Last week, the US EPA reported that it has posted additional data and improved usability of ChemView, a database of chemicals regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). By giving the public greater access to chemical information, the EPA assists consumers in making smarter decisions about the ingredients in everyday products. The EPA added more Significant New Use Rules (SNURs), additional chemicals, and an updated Safer Chemicals Ingredients list. This online tool now provides information on almost 10,000 chemicals. Not only has the update provide more information to users, but also it has improved the display, to increase efficiency when using the tool.
The EPA launched ChemView in 2013 to increase the availability of information on chemicals as part of a commitment to strengthen the existing chemicals program and improve access to and usefulness of chemical data and information. The tool displays key health and safety information and uses data in a format that allows quick understanding, with links to more detailed information. Searches can be conducted by chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Service number, use, hazard effect, or regulatory action and has the flexibility to create tailored views of the information on individual chemicals.
Check out the updates and complete this ten minute customer satisfaction survey to provide the agency with your feedback on the usefulness of the tool, how its functionality can be improved, and suggestions for additional content.
The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Reducing Toxic Threats Initiative is based on the principle that preventing exposures to toxics is the smartest, cheapest and healthiest way to protect people and the environment. It supports Washington State’s Children’s Safe Product Act, which requires manufacturers of children’s products sold in Washington to report if their product contains a Chemical of High Concern to Children.
As a result of this campaign, the Department has developed several useful resources on chemicals in consumer products. They include:
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has opened nominations for the sixth annual Michigan Green Chemistry Governor’s Awards.
The Governor’s Awards recognize advances that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into design, manufacturing, or use of chemicals and materials. The awards honor innovative efforts to design, implement, and promote safer and more sustainable chemicals, processes, and products.
Awards are open to individuals, groups, and organizations, both non-profit and for profit. Entries must be sent no later than July 18, 2014. The awards will be presented at the 2014 Michigan Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, which will take place this fall at Michigan State University.
The program was established by the Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable to celebrate innovation in Michigan, with fifteen winners having been presented with an award in the first five years of the program.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting nominations for the 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards promote the environmental and economic benefits of developing and using novel green chemistry both in academia and industry. The American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute® administers the awards in coordination with the EPA.
Deadline for submitting nominations is April 30, 2014. Winners will be announced in the fall and there will be a special awards ceremony in Washington DC.
Learn first-hand about the business case for green chemistry and how companies can take advantage of technical assistance opportunities to help them move forward in their sustainability efforts. Network with others who are interested in adopting green chemistry principles to advance economic development and a healthy environment in the Great Lakes region.
Join leaders from industry, academia, government, non-profits, U.S. EPA Region 5, and those involved in the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Safer Chemistry Challenge Program in Cleveland, OH from March 31-April 3, 2014. Conference events include:
Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable meeting (afternoon of March 31)
Meeting cost $15 to pay for food during mid-afternoon break
Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference (April 1-2)
For the last several years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, through a U.S. EPA grant, has funded projects in the state that promote the use of green chemistry in industry and encourage the teaching of green chemistry and design principles in Minnesota’s colleges and universities. The case studies from these projects were recently published on the MPCA web site. Details of the project and links to the associated case studies are included below.
Green Chemistry and Design Demonstration Project
Demonstration projects tested whether grants of around $50,000 can provide threshold funding to businesses to undertake green chemistry and design changes to their products, or to the components of products they deliver to customers or supply chains.
Grants co-funded basic chemistry research, moved research or development already in progress closer to completion, or adapted off-the-shelf green chemistry technology. Actual implementation of product changes through retooled production were the ideal end-result, but product design or redesign and testing with a commitment to carry the new design through to production sufficed.
Funds were awarded in the form of a grant to a company that controlled the design of a product or component and committed to a green chemistry and design improvement of such a product or component. Internal teams and external partnerships were vital and could include the company designing the product or component, their customer(s), their production supply chain, and either internal or third-party (external) technical resource providers such as consultants, graduate research students, labs or testing facilities, mentoring companies, or others.
Demonstration projects were designed to support the research and development side of the product design process. Grant funds could not be used for purchasing the equipment necessary to produce the newly designed or redesigned product. Equipment purchases could be made through state low-interest loan programs, either MPCA environmental loans or those available through other state agencies.
Green Chemistry and Design College Curriculum Grant Projects
The MPCA has been exploring the most effective means for state government to promote wider use of Green Chemistry and Design. The MPCA has pursued this exploration as part of its 22-year-old Pollution Prevention program, to arrive at both life-cycle environmental improvement and a more profitable and sustainable economy.
The MPCA is researching and evaluating a number of mechanisms for supporting broader use of Green Chemistry:
Grants to Minnesota companies in various sectors to pursue Green Chemistry, Engineering and Design improvements in products;
Improved multi-stakeholder networks to facilitate awareness and information exchange (including the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum, annual Minnesota Green Chemistry conferences, and the Environmental Initiative’s Chemicals Policy stakeholder process);
Integration of Green Chemistry information and best practices into existing State-funded assistance services;
Broadening markets for Green Chemistry and overall greener products through State purchasing, facilitation of greener private-sector supply chains, and use of existing or new tax incentives;
High-level State Green Chemistry initiatives and policy proposals;
Grants and networking to strengthen Green Chemistry education.
Learning from this exploration of potential state government programs supporting Green Chemistry will be reported to the Governor and Minnesota Legislature periodically to inform future policy decisions.
On December 9, U.S. EPA Region 5 held a one-day training session that provided an introduction to green chemistry and engineering basics for pollution prevention technical assistance providers. The event was also broadcast as a webinar.
Speakers and topics included:
“P2 Hazard Reduction Fundamentals and National Metrics for Measuring
Success” — Kathy Davey, U.S. EPA, HQ
“Highlights of Module 2: U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment Program
and External Resources” — Donna Twickler, U.S. EPA, Region 5
Two grant projects, funded through MPCA’s Environmental Assistance Grant Program, supported the development of Green Chemistry and Design curricula at Northwestern Health Sciences University and a new laboratory experiment at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities to teach introductory chemistry students about sustainable polymers.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has completed a project with the Stratford Companies to work with the MPCA to assess the presence and use of formaldehyde and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in Minnesota’s composite and fabricated wood building and furnishing products by manufacturers, architects, engineers and contractors (the value chain). Links to summaries of the findings from these surveys are below. Copies of the final white papers are available by request to Mark Snyder.
The purpose of this conference is to show how innovations in green chemistry drive advances in business, academia, policy, and human health protection in the Great Lakes region, and how integration and collaboration of these areas are crucial for success.
The conference will include keynotes, plenary sessions, panel sessions, breakout sessions, and a poster networking exchange. Submissions should specify a desire for inclusion as either a presentation or a poster.This year, a poster networking exchange session will be offered to enable interactive discussions for research and implementation strategies related to green chemistry. We are inviting posters from anyone involved in research, safer formulations, new product development and implementation, decision-making tools, or technical assistance. Ideally, posters will make a connection between green chemistry expertise and business needs in product development in safer chemistry. Student involvement is encouraged and entries from students are welcome.
The following general topic areas are being proposed for the conference and the final agenda will be chosen, in part, from the areas represented by the topics submitted:
Business and Green Chemistry
Efforts that drive green chemistry innovations
Case studies describing economic and environmental achievements in green chemistry innovation
Market challenges holding back economic and environmental success
Ways companies have made the business case for green chemistry
Supply chain integration of safer chemistry strategies
Issues with green chemistry start-up companies
Building bridges between business and academia
Public/private partnerships for safer chemistry
Resources and Tools
Decision-making tools to help guide businesses
Role of government, policy, and regulations
State policy progression and advancements
How government regulation drives innovation in green chemistry
Research and Education
Research and technology in safer chemistry
Green chemistry education
Research efforts leading to practical implementation
State of the Great Lakes
GLRI grantees panel
Great Lakes emerging chemicals of concern (to human health and the environment)