The Precautionary Principle: Use and Misuse in Product Stewardship and Implications to Business Risk

Bob DeMott, Ph.D, DABT Moderator
Tampa, FL 
United States of America
Paul Harper, BS, MBA Presenter
Phoenix, AZ 
United States of America
Mark McKinney Co-Presenter
BASF Corporation
Wyandotte, MI 
Kathleen Murphy, CIH Co-Presenter
The Sherwin-Williams Company
Cleveland, OH 
United States of America
Dr Robert Skoglund Co-Presenter
Covestro LLC
Pittsburgh, PA 
Dr Gavin Thompson, PhD Co-Presenter
Ramboll Environment & Health
Phoenix, AZ 
United States of America
Tue, 9/10: 1:30 PM  - 3:00 PM 
Deep Dive Session 
Greater Columbus Convention Center 
Room: Union Station A 


Application of the Precautionary Principle, a call for action in the face of scientific uncertainty to minimize risks associated with exposure, is a foundational aspect of product stewardship. All product stewards are keenly aware that our understanding of hazards associated with chemical substances and risks associated with the use of products containing those substances is continually evolving and inherently uncertain.

This uncertainty presents a spectrum of challenges – and intended and unintended consequences – in deciding how the Precautionary Principle should be interpreted and applied in case-by-case situations. Through this session, participants will examine how product stewards might resolve these challenges and outcomes that could arise from those decisions.

A highly interactive session, the audience will use role-playing and gaming tools to explore scenarios involving three different approaches to interpreting the Precautionary Principle in the context of applicable regulations (inadequate, conservative and practical) from the vantage point of various stakeholders.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the session, attendees will be better able to:
1. Explain differences in hazard and risk interpretation arising from application of the Precautionary Principle in the context of regulations applying to a particular product
2. Summarizing the communication of product safety and stewardship information to diverse groups of stakeholders by gaining awareness of the range of mechanisms for hazard communication.
3. Recognizing the impact of new or newly invigorated sources of hazard information and its impact on classification decisions 

Learning/Experience Level



Emerging Chemical Regulatory Issues/Global Regulations