Calif. labels styrene `medium-high' toxin
WASHINGTON — California tentatively has labeled styrene a ``medium-high'' developmental and reproductive toxin. The state is considering a more formal review that could require warnings to workers using the monomer, and to consumers who use products made from styrene.
But any final decision could be several years away, and officials with the Washington-based Styrene Information and Research Center said the studies they plan to present will convince regulators that styrene is not a hazard.
The Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment Office, part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, has scheduled a public hearing on its proposal Oct. 29.
The medium-high-risk label means the state will consider chemicals labeled as high risks before looking in detail at styrene, said Betsy Shirley, executive director of SIRC, part of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. The state is trying to decide if it should subject styrene to a more lengthy analysis, she said.
The review is being conducted for California's Proposition 65, which requires labeling of chemicals considered carcinogenic or reproductive toxins.
Clinton lauds mold maker's trade efforts
WASHINGTON — President Clinton gave a high-profile nod to a small Wisconsin mold maker, Snider Mold Co., in an Oct. 15 speech to businesspeople in SÃo Paulo, Brazil, praising the company's trade efforts.
Clinton is on a trip to South America, as his allies try to build support in Congress for extending fast-track trading authority. Clinton aides called Snider owner James Meinert after he testified in support of fast track before a House subcommittee Sept. 30.
Clinton told the audience: ``Our big trade numbers sometimes mask a lot of individual stories — not always from large companies. The Snider Mold Co. of Mequon, Wis., sells molds for making water tanks to companies in Brazil. Brazilian firms use the equipment to replace old water tanks with safer models, supporting jobs in both countries and providing healthier drinking water for families in SÃo Paulo.''
BFGoodrich plans price hike for TPUs
BRECKSVILLE, OHIO — BFGoodrich Specialty Chemicals will attempt to raise prices on its Estane-brand thermoplastic polyurethanes and Estaloc reinforced engineering thermoplastics by an average of 5 percent, effective Nov. 1.
BFG officials at the Brecksville-based unit said the increase is a result of growing raw material costs, compliance with environmental and regulatory responsibilities and supply pressure created by strong global demand for TPUs.
TPU officials at Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., said they had no similar increase planned, while officials at Arco Chemical Co. of Newton Square, Pa., could not be reached at press time. BFGoodrich Co. is headquartered in Richfield, Ohio.
Landis to open molding plant in Arizona
CHICAGO RIDGE, ILL. — Thin-wall injection molder Landis Plastics Inc. plans to open a $10 million, 100,000-square-foot plant on 18 acres in Tolleson, Ariz., in July.
The plant, Landis' sixth, will employ about 95 and perform injection molding and printing. Construction is scheduled to start next month. The facility will serve West Coast customers and companies such as Kraft Foods, the firm's largest customer.
According to Plastics News' estimates, Landis of Chicago Ridge had 1,000 workers, 88 presses and sales of $126 million last year.
Schmalbach enters ASEAN bottle market
MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Schmalbach-Lubeca PET Containers began producing PET preforms and bottles in Manila last month in a joint venture with Gold Packaging.
Schmalbach-Lubeca chose the Philippines to gain entry to regional markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and to fill local market demand for PET preforms and bottles. The 10,800-square-foot leased building has one injection press and a blow molding machine. The firms did not disclose terms.
Initially, the firm will supply preforms for bottles for water and noncarbonated beverage industries. The plant has capacity for 40 million preforms a year and can blow mold 6,600 bottles per hour.
The PET Containers division's parent, Schmalbach-Lubeca AG, is based in Ratingen, Germany.