Green chemistry chugs along


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Change as fundamental as green chemistry is bound to take awhile. Back in December 2008, California launched its initiative aimed at shifting the chemical industry away from substances that are suspected health hazards. (That’s a significant change from the chemical-by-chemical risk analysis that has driven most regulation of chemicals.)

Now, the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control has come out with its outline of a draft regulation that would prioritize chemicals and products of concern, a first step in implementing the green chemistry initiative.


California officials hope to have an extensive database that would enable consumers to know what substances are in the products they buy, and to rate how ‘green’ a product , from manufacture through transportation to retail outlets. But many consumer-product manufacturers are balking at revealing details of their products, citing copyright and competition concerns.

All of which leaves software developers plenty of time to work on the smart phone app that would some day let you scan your shampoo and find out its carbon footprint.

-- Geoff Mohan