California outlines final recommendations on green chemistry

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Green chemistry, Chemistry, Sustainability

California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) has released the final policy recommendations for the Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI) to establish a new framework for chemical legislation.

The GCI was formed in April 2007 by Cal/EPA to work with all relevant stakeholders to determine the best options for a comprehensive chemicals policy.

Six policy recommendations

The culmination of the 18-month is the creation of six policy recommendations that were formulated with the aim of making the Californian economy clean, green and sustainable:

  • Expand pollution prevention and product stewardship programs.
  • Develop green chemistry education and training through new and existing 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 or 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 towards 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.

Removing politics from chemical legislation

The publication of the final recommendations follows the signing into law in California this September of two bills that aim to establish a science-based process for dealing with potentially toxic chemicals.

The overall aim of the green chemistry laws in the Golden State (A.B. 1879 and S.B. 509) is to remove politics from the evaluation of disputed chemicals and prevent lobby groups and political interests from determining the content of consumer goods.

To read the newly published green chemistry report from the GCI and review the final recommendations in more detail, click on the link below:

http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/PollutionPrevention/GreenChemistryInitiative/index.cfm?CFID=7342802&CFTOKEN=14203666

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