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News from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute
at the University of Massachusetts Lowell 
 October 2013 

Save the Date!



Resource Conservation Planning Course 
November 6

Technical Options and Asset-Specific Planning


Note: this course is for anyone interested in water and energy conservation or reducing materials in solid waste.


Continuing Education Conference

TUR Plans - Maximizing the Value 

November 20



TUR Demonstration Sites

Come See How Companies are Reducing Toxics and Saving Money


ChemGenes Corporation:

Solvent Recovery and Recycling


ChemGenes is a Life Sciences company but their new recycling system is relevant for any company that uses solvents.


November 5, Wilmington, MA

Register now


KMK Cleaners:

Professional Wet Cleaning


Learn about the safety and economic benefits of this alternative to the use of perchloroethylene.


November 21, Walpole, MA

Register now

Safe Spray Foam and Intelligent Insulation Workshop

December 11, 2013

Sponsored by the MA Office of Technical Assistance



The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, through its Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative, is offering a webinar series on alternatives assessments. For more information, click here.

Apply for a TURI Business Incentive Grant



TURI offers incentive grants to help companies adopt safer technologies and share their experiences with other companies. Incentive grants can help make implementation of your Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) opportunity possible and can help Massachusetts industry create a safer and more sustainable economy.


For more information and to download an application, please go to www.turi.org/industryincentivegrants 

You can also contact Pam Eliason at TURI, 978-934-3142 or pam@turi.org


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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Addressing Chemicals of Concern to Human Health or the Environment


Leading Companies, Universities and NGOs support new principles for safer healthier products


A broad and diverse community of individuals from companies, universities, governments, and environmental health groups signed on to The Commons Principles for Alternatives Assessment -- a solutions-based framework to guide retailers and product manufacturers in reducing hazardous chemicals and continuously improving the safety of products.


The Commons Principles are:

  • reduce hazard
  • minimize exposure
  • use best available information
  • require disclosure and transparency
  • resolve trade-offs
  • take action

Pam Eliason, from TURI, and Sally Edwards, from Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, drafted the original principles for the Environmental Defense Fund, and managed the BizNGO workgroup process that led to the final version. In signing the statement, over 100 signatories took a stand for safer, healthier products.



Continuing Education Conference

TUR Plans - Maximizing the Value 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 


The Continuing Education Conference will focus on deriving more value from TUR Planning and developing high quality TUR Plans.  We will depart from our usual format of keynote speakers and a variety of sessions to choose from, replacing it with a set of four sessions that every participant will attend.  Our presenters will include veteran TUR Planners who have benefitted from TUR planning to improve profitability and operational performance, as well as TURA program staff who will clarify requirements and describe best practices from the best plans they have reviewed over the years.


Learn how to drive a more efficient TUR planning process

for greater business value!


Session topics will be:

  • Management Policy, Plan Scope, Employee Involvement, and Planner Ethics - optimizing involvement from top to bottom
  • Process Characterization and Materials Accounting - making the most of available data to understand toxics use, inefficiencies, and waste
  • Options Identification and Evaluation - Leveraging technical expertise from staff and external resources  to find feasible solutions
  • Financial Analysis and Making the Business Case - determining the true costs of toxics and ensuring that opportunities for improvement are not missed

Register now.




Read and Download Presentations from our Aerospace and Defense Conference, September 24 and our RoHS and REACH Workshop on September 25
Those who attended were very enthusiastic about the experience:
This conference would have been good for any stage of learning.
Brian C. Page, Compliance and Facilities Manager, Quabbin Wire & Cable Co., Inc.
TURI always does a fine job with education.
Catherine Benjamin, EHS Engineer, Essilor, USA
TURI is committed to continuing to update Massachusetts companies on REACH and RoHS. Look forward to more learning opportunities for these European regulations in the future.





 TURI Staff Publications and Presentations



Joy Onasch presented an overview of toxic chemicals issues and safer alternatives for Massachusetts communities to the Massachusetts Health Officers Association on October 24.



Pam Eliason presented on alternatives assessment at a meeting of the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse and the Chemicals Commons working group. These meetings were hosted by Staples in Framingham, October 16-18.


Pam Eliason was quoted in the Occupational Health & Safety Reporter's

October 24 issue regarding the Commons Principles for Alternatives Assessment,

"We have a lot of experience with companies making the workplace safer and also saving money with reduced regulatory costs, reduced waste disposal issues and reduced exposure controls."

Rachel Massey was invited to provide an article about TURA for the online publication Environmental Health Policy Institute published by Physicians for Social Responsibility. The article explains how TURA helps Massachusetts businesses to protect human health and the environment while boosting competitiveness, and explores the implications for TURA of a proposed new federal law, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act. Read more.


Rachel Massey was invited to give several talks in France in October, sponsored by the Environmental Health Network, a French organization. She presented on the TURA program at a Chemistry and Environmental Health Forum in Lyon, France; met with members of the regional government of the Rhone-Alpes region, who are interested in creating a regional program modeled on TURA; gave a talk for staff members from the French Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Labor; and provided information in a hearing at the French Parliament.