Day: November 8, 2017

More fracking, more toxics

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Increases in toxic ozone and benzene gases as a result of fracking pose a threat to our air quality.

Is it time to retune our mindsets?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The frame with which we approach big challenges is crucial.

Scott Pruitt’s attack on scientists serving on advisory boards is illegal

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

Earlier this week EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a directive that prohibits scientists from serving on the EPA’s independent scientific advisory committees if they are currently a principal investigator or co-investigator on a research project that receives grant funding from the agency, or “if they are otherwise in a position to reap substantial direct benefit from an EPA grant.” Pruitt justified this unprecedented ruling on the eligibility of certain members of the public to serve on federal advisory committees by titling his directive “Strengthening and Improving Membership on EPA Federal Advisory Committees” and stating that committee members “shall be independent from the agency.” The problem, here, is that Pruitt’s policy runs counter to existing conflict-of-interests law, and is on its face arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

Leading the Green Revolution

Read the full story in American Libraries.

Libraries inspire their communities through green initiatives.

Swedish government considers action on preservatives in cosmetics

Read the full story at Chemical Watch.

The Swedish government is considering action on problematic preservatives in cosmetic products, after a closed consultation on a report by its chemicals agency (Kemi).

Arresting Indoor Air Quality Criminals

Read the full story at Products Finishing.

When you think of criminals, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t humidity, or hazardous mists and vapors. But these so-called indoor air quality “criminals” can escape from open surface tanks used in metal finishing, causing irritation or harm to operators, as well as corroding the surrounding building structure and supporting utility systems.

Properly ventilating exhaust from and supply air to these open surface tanks is key to thwarting these fugitives before they can inflict damage, and doing so ultimately can save a company a whole lot of trouble.

Sustainable Production of Fine Chemicals and Materials using Non-Toxic Renewable Sources

Anne Kokel, Béla Török (2017). “Sustainable Production of Fine Chemicals and Materials using Non-Toxic Renewable Sources.” Toxicological Sciences, kfx214. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfx214

Abstract: Due to declining hydrocarbon resources and strengthening environmental regulations, significant attention is directed toward sustainable and non-toxic supplies for the development of green technologies in a variety of industries. This account provides an overview on the sources and recent applications of such materials surveying the most common non-toxic and renewable resources that can be obtained from biological sources. Developing a broad array of technologies based on these materials would establish a truly sustainable green chemical industry. The study thematically discusses various compound groups, e.g. carbohydrates, proteins, and triglycerides (oils). Since often the monomers or building blocks of these biopolymers are of significant importance and produced in large amounts, the applications of these compounds are also reviewed.

The high cost of exposing workers to chemicals at point of use

Read the full story at Manufacturing Chemist.

The tip-and-pour method, as well as poorly designed pumps, can expose workers to injury and companies to significant financial losses.

A Method for Assessing Greener Alternatives between Chemical Products Following the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry

Ashley DeVierno Kreuder, Tamara House-Knight, Jeffrey Whitford, Ettigounder Ponnusamy, Patrick Miller, Nick Jesse, Ryan Rodenborn, Shlomo Sayag, Malka Gebel, Inbal Aped, Israel Sharfstein, Efrat Manaster, Itzhak Ergaz, Angela Harris, and Lisa Nelowet Grice (2017). “A Method for Assessing Greener Alternatives between Chemical Products Following the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry.” ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering  5 (4), 2927-2935 DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.6b02399 (Open access article).

Abstract: Companies are interested in improving chemicals to reduce environmental impacts, also known as green chemistry. The 12 principles of green chemistry outline a framework for identifying a greener chemical or process, spanning aspects in health hazard, ecological risk, and resource efficiency across a product lifecycle. However, that framework does not detail how to measure performance. Furthermore, collecting the data required, beyond simple health hazard ratings, is resource intensive. This paper describes an approach for establishing green chemistry metrics (GCM), to evaluate chemicals and chemical processes against the 12 principles, using readily available data, such as the data compiled in compliance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Using the GCM, chemicals or processes can be ranked by a hierarchy of metrics: (1) scores for each of the 12 principles, (2) three category rankings between new and improved chemicals/processes (improved resource use, increased energy efficiency, and reduced human and environmental hazards), and (3) a summary comparison ranking. The GCM approach is unique in that it is robust and flexible enough to encompass a diverse product portfolio, inexpensive to implement with on-hand data, based on generally accepted industry practices, and allows meaningful communications about chemical sustainability options.

US agency releases six toxicological profiles

Read the full story from Chemical Watch.

The US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has released toxicological and adverse health profiles for six biocidal substances.

They are:

The peer-reviewed profiles include public health statements on the chemicals, as well as health and toxicologic information on their potential for human exposure, and relevant analytical methods, regulations, advisories and guidelines.

The ATSDR is congressionally mandated to develop toxicology profiles, for substances found at National Priorities List (NPL) sites. A full list of toxic substances with published profiles is available on the agency’s website.

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