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Toxics Use Reduction Institute



September, 2011  

Quick Links
Resource Conservation Certification Training - Day 1 - Applying TUR Methods to Resource Conservation, Oct 18, Leominster.


Resource Conservation Certification Training -Day 2 - Asset Specific Resource Conservation, Dec. 6, Leominster



Wet Cleaning Demonstration at Art's Cleaners -Oct 11 & Oct 25, Westborough



Continuing Education Conference, Marlborough, Nov.9


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Community Grant Awards Announced
Selected projects will have a regional or state-wide focus this year, reaching thousands across the state. 


The Toxics Use Reduction Institute awards grants to community organizations and municipal departments each year. Just announced, TURI has awarded $25,000 to each of four organizations to educate the public about health effects of toxics and the availability of safer alternatives:

  • "Green and Clean for Children in North Central MA". With more than 30 cities and towns served, the Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc (MOC) has the potential to reach over 20,000 individuals, including young children and elders, about toxins in household cleaning products and less expensive safer alternatives. They will hold workshops, educate head start families and family day care providers and distribute free samples of the safer products for trial. They will also host a Green and Clean symposium for regional stakeholders that will include municipalities, housing authorities, schools and janitorial companies.
  • "Creating Safeground: Transitioning Western MA Parks to an
    Safer parks result when biocides are not used.
    Safer parks for children and pets are the result of limiting use of biocides.

    Organic Land Care Management Plan"  Led by Pioneer Valley Planning Commissionfive municipal parks in Hampshire and Hampden Counties will transition to organic practices and materials, and eliminate use of synthetic petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides to protect the health of children, adults and pets.   The project team will create public education workshops, a "how-to" video, public service announcements, lawn flags and banners. 

  • "Wiping out Toxic Use by Housecleaners in MA". The Brazilian Women's Group will work with the Brazilian community media to communicate the health effects associated with prolonged exposures to toxic cleaning products. The project team will conduct training sessions in Portuguese and English that demonstrate how to mix cleaning solutions using safer ingredients. Trainings will be conducted across the state, from Springfield to Cape Cod. TV and radio broadcasts will promote the use of safer cleaning products, reaching thousands who work in the cleaning industry.
  • "Greening Nail Salons for Employees and CommunitiesThe Norfolk County 7 Public Health Coalition will promote safe product use and behaviors in nail salons, which commonly use acetone, toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). All three chemicals have been shown to pose a serious threat to women's health, especially with frequent exposure. The project team will deliver free samples of less toxic alternatives during onsite visits to encourage owners to try, and then switch to, the safer products. The 7 towns that are participating in this project include Canton, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Norwood and Westwood.
Clothes Cleaning Transitions and Demonstrations

"Professional wet cleaning" is a safer alternative to perchloroethylene in Dry Cleaning.

Perchloroethylene (perc) is a common groundwater contaminant, and possible human cacinogen. It has been designated as a  "Higher Hazard Substance" by the Commonwealth. The TURI grants program has announced the following projects to support safer alternatives in dry cleaning.
King & Queen Cleaners in Milford, MA has been awarded a $17,000 matching grant for their purchase of professional wet cleaning equipment, eliminating the use of perchloroethylene in their shop. The cleaner will 
Demonstration of wet cleaning
Demonstration of professional wet cleaning equipment allows close inspection of equipment performance.
conduct demonstration events in the spring of 2012, both for other cleaners and for the public.

Art's Cleaners in Westborough will co-host 2 events with TURI. The events will offer a hands-on demonstration of the washing, drying and tensioning process. The events will take place on October 11 and 25 from 12-2 PM, and the second event will be conducted in Korean. Call Joy Onasch at 978-934=4343 to register.

Clean Water Fund will be working with TURI this year to reach out to drycleaning customers to teach them about the professional wet cleaning alternative to solvent cleaning, and to help drive the demand for safer technologies. 


Trainings for Dry Cleaners: OTA, DEP, and TURI have scheduled three trainings for dry cleaners who will need to prepare and submit TUR Plans in July of 2012 due to the Higher Hazard Substance listing of perc.

  • November 30, Lowell, 3-5 PM
  • December 9, Bridgewater State University, 4-6 PM
  • December 19, Quinsigamond Community College, 4-6 PM

 Contact Joy Onasch for more information.

Central Massachusetts Business Environmental Network (CMBEN)

Mark Myles of TURI presented on Resource Conservation Planning under TURA, and training available for skills building and certification to this active green industry group.  Contact Marina Gayl ((617) 626-1077) of the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance and Technology for more information about CMBEN.


TURI offers services & programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals, energy and water while enhancing the competitiveness of local businesses.  See our website for green alternatives, data on toxics use, case studies, clean technology and energy demonstrations, as well as the latest about the TURI budget.

Our offices are in Wannalancit, an office building on the University of Massachusetts Lowell campus.  Come visit!