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California Green Chemistry Initiative - Oct, 2007

Green Chemistry Initiative launched to reduce chemical pollutants from consumer goods

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Product Chemistry and Water Quality Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation into law on October 14, 2007 that makes California the first state to prohibit the use of chemical compounds called phthalates in products designed for children under 3 years old.

Led by the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the Governor has called for the establishment of a Green Chemistry Initiative to develop policy options instead of making chemical policy through the legislature on a case by case basis. The goal of this initiative is to work with scientists from California and around the world to evaluate the health effects of chemicals and possible alternatives in a comprehensive manner.

About two dozen of the nation’s top scientists and engineers have joined the state Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) to build the California Green Chemistry Initiative to cut toxic chemicals in consumer products.

The experts, including Nobel Prize winners, have agreed to serve on the Green Chemistry Science Advisory Panel. The panel will guide DTSC on scientific matters and provide the technical basis for the new regulatory initiative.

“These are the people who invent molecules we will use in the future,” said Maureen Gorsen, director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control. “If we want chemicals that will lead to environmentally sustainable products, these experts can tell us what policies will achieve that goal. Having these distinguished scientists on board is a big asset to the program,” she said.

Launched by California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Linda Adams, the California Green Chemistry Initiative is the response by Gov. Schwarzenegger’s administration to reduce risks from industrial chemicals and waste while promoting innovation to build a robust economy.

Every day, the United States produces or imports 42 billion pounds of chemicals and global chemical production is expected to double every 25 years through 2030, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Toxic chemicals in toys, pet food, clothing, baby bottles and other items have led to a spate of headlines and product recalls in recent months.

The green chemistry initiative aims to expand California’s environmental leadership by eliminating toxic chemical hazards at the source before they reach consumer goods or hazardous waste dumps. For more information, visit: .

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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