Pubdate: Wed, 29 Jun 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Jeff Weigele


In his June 24 Federal Insider column, "Does the DEA share blame in 
the opioid fight?," Joe Davidson asked if the Drug Enforcement 
Administration shoulders some of the blame for the nation's opioid 
deaths. Do gun manufacturers take responsibility for the end user? In 
the chemical industry, in which I have worked for more than 30 years, 
we have product stewardship. We take responsibility for the products 
we make from the time we manufacture them to the end user's actions. 
We call this "cradle to grave" accountability.

In my industry, the hazardous chemicals we produce are protected by a 
very clear process. We "qualify" our customers before we sell to 
them. This involves analyzing customers' audits to determine if they 
have the necessary safeguards to protect their employees and the 
community. We repeat the process every three years. In addition, the 
cylinders used to package and transport materials also have to meet 
strict Transportation Department standards; they are inspected 
annually and certified. I don't see this level of vigilance in any 
other industry.

All manufacturers need to take cradle-to-grave responsibility for the 
products they sell.

Jeff Weigele, Ellicott City
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