Behind the Scenes at the CSPA Annual Meeting

Written on: January 18, 2016 by SprayTM

The 2016 CSPA Annual Meeting in December brought together upwards of 500 people to collaborate with each other, and to engage in more than a dozen speaker sessions that many CSPA members said were the best three days of programs they’d ever attended. You will read elsewhere in Spray (see p. 25) about the standing-room-only Aerosol Products Division (APD) Program called, “Aerosol Products around the Globe,” but you may not hear about the substantive details of dozens of working committee meetings where the real work of CSPA is done.

Immediately prior to the Annual Meeting, CSPA hosted the annual International Liaison Committee (ILC), which brings together aerosol association representatives from around the world to share information and strategies on issues impacting aerosol products globally. The 25 representatives at the all-day meeting hailed from 10 different countries within several regions of the world, including Europe, Latin America, Australasia and North America. This year, for the first time, the U.S. delegation included, not only the leadership of the CSPA Aerosol Products Division (APD), but also CSPA members representing the National Aerosol Association (NAA) and four regional aerosol associations. In 2016, the ILC will be hosted by the Federation of European Aerosol Associations (FEA) in Istanbul, and in 2017, by the Latin American Aerosol Federation (FLADA) in Mexico City.

On Dec. 7, the first day of the Annual Meeting, the APD Survey Committee met to plan the schedule for completing the “2015 CSPA Aerosol Pressurized Product Survey.” The Tests & Standard Methods Committee and Commercial Standards Committee met to plan completion of the CSPA Aerosol Guide, 10th Edition, which will feature dozens of new and revised CSPA voluntary standards—including, for the first time, plastic aerosol containers and bag-on-valve (BOV) packaging, as well as regulatory information needed throughout the aerosol product valve supply chain. The Manufacturing & Storage Standards Committee met to plan for a 4th Edition of the CSPA Propellants Safety Manual, which is being revised to cover new propellants, and is scheduled for completion prior to the CSPA Propellants Safety Seminar to be held in Atlanta in March, 2016. They also reviewed the significant progress made with fire and building codes in 2015, strategized efforts for 2016 and discussed a potential new initiative: harmonized quality audits for aerosol fillers. Finally, the Atmospheric Policy Committee discussed the various state, federal and international regulatory initiatives impacting the aerosol industry.

Work continued on Dec. 8, as the Recycling Committee met to review progress with the CSPA Aerosol Recycling Promotion Initiative, begun in 2013 to further enhance recycling rates and access. A member survey demonstrated significant progress on the labeling of products with, “Please Recycle When Empty.” As well, a new study has just been initiated to track population access to recycling both steel and aluminum aerosol containers.

CSPA is also addressing waste regulatory issues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and in California, to seek removal of barriers to increased aerosol recycling. The Membership Committee reviewed the new members recruited in 2015, and strategized CSPA membership recruitment for 2016. The Program Committee reviewed audience comments on that morning’s program and began work on the Mid-Year Meeting Division Program. The International Harmonization Committee, with the participation of many of the international ILC guests, continued reviewing a host of federal and international issues in the areas of hazardous materials transport and Globally Harmonized System (GHS) implementation. The day ended with a special workgroup discussion on potential new strategies to deter intentional inhalation abuse of aerosol dusters.

Dec. 9 started with a meeting of the Consumer Aerosol Products Council (CAPCO), which had another active year in promoting aerosol recyclability and correcting misinformation, and ended with the Alliance for Consumer Education (ACE) planning expansion of its advocacy beyond inhalation abuse and into education on correct product use. In between, the Transformative Technology Committee discussed new and innovative aerosol packaging technology, including plastic containers, BOVs and propellants, as well as new alternatives to the hot water bath test.

Finally, the APD Executive Board, which oversees all CSPA aerosol activities, met to hear reports from each working committee and discuss issues impacting aerosol products that are being handled by CSPA’s many general committees—including ingredient communication, Proposition 65, VOCs and more. They also recognized the year’s two Division award winners: Gregory Johnson, recipient of the 2015 Volunteer Recognition Award, and Donald Rowson, winner of a special lifetime recognition award honoring more than 50 years of service to CSPA.

CSPA also has six other divisions, each with their own working committees and general committees. Each CSPA Annual Meeting and Mid-Year Meeting is truly an immense engine with many moving parts. If any of the topics above directly impact you or your company, feel free to contact CSPA at for more information—almost every CSPA committee is open for new member representatives to join.