Product Safety Assessment

Evaluating EH&S Risks at Dow

Dow and its employees have always taken very seriously their obligation to evaluate EH&S risks and weigh them against anticipated benefits when making business decisions. This commitment is outlined in Dow’s EH&S Policy, and is specified in numerous Dow EH&S standards and requirements. In fact, the vast majority of EH&S risks are managed by complying with various Dow and governmental standards and requirements.

Dow’s Business EH&S Risk Review (BRR) Work Process is key to Dow’s identification, assessment and management of product EH&S risks.  The BRR Work Process has been designed to meet, among other obligations, various management practices of the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® program. It also enables Dow to meet requirements of the Responsible Care codes of chemical industry associations in countries outside of the U.S.  The risk management actions defined within the BRR Work Process become an integral part of the relevant product’s product stewardship program.  This information is summarized along with a review of application, exposure and hazard information within the Product Safety Assessment summaries.

Product Safety Assessment and Management Framework

  1. Recognize that there is a product or activity that potentially poses a risk to people or the environment and it is a candidate for safety evaluation. The product or activity may be:
    a. New product
    b. New distribution channel
    c. Sales into new use
    d. Sales into new market
    e. Change in product quality
    f. New production process
    g. New additives
    h. New health or safety information
    i. Changes in government requirements
  2. Gather known information, including available hazard and exposure information, to support a safety characterization.
  3. Evaluate the degree to which the product or activity may pose a concern to the public.
  4. Evaluate the adequacy of existing actions to manage the risk and, if necessary, identify and implement new risk management options.
  5. Review progress periodically or implement a feedback loop to initiate additional reviews whenever new information or opportunities become available.

Third Party Verification

Dow also retained Risk Sciences International at the University of Ottawa in Canada ("RSI"), a leader in the field of risk assessment, communication and management, to evaluate the robustness of Dow's product safety assessment processes, including its processes for making product stewardship decisions. A summary of RSI's assessment can be found here.