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Inventor of Green Catalysts Offers Solutions for Cleaning Toxins and Pollutants in the Environment
Date:9/8/2009

Dr. Terrence Collins Offers Public Lecture on Growing Field of Green Chemistry September 15 at UC Berkeley Campus

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer concerns over hazardous chemicals in the air and water have led scientists to find solutions in the new field of green chemistry. "The most troubling health effects are associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that may interfere with cellular development in humans and animals," says Dr. Terry Collins, a champion in the field.

Dr. Collins, who has been recognized internationally for his work in creating a new class of oxidation catalysts that can convert harmful pollutants in water into less toxic substances, will speak about the latest developments in green chemistry at a free public event on September 15 sponsored by UC Berkeley Extension, "Green Chemistry: Sustaining a High Technology Civilization."

"Understanding how some chemicals alter cellular development to better avoid these properties in new chemicals is a vital frontier for preventing disease and improving human health," says Dr. Collins, who is a strong advocate for change in public policy to help address toxic chemicals and develop safer substitutes.

Research by Collins' group at Carnegie Mellon has shown that these oxidation catalysts have enormous potential to provide clean and safe alternatives to existing industrial practices and provide ways to remediate other pressing environmental problems that currently lack solutions. The catalysts have proven effective in decontaminating water of estrogenic compounds and specific drugs, pesticides, and other persistent pollutants; cleaning industrial wastewaters from the textile and pulp and paper industries; reducing sulfur-containing chemicals in fuels; and disinfecting water of hardy pathogens.

Professor Collins, the Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry and Director of Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Green Science, developed the first university course in green chemistry for Carnegie Mellon in 1992. A recipient of the 1998 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the EPA, Dr. Collins writes and lectures widely about the importance and promise of chemists turning their inventive talents towards eliminating hazards from chemical products and processes.

UC Berkeley Extension will offer a new course this fall, "Principles of Green Chemistry," as part of its growing sustainability studies program. The course, taught by Sheryl Mebane, Ph.D., former Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley and founder of the Chemistry Literacy Project, examines the theory and practice of green chemistry and the next generation of environmentally friendly chemicals and materials currently being developed by scientists. The course starts October 3 in Berkeley. More information about the course is available at http://extension.berkeley.edu/cat/course2116.html.

The free public lecture by Dr. Collins will take place from 6 - 8 p.m. on the UC Berkeley Campus at 105 Stanley Hall. For more information please visit: http://extension.berkeley.edu/prog/public.html#2.

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Terrance Collins

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SOURCE UC Berkeley Extension
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