Editor’s notes: The HSF Mark was inadvertently truncated on the issue of Quality Digest Daily released on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012. The full and complete logo can be found below. Author Stan Salot will be the guest this week on Quality Digest Live, airing Friday, June 15, at 11 a.m. Pacific.
We tell our children to wash their hands routinely, we clean the kitchen and bathroom religiously (since they tend to harbor the most germs), and we buy eco-friendly cleaners to ensure our family's safety. But, despite our best efforts, hazardous materials are still slipping into many of our homes.
Although you may know the basics when it comes to shopping for safe and environmentally friendly products and knowing what brands to look for, it's still easy to miss certain ingredients that can pose health risks. In fact, some hazardous materials, albeit in small amounts, are actually allowed in the products we buy. The six main substances to watch for in your products include lead, cadmium, mercury, PBB, PBDE, and hexavalent chromium. These substances can be found in musical birthday cards, earrings, light bulbs, and even electronic toys.
There are more than 140 million products manufactured worldwide. It's nearly impossible to know what's in all of those products, especially those made overseas. It is not enough for manufacturers to simply tell us that their products are safe; they should make detailed product information accessible for all of us. I believe that consumers have the right to know about the materials contained in the products we buy. The HSF (hazardous substance free) Mark was recently developed by the HSF Mark Alliance to provide the solution for which consumers have been asking for years.
The HSF Mark gives manufacturers a reliable way to show consumers that their products are safe. Companies that comply with industry standards and are validated by ongoing third-party testing can use the HSF Mark or logo on product packaging. This way, consumers are assured that by purchasing products with the mark, the materials used in production will not harm their families and their loved ones. Retailers that sell products with the HSF Mark demonstrate their intent to remain on the leading edge of corporate social responsibility and their commitment to superior safety standards.
The HSF Mark is a great opportunity for consumers, manufacturers, and retailers alike. As a consumer, small business owner, quality professional, or a representative of a manufacturer, you can help strengthen and widen the reach of the HSF Mark by spreading the word about it. Let us work together to protect our environment for future generations by making a commitment to the manufacturing, sales, procurement, and overall use of hazardous substance free products.