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News from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute
at the University of Massachusetts Lowell 

September 2012
Administrative Council Meeting

Independent Plating Demonstration

Health, Work and Sustainability Symposium: The Next 25 Years of Work Environment Education


Continuing Education Conference
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Worcester Manufacturer Demonstrates Tri-Chrome Product Line


President of Independent Plating Charlie Flanagan explained how the company implemented a trivalent chromium system.
Metal finishing company Independent Plating held a demonstration in its Worcester manufacturing facility on Sept. 13 to share with other companies how it switched from using hexavalent chromium to trivalent chromium.


Sixteen attendees toured the manufacturing facility and viewed the new product line. 


Indep Plating 4 President Charlie Flanagan and General Manager Mike Nahorniak discussed the benefits and challenges of using trivalent chromium and the process they used to select the right system, vendor and plating line design.


The demonstration, funded by TURI, will be held again on Wed., October 10. Register online. 


To learn more about our demonstration and industry incentive grant programs, contact Pam Eliason.
Faculty to Research Safer Alternatives for Industry 
Nancy Goodyear
Assistant Prof. Nancy Goodyear overseas Master's of Science student Amritpreet Birdi, a research assistant working on the TURI disinfection research project.
TURI has awarded four grants to UMass Lowell faculty to conduct research that identifies and tests less hazardous substances used in resins, nail polish, disinfectants and photovoltaics processing. 


Assistant Prof. Chris Hansen, who will investigate alternative chemistries to styrene monomer, said that merely writing the grant proposal helped him think about the benefits of reducing toxics use at the source. 

He says: "Applying for the TURI grant has been a valuable catalyst for our research group to re-think the adverse respiratory effects associated with using typical composite materials. Previously, we would rely on engineered controls like ventilation to divert the noxious vapors associated with resin use. Now we have an opportunity to identify safer chemical alternatives, and then implement them in coordination with Massachusetts-based industrial partners so that the use of toxic chemicals can be avoided at the outset." 

Read about the four projects.

Read more about the TURI Academic Research Grant program.

United Nations Launches Major Report on Toxics
UNEP report

The UNEP Global Chemicals Outlook was launched on Sept. 5th, with press conferences in Nairobi, Mexico City, Geneva and New York. TURI Policy Program Manager Rachel Massey presented at the New York press conference. The story appeared in more than a thousand news outlets, with coverage in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese.


Rachel is quoted in a number of articles, including in USA Today and the Guardian.


The Global Chemicals Outlook examines global trends in chemical production, use, and disposal, and identifies opportunities to reduce risks to human health and the environment. It highlights the economic burdens that can be caused by preventable chemical exposures, and explores the economic benefits of green chemistry, toxics use reduction and other innovative approaches to chemical management. 


Links to the report and press coverage:


UN press release and reports 

USA Today, UN: Chemicals damaging health and environment 

The Guardian, Pesticides could cost sub-Saharan Africa $90bn in illness bill, UN warns 

Webcast of NY press conference 


Fall Continuing Education Conference Features Keynote Ken Geiser


The Fall 2012 TUR Planner Continuing Education Conference will take place on Tuesday, November 13th at the Sheraton Tara Hotel in Framingham.

Ken Geiser
Ken Geiser, middle, accepts the EPA Lifetime Achievement Merit Award. Left, Nicholas Anastas, EPA Green Chemist, and right, Curt Spaulding, EPA Region 1 Administrator.
Keynote speaker UMass Lowell Prof. Ken Geiser, founder of TURI and a principal architect of TURA, will reflect on his long career in pollution prevention and his thoughts for the future as he approaches retirement. Learn more about the conference.
Mark your calendar for April 9th for the Spring 2013 conference.
Please note that, like all of our training events, the Continuing Ed Conferences are valuable and open to everyone, Planners and non-Planners alike.  
Job Opening: Information and Outreach Program Manager
TURI has an immediate opening for a highly motivated, creative and collaborative person to manage our Information and Outreach Program.

Our ideal candidate would be a communications professional with experience in pollution prevention and/or toxics use reduction, or an environmental professional with extensive experience in communications. 



  • Bachelor's degree or advanced degree in a related field
  • Minimum 6 years related experience including 2 years developing outreach and communication tools
  • Experience in toxics use reduction and/or pollution prevention
  • Demonstrated oral and written technical communication skills
Apply online at the UMass Lowell human resources web site. You'll find the listing under "Professional/Administrative" positions.