Industrial chemicals, alone or in combination, have been incorporated into millions of products used every day and are the platform upon which key elements of the global economy have been built. However, many may have inherent characteristics that can harm ecological and human systems as they are used throughout supply chains. Chemicals can be toxic to ecosystems, harm human health, or build up in the environment and in our bodies for decades without breaking down. To identify and control these hazards, to promote safer, more sustainable solutions, it is necessary to manage the ways in which chemicals are used and sold.
The Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative (CPSI) is a project of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The Initiative seeks to:
- significantly advance the dialog around chemicals policy reform in the US;
- assist in the development of sustainable chemicals management outside the US;
- encourage the development and use of safer alternatives by creating and promoting a comprehensive framework for alternatives assessment; and
- identify tools and appropriate ways of assisting green chemistry innovation and safer management of chemicals throughout the supply chain.
The CPSI achieves its objectives through research and strategic engagement with a range of stakeholders. Research includes:
- tools and approaches for advancing safer chemistry and products;
- policy reform; and
- barriers and opportunities for a sustainable chemicals industry.
Our goal through strategic engagement is to help shape policy reform through dialog, education, and technical support. We work with key stakeholders: proactive businesses, state and federal government agencies, and environmental and labor advocates.
Below are some featured activities. Click here for a list of current projects.
The Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative’s State Chemicals Policy Database, a database of more than 1000 state and local legislative branch policies from all 50 states from 1990 to the present, is now hosted and updated by the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse. The IC2 is an association of state, local, and tribal governments that promotes a clean environment, healthy communities, and a vital economy through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.
A growing number of companies are discovering that the approaches of green chemistry and Design for Environment (DfE) allow for a transition to safer alternatives. The Green Chemistry and Commerce Council provides open conversation about the challenges to and opportunities for this successful transition.