The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH) are hosting a brown-bag symposium, “Green Chemistry through the Lens of Public Health,” next week. The program will examine the potential and intended effects of Green Chemistry on public health. It is set for Monday, October 18, 2010, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
We have posted on the California Green Chemistry Initiative, from the introduction of legislation for the program, to the proposal of draft regulations, to the final rule making stages. As readers know from previous posts, “green chemistry” is the state’s effort to require that chemical products be designed in such a way as to reduce the use or generation of hazardous substances and reduce health and environmental risks, with a clear emphasis on finding alternatives to “chemicals of concern.” Two bills passed in 2008 by the legislature mandated that DTSC develop regulations for identifying and prioritizing chemicals of concern, to create methods for analyzing alternatives to existing chemicals, and to create a mechanism for regulatory response, including possible restrictions or bans on certain chemicals. The laws also created a Green Ribbon Science Panel to advise DTSC, and provided for a Chemical Information Clearinghouse that will make chemical risk information more accessible to the public.
The symposium is scheduled to feature interactive discussions with physicians, scientists and some stakeholders on the impact of the new chemicals policy on public health. The keynote speakers are Dr. Margaret Kripke, Ph.D., immunologist, and Steve Owens from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The event is open to the public and is supposed to be accessible via a live webcast at www.dtsc.ca.gov/greenchemistry.