Warning: Walls May be Hazardous to Your Health
It seems inevitable that similar databases for materials that affect promotional products, such as plastics, fabrics and inks, will become available in time. Not because the consumer demands it, or because the government requires it, but because the free market will encourage it. If consumers want safety, someone's going to sell it first. Perkins + Will understood this, and now the firm is sited in The New York Times as an authority on safe construction.
The move toward promoting safety has been happening in or industry for years. As Rick Brenner mentioned in his blog this week, some suppliers voluntarily list those products that are CPSIA-safe even if the item doesn't require it, and the Quality Certification Alliance is set up to promote those companies that choose to go above and beyond when it comes to product safety.
At some point, whether the pressure is coming from buyers or from politicians, everyone is going to need to sell the safest products possible. Those suppliers getting ahead of the wave will be better prepared when the trend becomes tradition, and distributors who anticipate what buyers will want five years in the future can start selling it now. In 2017, when every client places safe products as a priority, you'll have a portfolio showing years of experence.
Whether it's to increase your sales, or decrease the chance of a lawsuit, it makes sense. And business aside, selling safe products is simply the right thing to do. No matter how you look at it, your safest bet is to sell safety.