The competing and often strident claims about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas can obscure the real story of the risks involved. As a recent report notes, the chemicals and drilling waste are more hazardous above ground than miles beneath it.
The latest revision of the world's most widely used framework for corporate sustainability reporting provides an opportunity to push for increased disclosure of companies' efforts to reduce their toxic footprints.
U.S. companies should heed European regulatory and advisory bodies' increasing scrutiny of hazardous chemical mixtures. Most initiatives to restrict chemicals in products and supply chains in the past decade can trace their roots to Europe. And increased knowledge of mixture effects means that levels of chemicals once considered safe when viewed in isolation will no longer be deemed so innocent.
Companies whose products contain certain out-of-favor chemicals can suffer from toxic lockout, and Colgate-Palmolive is among the firms that are moving away from triclosan -- a chemical frequently used in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.