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June 4-June 5, 2012

Department of Toxic Substances Control
9211 Oakdale Avenue
Chatsworth, California

In partnership with California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, this two-day training will introduce participants to the process of assessing safer alternatives for chemicals and products, and will share experiences with alternatives assessment from New England.  

Alternatives Assessment: A Powerful Process that Focuses on Solutions

The vast majority of environmental science has focused on understanding and characterizing environmental and public health problems. Millions of dollars are invested annually investigating the hazards of specific chemicals. While much of this work may be valuable, the focus on problems is often at the expense of developing safer, more effective solutions.

An alternatives assessment approach offers significant benefits for health and the environment:

Focusing on solutions rather than problems. Actively seeking solutions promotes creativity and the role of science.

Improving performance while reducing risks. Focusing on functions while evaluating multiple attributes drives a continuous cycle of improvements.

Stimulating markets.. Competition for cleaner, safer products increases when environmental and health attributes are critically examined.

What Participants Will Gain

  • Hands-on experience with the alternatives assessment process
  • Understanding of the complexities and possibilities associated with conducting alternatives assessments
  • Insights about the role of scientific information in the process
  • Information about California’s Safer Consumer Products bill and the role of alternatives assessment in the draft regulations

Who Is the Training For?

Participants will have a variety of affiliations: business and consulting; environmental and health advocacy groups; government; nongovernmental organizations; healthcare; labor unions; and academia. As space is limited, an effort will be made to ensure diversity of representation.

Who Are the Trainers?

The trainers are experienced professionals from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) and the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, both located at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. TURI and the Lowell Center have pioneered the development of alternatives assessment processes.

Among the trainers will be Ken Geiser, one of the country’s foremost experts in chemicals and materials policy, toxics use reduction, and pollution prevention.   He co-chairs the Green Ribbon Science Panel of California's Green Chemistry Initiative.

A representative of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control will lead the discussion of the Safer Consumer Products draft regulations.

Space is limited. Please register here to ensure a space.