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Posts Tagged ‘green chemistry’

Midwest Bioeconomy and Safer Products Summit: Regional Innovations Solving Global Problems

February 13th, 2015

Strong manufacturing, retail, and human resources, supportive policies, abundant forestry and agriculture resources, and solid industries, summit logocompanies, and innovation make the Midwest well positioned to be a leader in the bioeconomy. How will stronger consumer (and business) demands for safer and environmentally-friendly products impact the Midwest economy?

Join the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum to explore green chemistry, innovation, and sustainability initiatives at the Midwest Bioeconomy and Safer Products Summit on February 19th.

EVENT DETAILS

Thursday, February 19, 2015
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Minneapolis Central Library, Pohland Hall
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Register »

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Laura Babcock

POSTED BY:

Director, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

Green Chemistry is Big in Minnesota and Poised to Grow

January 8th, 2014

Increasingly companies of all sizes and types are looking at the chemicals used in their products and processes with an eye to reducing their environmental impacts. Many are using green chemistry and life cycle assessment as frameworks for increasing the sustainability of their products and processes and assuring the use of safer chemicals throughout their supply chains. These businesses recognize the value and cost savings from reducing toxic inputs, including reduced liability, regulatory compliance, and meeting consumer demand for safer products.

Fortunately, Minnesota is blessed with a cluster of businesses helping to meet consumer and business demands for safer chemistry. Companies like BioAmber, Segetis, NatureWorks, Reluceo, and others are utilizing biofeedstock to develop replacements for petroleum-derived plasticizers, solvents and plastics.  Biochemicals provide a high value use of agricultural and forestry feedstock that can help boost Minnesota’s economy. In addition to economic benefits, green chemistry affords environmental and health benefits from new, safer green chemistry products. (more…)

Kathleen Schuler

POSTED BY:

Healthy Kids and Families Program Director,
Conservation Minnesota

BPA and Receipts – A Call for Businesses to Go Paperless

February 20th, 2013

Receipts and BPA – if this doesn’t ring a bell on environmental issues, it will soon. You may be able to find one in your pocket – take a look – many printed receipt papers contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, (or BPA for short). BPA is often used as an ink developer in thermal receipt paper and is a chemical that can cause human and environmental health hazards. It is on the Minnesota Department of Health’s list of Priority Chemicals, is listed is a chemical of concern for the State, and has been banned in children’s toys. However, BPA can still be found in receipt paper.

Recent studies have found individual thermal receipts from retailers and restaurants can contain a mass of BPA that is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount in a can of food. Other studies have confirmed that BPA in thermal papers is easily transferred onto the hands of those who handle the receipt.  While the rate of absorption through the skin is not completely known, those who handle receipts as part of their employment have been found to have higher amounts of BPA in their bodies than other people. More information can be found here. (more…)

POSTED BY:

LEED AP, Director of Environmental Procurement, Stratford

Chemical Regulation and Policy – The Heavy Lifting

May 16th, 2012

Collaborative problem solving is hard work, and progress on some of the most challenging issues facing society does not always take the form of complete consensus. In some cases advancing the dialogue and laying the groundwork for further discussion is a worthwhile effort that ultimately may set the stage for a win-win solution further down the line.

The Minnesota Chemical Regulation and Policy Project has just about concluded, after countless hours of creative and constructive dialogue stretched over fourteen stakeholder Work Group meetings spanning more than two years. Environmental Initiative has appreciated the opportunity to work with such a dedicated and capable group of individuals to wrestle with this difficult issue. Over the course of the project, we’ve learned that chemical management and policy is extremely complex and multi-dimensional – regulators and decision makers need to weigh complicated scientific information against public health and economic considerations and try to provide adequate assurance of safety while making sure we all continue to benefit from robust chemical and consumer product industries. This is not an easy task, and as I described in a past post, Chemicals Policy 101 – What You Need to Know, government officials across the country at all levels (federal, state and local) have been grappling with this challenge for quite some time.

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Ellen Gibson

POSTED BY:

Senior Program Director

Minnesota Green Chemistry 2012: Strategies for Growth

January 5th, 2012

Have you heard of “green chemistry”? I sure hadn’t until I started working with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the Minnesota Green Chemistry Forum as an intern.

Green chemistry focuses on intentionally reducing and hopefully eliminating toxic substances from our environment, improving energy efficiency and reducing waste. It encompasses everything from consumer education to waste disposal, venture capital for startups to industrial process improvements. The scope of moving toward green chemistry is huge, and its impact can help shape a cleaner and safer world.

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POSTED BY:

Green Chemistry Conference Intern, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Chemicals Policy 101: What You Need to Know

October 4th, 2011

“Chemistry is everywhere.” My college offered an undergraduate course with this title, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that I fully understood how true this statement is. Each of us encounters hundreds of chemical compounds every day. Whether in the air we breathe, soaps we use, plastics we handle, or even the water we drink – chemistry is essential and inescapable.

In the United States, chemicals in commerce are regulated under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA – pronounced “TOSCA”), which was passed into law in 1976 and has not been updated since. TSCA gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to maintain an inventory of chemicals in commerce, regulate unreasonable risk from toxic chemicals, and disclose certain health and safety information. Of the approximately 85,000 chemical substances on the TSCA inventory, only five have been actively regulated by EPA in the 35 years since TSCA’s enactment. Of course, not all chemicals are harmful. Many chemicals have been extensively tested and are shown to be safe. Still, there is wide acknowledgment that TSCA is not as effective as it could be at protecting the public from dangerous chemicals. The need to reform TSCA appears on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High Risk List and the EPA has released a set of principles for TSCA reform and a suite of activities to strengthen its chemical management program activities in the meantime.

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Ellen Gibson

POSTED BY:

Senior Program Director

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