DTSC’s first event in a series of alternatives analysis symposiums brought together specialists to exchange ideas on creating fair and feasible processes for finding less-toxic chemicals in consumer goods.
More than 100 attendees filled the Byron Sher Auditorium in the California Environmental Protection Agency building to experience the dialogue in person. Attendance via a live webcast of the June 9 event exceeded 200.
Panelists from government, business, academia and nongovernmental organizations delivered presentations focused on the process of looking at less-toxic chemicals and processes that are better for our health and better for the environment.
These discussions will help scientists, manufacturers and stakeholders understand and develop alternatives analysis procedures as California moves ahead with implementing its Green Chemistry Initiative and the initiative’s Regulations for Safer Products.
The regulations call for an alternatives analysis to be conducted on consumer products containing chemicals determined to be hazardous to public health or the environment. Presenters from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) program, along with the state of Washington, shared their perspectives on best practices in alternatives analysis through the lens of regulatory agencies.
A consultant with MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry), an independent certifier, described the challenges of developing alternatives analysis processes that will identify ingredient substitutions that are truly better for the environment and better for our health.
Similar in theme was the presentation from Clean Production Action. The organization’s presentation included the challenge of integrating green chemistry and engineering into product and process designs; the Green Screen for Safer Chemicals, a tool for identifying safer chemicals; and moving toward economic, environmental and community sustainability. An industry viewpoint came from a Procter & Gamble scientist who supported the need for sharing best practices in alternatives analysis. Dozens of questions came from attendees both live and online. The presenters were candid in their answers -- at times inspiring an auditorium full of affirming head nods.
Click here to view the agenda, speaker bios, speaker presentations, and video of the symposium.
The series continued on July 28, with Alternatives Analysis Symposium II: Case Studies from the Field, and is free and open to the public.