An Unwavering Voice in the Debate Over Safe and Effective Plastics
Philadelphia, PA March 22, 2006)
JMME, Inc. (http://www.jmme.com) is a consulting firm providing manufacturers, end users and regulators with advice and strategic guidance on the important role plastics play in today's corporate and personal worlds. Since its inception, JMME has been dedicated to corporate responsibility for developing safe products, effective protections provided by codes and standards for the safe use of plastic products and the overall protection of sports participants and spectators through effective testing and development of plastic sports equipment.
According to its President, John Moritz, JMME was founded on the principle that public safety can be significantly improved through the effective use of plastics technology. JMME, Inc. has provided consulting services and strategic analysis on plastics related issues to an international clientele with projects that have spanned 27 countries on four continents. JMME has undertaken projects ranging from economic deployment of effective resources, to the development of flame retardant plastics or the education and guidance of legislative and regulatory bodies considering local, industry-based or national bans on potentially toxic chemicals used in today's plastics.
Trade associations have engaged representative services from JMME to achieve consideration of tough issues related to toxicology, economics and impact to governmental infrastructure when proposed bans of commonly used plastic components have arisen in codes and standards. "JMME has been a leading strategist in the efforts to preserve CMP cable and expose potentially hazardous implications including toxicological and economic impacts related to monopolizing fluoropolymer-based cables through proposed code manipulations since 1996," according to Moritz. JMME has also worked to restrict lead use in polymer formulations while preserving crucial infrastructure uses for lead such as lead-acid batteries for telecommunications and emergency back-up power supplies. In 2004, JMME played an instrumental role in defeating a proposed ban on antimony oxide in Massachusetts, a bill that would have caused a decrease in fire safety and an increase in loss-of-life.
"In 1998, I was a one of only a couple of voices responding to the fluoropolymer industry lobbyists' calls to eliminate the use of PVC-based CMP cable in plenum applications and I felt that a larger presence was required to educate the users and designers to the implications of the proposed monopoly for fluoropolymer cables in plenum. Today, JMME has forged alliances with numerous associations, unions and media contacts bringing the resources of thousands to the plenum cable debate. More importantly, now the true underlying concerns related to smoke toxicity and potential carcinogenic effects of certain polymer components are coming to light," as recalled by Moritz.
In response to issues raised to NFPA in 2005 regarding the ongoing debate over plenum cable, Maureen Brodoff, Vice President and General Counsel to NFPA stated, "there has been no issue over the last number of years that has occupied more time and attention of NFPA staff and the NFPA Standards Council than issues relating to plenum cable. Over at least the last three revision cycles, I can attest to the diligence and integrity with which the Standards Council has grappled with the difficult and highly contentious issues and allegations that have been presented… I was present at the meeting you refer to in 1998 when Jim Shannon [now President, NFPA International] met with you to hear your concerns at that time. He urged you at that time to fully participate and express your concerns within our standards development process. We greatly appreciate that you have done so and we hope that you will continue to do so, since it is only with the full participation and vigorous advocacy of all interested parties that the standards development system can operate with full effectiveness and fairness in reaching a legitimate consensus on the contentious issues concerning plenum cable."
Corporate clients have engaged JMME to develop global qualifications programs for plastic materials to ensure effective and consistent selection parameters are used in components including: wire and cable for telecommunications, sealed industrial batteries for emergency or back-up power supply and ABS brake components for automotive and truck applications now molded from high-endurance polymers replacing aluminum blocks to reduce part weight. With an emphasis on the telecommunications industry and the safe and effective use of plastics, including flame retardant grades in building applications, JMME has remained focused on the overall impact plastics have on building occupants during emergency scenarios. In summarizing his position on developing fire safe polymer systems Moritz stated, "It does little good for public safety to provide fire protection for buildings, especially high-rise offices, if the products used produce aggressive toxic agents that could impair the ability of occupants to evacuate even in areas where fire has not spread, but heat has been conducted. All smoke is toxic, but there are levels of toxicity that must be considered and, in my opinion, quite frankly are being ignored due to economic interests."
JMME, Inc. currently provides guidance in the development of codes, standards, regulations and legislation at many levels. With contributing positions on code bodies where guidance on plastics related issues are concerned, JMME is active with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and ASTM International while also providing advocate services to many legislatures proposing cutting edge chemical legislation including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maine, California, and Washington, DC. John Moritz is also a USA Hockey accredited ice hockey and inline hockey referee contributing standards and rules input to the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) and the Ice Hockey Safety Subcommittee of ASTM F08.
In the opinion of James T. Dollard, Jr., Safety Coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 98 Philadelphia, PA, "John Moritz has proven himself to be a vigilant defender of the consensus process in the development and modification of codes and standards. As a fellow committee member, I commend John for his passion, dedication and tireless efforts to derail the runaway fluoropolymer train. I look forward to working with John and JMME in the development/modification of codes and standards. We share Johns' passion for safety though technically sound modifications to existing standards and his dedication to maintain the integrity of the code development process."
In addition to hundreds of proposals to code making bodies, John Moritz has also presented numerous white papers on the issues surrounding plenum cable and the effective design of flame retardant polyolefin compounds including in children's playgrounds. His paper Pending Changes in Fire Code and the Potential Impact on Plenum Wire and Cable Market (10/04/1998) has become the cornerstone for advocacy programs that have prevented the manipulation of the codes process by a singular group for economic benefit. These papers are available in PDF format at the JMME website in the Newsroom.
Frank Bisbee, President of Communication Planning Corporation has developed his own opinion of the positions and strategies coming from JMME. According to Frank, "John Moritz has persisted in his charge against enormous odds. JMME is a true David taking on the Goliath of fluoropolymers to preserve the integrity of the codes process and promote safety for all building occupants that could be potentially exposed to toxic chemicals. His ability to distill competitive strategy, identify a course of action and maintain a steady focus when his may be the lone voice seeking technical justification for proposed changes speaks to the dedication demonstrated time and again by Mr. Moritz and his passion to save lives."
JMME is currently taking on client projects. Inquiries are encouraged and welcomed. Current projects include corporate/industry related advocacy of plastics and the development or enhancement of plastics products and programs. JMME provides a grass-roots commitment to public safety for your company or trade association and is dedicated to a true consensus process. For more information on the consulting services and codes and standards advocacy programs offered by JMME, Inc., please contact John Moritz, President, JMME, Inc., 701 Broadmoor Drive, Blue Bell, PA 19422-4205 at (610) 292-9814 or visit our website at www.jmme.com.