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Bringing Workers’ Voices to Green Chemistry

Posted on Jan 7, 2010
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Bubble Suit Governments at the state, federal, and international levels are fundamentally redefining how chemicals are tested, registered, and approved for use. There is a growing consensus that we need to identify, remove, and substitute toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.

When we eliminate toxic chemicals during the production process, we reduce the amount that enters our communities through air and water emissions or as part of consumer products.

On Sept. 29, 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1879 and its companion Senate Bill (SB 509), kick-starting what is known as the Green Chemistry Initiative (GCI).

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is responsible for developing regulations to implement the bill. Worksafe is involved in making sure that workers’ voices are at the table as the new GCI regulations are written.

Worksafe is a member of Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE), a California-based, nationally-networked coalition working for comprehensive chemicals policy reform. Founded in 2006, CHANGE aims to serve all Californians by reducing their exposures to chemicals that can impact their health, by improving the enforcement of health-protective laws and regulations, and by expanding the California economy through the growth of innovative, green-chemistry-based jobs and industries.

Through CHANGE, we are engaging new stakeholders in the chemical policy reform discussion, including environmental justice and fenceline communities, as well as other vulnerable populations and the organizations that represent them.

While we are hard at work pursuing health-protective exposure limits in the workplace and meaningful chemicals policy reform in California, we are also working in coalition with allies around the country to recommend improvements to the federal Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA).

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