Cal/EPA Issues Green Chemistry Recommendations

On Dec. 16, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) released the Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) Final Recommendations that seeks to eliminate or reduce the use of toxic substances in products and manufacturing processes.

“Rather than managing wastes at the end of a product’s lifecycle, Green Chemistry shifts our focus to designing chemicals, processes, and goods that have little or no adverse affects during the manufacturing, use or disposal of a product,“ said Secretary Linda Adams. “I’m proud to be ushering in a new wave of chemical policies in California.

The six policy recommendations are:

• expand pollution prevention and product stewardship programs.
• develop green chemistry workforce education and training through new and existing educational programs and partnerships.
• create an online product ingredient network to disclose chemical ingredients for products sold in California, while protecting trade secrets.
• create an online toxics clearinghouse, an online database of chemical toxicity and hazards populated with the guidance of a Green Ribbon Science Panel to help prioritize chemicals of concern and data needs.
• accelerate the quest for safer products, creating a systematic, science-based process to evaluate chemicals of concern and alternatives to ensure product safety and reduce or eliminate the need for chemical-by-chemical bans.
• move toward a cradle-to-cradle economy, establishing a California Green Products Registry to develop green metrics and tools (e.g., environmental footprint calculators, sustainability indexes) for a range of consumer products and encourage their use by businesses.

More information on the California Green Chemistry Initiative can be found at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/GreenChemistryInitiative/index.cfm.

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