PolyOne is a leading supplier of specialty, formulated polymer solutions. The great majority of our solutions are compounded formulations of a wide variety of polymers, within which various additives (stabilizers, modifiers, performance enhancers and pigments) have been incorporated. We sell into a wide variety of end use markets. The polymers and additives used for compounding are supplied by others; we are not producers of these chemistries, and therefore rely on hazard and risk information developed and provided by our suppliers, or developed within the broader chemical marketplace.
The polymer matrix or carrier of most of our products effectively encapsulates the additives, and renders the formulations inert, and most constituents that would be expected to possess a hazardous characteristic or property are rendered bio-unavailable by virtue of the polymer matrix. In addition, the proper and reasonably foreseeable use of our products generally results in negligible to minor exposure (to the user, or the environment) as the nature of the polymer or carrier persists during and after use, handling or application. There are products however, that by virtue of well-studied, specific significant inherent hazards or generally understood effects are considered priority products within our broad portfolio. There are various internal mechanisms by which this is conducted. The initial phase of our prioritization review includes an assessment of the chemical substances within the product we formulate, manufacture and sell. Some of our polymer products may contain substances or classes of substances which, when combined with other substances, or under certain processing conditions, might generate or evolve a generally understood or actual dangerous substance, itself not originally contained within the finished product, or which are particularly regulated.
We also formulate with other chemistries and chemicals that while not prioritized under our approach, still receive significant additional management and control.
Additionally, with the vast majority of our geographic markets converting to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals for mixtures in 2015, PolyOne has elected to prioritize its finished goods based on the GHS classification of the product. If the product is not classified as hazardous under our GHS classification system, this is a lower priority product for us from the perspective of Product Stewardship prioritization. However, as GHS classification is new, we are also applying our polymer knowledge to this initial review of prioritization, and if we believe that test data, supplier data/statements/guidance, or other reliable information indicates that the finished product is not inherently dangerous in the context of, and despite the GHS classification, we may lower the prioritization classification of that product. This may or may not also result in a reclassification under GHS of the product, in accordance with GHS guidelines.