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Green Chemistry Concepts in Personal Care and Cosmetics
Posted: February 14, 2008
page 6 of 9
Reducing copper catalyst content in ATRP: Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP) is a controlled, transition-metal-mediated process to polymerize appropriate monomers by radical mechanisms; it was discovered in 1995 in the laboratories of Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, department of chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University. Many industrial research programs are actively using this process to prepare polymers for a broad spectrum of applications including cosmetics.
Since 1995, Matyjaszewski’s group has led efforts to develop more active catalyst systems targeted at reducing the levels of metals in ATRP systems by using hybrid catalysts in processes called Activators Generated by Electron Transfer (AGET) and Activators ReGenerated by Electron Transfer (ARGET). The new processes will eliminate all hazardous substances from the products made by ATRP and from the waste streams of industrial production.
Lowering VOCs in hair sprays: In 1996 Eastman Chemical Co. developed a water-dispersible sulfopolyester that allowed hair sprays to be formulated with 55% ethanol, which was significantly less than the contemporary industry standard of 80% VOC. Switching all of the 1996 hair spray market from the then current standard of 80% VOC to 45% VOC would have resulted in a total reduction of VOC emissions of around 55 million pounds per year. In general, sulfopolyester dispersions may be used as low-VOC film formers for a variety of cosmetic products in addition to hair sprays; therefore, an even larger potential for VOC emission reduction exists.
Alternatives to toxic microbicidal chemicals: Almost all traditional, widely used disinfecting and sanitizing products contain ingredients that are toxic or potentially toxic, are environmentally hazardous, or have a high potential for accidents.
Microcide Inc. developed a technology of safe, biodegradable, nonpolluting products as alternatives to toxic microbicidal chemicals. Microcide uses ingredients listed by the Food and Drug Administration and EPA as biodegradable, generally recognized as safe (GRAS), food additives, safe, and/or nonpolluting. With these ingredients, Microcide develops broad-spectrum microbicidal products as alternatives to toxic and oxidizing chemicals for the food processing, personal care and health industries.