AFA Chemicals of Concern Industry Review (Published 2022)
Chemicals of concern are a growing health and environmental issue. Australia’s furniture/furnishing industry leaders are mobilising to identify opportunities to phase out chemicals of concern in everyday household and commercial furniture items. Learn which five steps have been identified to help the industry move forward to truly meet Design for the Circular Economy and align with Commonwealth Government policy on chemicals management, the Modern Manufacturing Strategy and Skills Reform.
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Chemicals of concern are a growing health and environmental issue. As Australia transitions towards a safe circular economy, the use and management of chemicals of concern across Australian industries is an area of increased focus for policymakers and industry.
Against this developing context, Australia’s furniture/furnishing industry leaders are mobilising to identify opportunities to phase out chemicals of concern in everyday household and commercial furniture items. The national furniture/furnishing industry collectively employs a workforce of over 500,000 people in the manufacture and supply of products used in residential, commercial, and public spaces of everyday Australians. Research shows that the chemicals of concern used in a range of these products can lead to environmental and health impacts when they are released into air, water, and soil. They can also jeopardise positive initiatives to reuse and recycle materials and products, due to the risk of persistent chemicals being transferred into new products and/or released into the environment during processing.
Despite this, the management, use and potential strategies to phase-out or restrict chemicals of concern in the Australian furniture/furnishing industry are still largely unexplored in an industry-focused way. The Australasian Furnishing Association (AFA), will deliver an industry-driven research and engagement project to identify and fill the gaps. This project will be used to support the development of future industry led initiatives and Government regulation to address chemicals of concern across the furniture/furnishing industry.