Green Chemistry Regulations Made Simple

November 2nd, 2011


The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC) has been involved in a process in California called the Green Chemistry Initiative; we have been working on it with other NGOs in the CHANGE Coalition (Californians for A Healthy and Green Economy).

For me, the process has been challenging. Why? Because it seems only logical that corporations should not put toxic chemicals in their products, period. And if they do, they should be fined in order to pay for the damage their products have on the environment (wildlife, waterways, etc.) and people (workers and consumers).

The process of adopting Green Chemistry regulations has also been challenging because a lot of the information is scientific and the regulations can be very confusing. There has also been a revolving door of people at the head of California’s Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC).

The whole process has concerned me, as I feel many people in California are unaware of this process and what it aims to accomplish.

But that ignorance may change soon: This week, the new director of DTSC released a number of videos breaking down the process.

What a breath of fresh air! If you don’t have a lot of time to read the regulations, I encourage you to watch the first video in which the new director, Debbie Raphael, sums up the purpose of the Green Chemistry Initiative in ways that everyone can understand why this initiative is so important. She and DTSC deserve real kudos for making such a complicated, yet important, issue more tangible.