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

November 2012
Download the Independent Plating Case Study:
Advisory Committee Meeting:

November 27 - Boston

Council Meeting:
For Dry Cleaners - Attend a Wet Cleaning Demonstration:
Toxicology and Sustainable Molecular Design Conference:
December 11 - University of Connecticut
TURI's free weekly e-bulletin features previews of recent publications and websites relevant to reducing the use of toxic chemicals.

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TURI Seed Funding Lays Foundation for $460K NSF Lead-Free Grant


Prof. Gu
Prof. Zhiyong Gu

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from UMass Lowell and the State University of New York, Binghamton, has been awarded a three-year grant worth nearly $460,000 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to synthesize lead-free nanosolder materials and develop innovative nanosoldering techniques for joining electronic components measuring only billionths of a meter in size.


Chemical engineering Assoc. Prof. Zhiyong Gu, who is UMass Lowell's principal investigator for the NSF project, received seed funding from the TURI Academic Research grant program for this work in 2007 and 2010.

For more information about the program or safer alternatives research, contact Pam Eliason

EPA Grant to Help Auto Body and Repair Shops Reduce Toxics


The Environmental Protection Agency's New England region has awarded the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) an $82K grant to work with auto body and repair shops in Lowell, Springfield, Holyoke, Fall River and New Bedford.


Safe Shops
Safer alternatives exist for auto body and repair shops.

The goal of the project is to provide safer alternatives and technical assistance to 30 auto body and repair shops to encourage them switch to non-solvent cleaning systems.

TURI staff and field workers are visiting shops in each city this fall to identify willing participants. The program will provide shops with a free three-month trial of safer brake cleaning products or paint gun washing systems, a before and after air monitoring study and technical support. The product trial period is expected to begin in January 2013.  

Read more about the program. If you know of an auto body or repair shop that may be interested in participating, contact Joy Onasch.

EU Chemical Restrictions Update for Wire & Cable Industry


Wire and Cable meeting 

Liz Harriman, deputy director of TURI, was one of four experts who presented at the Wire Association, New England Chapter, event on Oct. 11. She is shown in the photo with Chapter President John Rivers, and speakers Bruce Hamilton of GBMP, Steven Stoll of the TPU business of Huntsman Polyurethanes and Jacob Lahijani of DuPont Fluoropolymer Solutions.


Liz discussed new developments in chemical restrictions and policies. She said that the EU's REACH regulation is continuing to add new Substances of Very High Concern, which may require authorization to use. 


In addition, the EU RoHS Directive restricting the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment has been updated to include currently exempt equipment like medical devices, and will be likely restricting more substances. 


Some existing exemptions, including cables sold separately, will no longer be exempt, and they will also have to be labeled with the CE mark, she said. 


For more information, contact Liz Harriman.

TURI Awards Community Grants


TURI awarded $75,000 in community grants to five Massachusetts community organizations to educate the public about safer products and methods to avoid the negative health effects of toxic chemicals. The organizations are:


Cleaning Montachusett Opportunity Council, Fitchburg - The project team will educate residents in North Central Massachusetts - including the Hmong population, Spanish speakers and low ­income individuals as well as professionals working with vulnerable populations - about toxins in cleaning supplies and safer, less expensive alternatives.


Nails Norfolk County 7 Public Health Coalition - Building on a project that began last year, the Norfolk County 7 Public Health Coalition will work with hair and nail salons in the Norfolk 7 area (towns include Canton, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Wellesley and Westwood) to implement safer practices. 


Cleaning machine Clean Water Fund, Boston - Clean Water Fund will educate consumers across the state on the health and safety of different types of dry cleaning options - including safer alternatives such as professional wet cleaning.


Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health - The project team's goal is to eliminate toxic cleaning chemicals used in Head Start child-care facilities in underserved Boston neighborhoods, contributing to improved environmental health and environmental awareness for low-income children and adults. 


Mill City Grows Mill City Grows - Mill City Grows will educate the community about the risks of using herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in gardening and landscaping. 



Read the press release for more details or contact Joy Onasch for more information.