Issue Date: February 11, 2008
California Compiles Options For Greener Chemicals
California has collated hundreds of options on greening its chemicals policy and has flagged a handful as essential, says a report released on Jan. 31. A revised state policy should include collecting information about chemicals' toxicity and providing it to the public, says the report by the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA). Another key element, the report says, is that information about the toxicity of substances in a product should be included on a label or a notice on a retailer's shelf. In addition, the state should expand its existing pollution prevention program, which helps businesses both reduce their use of toxic substances and increase profits. Meanwhile, state agencies should consider toxicity and the cost of buying, using, and disposing of products when they make purchasing decisions, the report says. Another essential piece of a new chemicals policy is for the state to offer university scholarships and promote R&D in green chemistry, the report continues, and environmental education in grades K–12 should be expanded to include understanding of toxicity, risk, and sustainability. Cal-EPA will study the suggestions and propose a package of new policies by July 1.
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