As a global manufacturer of paints and powder coatings, Jotun acknowledges that certain chemicals have hazardous properties and thus may represent a risk to Jotun’s employees, customers and the environment if they are not handled in a safe manner. To manage these risks in a responsible way, Jotun identifies and works to eliminate potentially hazardous chemicals found in paints and coatings within the framework of company’s Chemical Policy.
The Policy requires that any use of carcinogens, mutagens or reprotoxins, highly toxic chemicals (incl. very corrosive chemicals), immunotoxins (including respiratory sensitisers and very potent skin sensitisers), neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors shall be avoided whenever possible. The Chemical Policy also identifies chemicals or substances that may result in long-term environmental harm, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or substances that are persistent, bioaccumulative or mobile in water.
Jotun’s Chemical Policy is mostly in alignment with strict European regulations (REACH), which often exceed requirements enforced by countries outside the European Union. As Jotun is active in more that 100 countries on five continents, the company must track and update policies to comply with local regulations.
For example, in Norway, a statutory requirement to apply the “Substitution Principle” entered into force on January 1, 2000. Under the law, companies are required to choose the least hazardous chemical when alternatives exist, unless these alternatives result in significant adverse technical or economical consequences. Jotun also works closely with global and regional raw-material suppliers to manage challenges related to cost and availability of replacement substances and to make sure they are sourced responsibly.
Since Jotun’s Chemical Policy was formalised in 2000, the company has phased out and /or replaced a number of hazardous chemicals. At present, Jotun is working to phase out the use of several chemicals, including certain fluorocompounds (water-repellent chemical found in powder and performance coatings) an oxiran mixture (a binder agent used in powder coatings) and butanone oxime (anti-skin agent found in alkyd paints).
Finding replacements for these chemicals represents a genuine challenge, but by applying the ‘Substitution Principle’ Jotun chemists create products that are less hazardous for human health and the environment without compromising quality or performance.