Sustainalytics were…

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California EHS News

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California loosens mask rules for vaccinated employees California on June 17 moved to end physical distancing requirements for all workers and allow most fully vaccinated employees in many workplaces to stop wearing masks, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The 5-1 decision from the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board followed more than two hours of public…

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OSHA News

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Unions seek appeals court review of OSHA virus standard The AFL-CIO two individual unions are asking federal appeals courts to review OSHA’s new Covid-19 emergency temporary standard for the health-care industry. The AFL-CIO and United Food and Commercial Workers filed a joint petition June 24 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, complaining the OSHA measure was…

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OSHA issues a new Covid safety rule, but only for the health care industry

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OSHA in June announced a rule outlining steps employers must take to protect workers from the risk of Covid-19, but it will apply only to the health care industry, not to other high-risk workplaces, as the Biden administration initially indicated. “The science tells us that health care workers, particularly those who come into regular contact with the virus, are most at risk at…

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Mask mandate continues for most California workplaces

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At a marathon public meeting June 3rd, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously approved a revised Cal/OSHA proposal that allows workers to go maskless in only a few circumstances including:  everyone in a room is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus,  or workers are outdoors and not within six feet of other people, according to an AP report. …

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Your company’s sustainability journey – what to do after the easy work is done

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By Dave Johnson, Phylmar newsletter editor Four out of five leading companies worldwide now report on sustainability in regard to revenue, according to KPMG’s 2020 Survey of Sustainability Reporting. Sustainability reporting has been trending up for decades yet in 1993, KPMG’s first study found a paltry 12 percent of companies published sustainability reports. Now 98 percent of top revenue firms…

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EU proposes risk-based rules for artificial intelligence

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As part of its emerging role as a global regulatory watchdog, the European Commission has published a proposal  for regulations to govern artificial intelligence use in the European Union. The proposal defines four tiers for AI-related activity and differing levels of oversight for each. The first tier is unacceptable risk: some AI uses would be banned outright in public spaces, with specific exceptions granted by national…

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Sustainability accounting: “The biggest disrupter”

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As companies find that customers and investors are looking for more and more disclosures of what they are doing about environmental issues, climate change risks, and diversity and racial justice, accounting firms are starting to provide assurance and attestation services around environmental, social and governance reporting to meet that growing demand, according to Accounting Today. While the Big Four have…

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ECHA News

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ECHA updating guidance concerning REACH information requirements for nanoforms The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is in the process of updating its guidance on the information requirements and chemical safety assessment (IR&CSA) for nanoforms under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. ECHA has developed three appendices concerning information requirements to provide advice to registrants for use when…

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