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CONTENTS EdEvidence Newsletter

October 2007

Toxic Chemicals and Safer Products News

Report on Toxics in Asian Products Foreshadowed the Emerging Asian Product Crisis
In late 2006, IEHN collaborated with ASRiA (the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia) on research in Hong Kong, Seoul, and Tokyo on toxic chemicals in Asian supply chains. The resulting ASRiA report, Toxic Chemicals. Asian Investors are At-Risk, proved to be prescient in light of 2007's toxic product scandals. It pointed out that Asian governments lag on policy development with regard to toxics in products, consumer concern about contamination is growing, and that cleansing the supply chain will not be an easy task. An audio and video interview with ASRiA director Melissa Brown will be available on the IEHN website in the fall of 2007.

Fiduciary Guide to Toxic Chemical Risk
IEHN's Fiduciary Guide to Toxic Chemical Risk provides institutional investors with tools for examining how well trustees, portfolio managers, and investment consultants understand and address toxic risks in portfolios. A chapter authored by Jane Ambachtsheer of Mercer Investment Consulting offers a step-by-step navigation guide. Another chapter points out that toxic chemical exposures are conservatively estimated to impose health care and related costs of $15 billion annually in California, New York, and Connecticut. We contend that state and local government pension funds in particular ought to be concerned about these issues, because state and local governments bear the added health and special education costs arising from individuals' exposures to toxic chemicals from products in their homes and work places.

Additional IEHN Publications
IEHN commissioned Cross Cutting Effects of Chemical Liability from Products from Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, comparing corporate safer chemicals management practices, and a series of case studies from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business on innovative corporate safer chemicals initiatives (Environment, Health and Sustainable Business Enter the Mainstream). Finally, Beneath the Skin: Hidden Liabilities, Market Risk and Drivers of Change in the Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Industry profiles risks and opportunities, including the special issues associated with rapid adoption of nanotechnologies.

IEHN DVD
Our video, "Toxic Chemicals in Products: Financial Risks and Opportunities" is now available both on our website and on DVD. The video provides business audiences with a 20-minute "short course" on how toxic chemicals in products relate to investment risk and opportunity. Updated in fall 2007 to reflect the recent developments regarding toys, pet food and China, the video focuses on numerous companies, including Wal-Mart, SC Johnson, DuPont, Bed Bath and Beyond, Apple, and Dow Chemical, and features commentary by leading experts and investors from three continents.

Thanks to underwriting by Calvert Funds and Trillium Asset Management you can obtain a free copy of the DVD. Email your requests to video@iehn.org with your name, address, organization, phone and date needed for screening.

 


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