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

March 2013 
One of TURI's community grantees, Clean Water Fund, has created a web site of dry cleaners across Mass. Find out who uses perc, wet cleaning or other chemicals. 
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 Awards $15K to ChemGenes in Wilmington 

TURI awarded ChemGenes Corporation in Wilmington a $15K industry incentive grant to adopt solvent recycling that is expected to result in a 70 to 90 percent reduction in hexane and ethyl acetate use. 

ChemGenes ChemGenes, a manufacturer of DNA- and RNA-synthesis for the biotechnology industry, will purchase and install a solvent recycling unit for its' key product lines. After using the new system, the company will collect operations, financial and performance data and then demonstrate the new system and present results to other Massachusetts companies.
 
The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology has worked with ChemGenes in the past, helping the company drastically reduce its use of chloroform and associated costs. Read the case study. 
 
For more information about the current ChemGenes project and upcoming demonstration, contact Joy Onasch.
 
IBM Headlines Continuing Ed Conference

 

Art Fong
Art Fong

The April 11 Continuing Education Conference features keynote speaker Art Fong, head of IBM's toxicology and chemical management efforts. He will discuss how IBM's toxics use reduction efforts have made a positive impact on traditional business goals. View the other session topics and register online. 

 

Location: Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566

Agenda:
8:00 A.M. - 8:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Keynote Address - Art Fong "TUR = Environmental Leadership and Smart Business"
9:45 AM - 12:15 PM Concurrent Morning Sessions A, B, C
12:15 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM - 1:20 PM Afternoon Plenary - TURA Program Update
1:30 PM - 4:00 PM Concurrent Afternoon Sessions D, E, F
4:00 PM Adjourn  

  

Register now. 

Track Usage of Formaldehyde and Hexavalent Chromium in 2013

 

For the first time, facilities that are subject to TURA requirements must report use of the designated Higher Hazard Substances formaldehyde and hexavalent chromium for 2013, with reports due on July 1, 2014. Also for reporting year 2013, note that hexavalent chromium compounds must now be reported separately from other chromium compounds.  

 

Under the Higher Hazard Substance designation, companies that use 1,000 lbs. or more per year of either substance and have more than 10 full time employees are required to report use and submit toxics use reduction plans to the state.

 

MassDEP, OTA and TURI are contacting companies that may be affected by this requirement. The TURA program offers the following services to help companies switch to safer substances: 

For more information, contact TURI at 978-934-3275 or download the formaldehyde fact sheet and hexavalent chromium policy analysis.

Save the Date: June 12 Champions of Toxics Use Reduction Event
 

State House Please join us for the annual Champions of Toxics Use Reduction event at the Massachusetts State House on Wed., June 12 at 11 a.m.  

 

We will honor community organizations and businesses that are making the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work.

We will also be recognizing the founder of TURI, Ken Geiser, who retired this year from his position as Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
 
For more information, contact Maria Scholl.

Welcome to TURI
 
Felice Kincannon has joined us as Information and Outreach Manager for TURI. Felice is responsible for managing communications with our various constituencies. She has an extensive background in marketing and communications and recently received an MBA in Environmental and Organizational Sustainability from Antioch University New England.  
UNEP Releases Yearbook on Environment

 

UNEP Yearbook The United Nations Environment Programme recently released the "UNEP Yearbook - Emerging Issues in our Global Environment 2013."

Rachel Massey, policy manager at TURI, served on the international expert panel that wrote the chapter on chemicals. The report highlights the growth of the chemicals industry worldwide, and the need for greater information about chemical hazards in order to support the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle. The report mentions the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act as a model program to encourage companies to switch to less toxic chemicals and adopt green chemistry methods.

Download the full report.
Download the section on minimizing chemical risks.

In addition, UNEP has now posted online the full Global Chemicals Outlook report, on which Rachel Massey and colleagues at UMass Lowell served as coauthors.

Contact Rachel Massey for more details.

Retirement Celebrations for Ken Geiser

 

Ken Geiser Ken Geiser, a professor of Work Environment and founding director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute and co-director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, is retiring.

 

Please join us in wishing Ken well in his next phase of life by joining us at one, or both, of the celebrations:

 

Friday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m. we will honor Ken at UMass Lowell, and, in his name, establish the Ken Geiser Endowed Fund for Global Sustainability. Register now (scroll to bottom of the page and click on "Register Now.")

 

Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at City Year in Boston. Register now.