The chemical industry is going "green" in a big way, marketing products as more sustainably produced, less toxic and recyclable.
Yet, the proliferation of green cleaning products, office supplies, packaging and appliances belies the fact that more than 80,000 chemicals with uncertain health and environmental impacts currently are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, with more discovered every day.
"Green chemistry involves discovering and implementing chemical processes and products that are safer, cleaner and more efficient," said John Arnold, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the campus's Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC), which hosts its first national conference on Thursday, March 24.
"The Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry has created a multidisciplinary team that represents all aspects of chemistry, from research and development to consumers and the environment," he added. "Through research, education and engagement, we aim to facilitate change by embedding the principles of green chemistry into science, markets and public policy."
The BCGC already has begun redesigning undergraduate and graduate student education to include green chemistry by creating greener laboratory experiments and launching an interdisciplinary graduate course in green chemistry funded by California Environmental Protection Agency. But the center aims for a broader impact on public policy as well as on the chemical industry.
The March 24 conference is the center's first major event, and can be viewed via live webcast at http://bcgc.berkeley.edu/webcast_information. Sponsored by the Philomathia Foundation, it will highlight the unique, multifaceted nature of the BCGC.
"We're trying to promote activities that address more than one aspect of green chemistry, that also look at economics, business, law, toxicology or public health," Arnold said. An immediate g
|Contact: Robert Sanders|
University of California - Berkeley