Chemicals without Harm: Policies for a Sustainable World

Chemicals without Harm: Policies for a Sustainable World

by Ken Geiser

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

A proposal for a new chemicals strategy: that we work to develop safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals rather than focusing exclusively on controlling them.

Today, there are thousands of synthetic chemicals used to make our clothing, cosmetics, household products, electronic devices, even our children's toys. Many of these chemicals help us live longer and more comfortable lives, but some of these highly useful chemicals are also persistent, toxic, and dangerous to our health and the environment. For fifty years, the conventional approach to hazardous chemicals has focused on regulation, barriers, and protection. In Chemicals without Harm , Ken Geiser proposes a different strategy, based on developing and adopting safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals rather than focusing exclusively on controlling them.

Geiser reviews past government policies focused on controlling chemicals, describes government initiatives outside the United States that have begun to implement a more sustainable chemical policy, and offers an overview of the chemicals industry and market. He develops a safer chemicals policy framework that includes processes for characterizing, classifying, and prioritizing chemicals; generating and using new chemical information; and promoting transitions to safer chemicals.

The shift in strategy described by Geiser will require broad changes in science, the chemicals economy, and government policy. Geiser shows that it is already beginning, identifying an emerging movement of scientists, corporate managers, environmental activists, and government leaders who are fashioning a new, twenty-first-century approach to chemicals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262512060
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 06/05/2015
Series: Urban and Industrial Environments
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 1,230,732
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ken Geiser is Professor Emeritus of Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Founder and past Codirector of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, and the author of Materials Matter: Toward a Sustainable Materials Policy . One of the authors of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act, he was Director of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute for thirteen years.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

I The Problem with Chemicals 1

1 Chemical Control Policies 15

2 Regulating Hazardous Chemicals 17

3 Reassessing Chemical Control Policies 37

II Refraining Chemical Policies 59

4 Considering New Initiatives 61

5 Refraining the Chemicals Problem 83

6 Understanding the Chemical Economy 105

III A Chemical Conversion Strategy 127

7 Driving the Chemical Market 129

8 Transforming the Chemical Industry 155

9 Designing Greener Chemistry 181

IV Safer Chemical Policies 201

10 Characterizing and Prioritizing Chemicals 203

11 Generating Chemical Information 225

12 Substituting Safer Chemicals 247

13 Developing Safer Alternatives 271

14 Drafting Safer Chemical Policies 291

V Chemicals without Harm 313

15 Reconstructing Government Capacity 315

16 Solving the Chemicals Problem 339

Notes 355

Bibliography 397

Index 431

What People are Saying About This

Daniel Sarewitz

Pragmatic, ambitious, comprehensive, and humane, here is a systematic yet visionary blueprint for bringing smart politics together with good science to create tomorrow's clean economy.

Timothy Malloy

Ken Geiser has done it again. Chemicals without Harm weaves together the disparate literatures and perspectives on chemical policy into a comprehensive, systematic whole, considering—among other things—law and policy, business history, economics, and environmental science. Written with a clarity that makes it accessible to all, and a depth of understanding that makes it essential reading for academics, business people, advocates, and policymakers alike.

Endorsement

This book provides a forward-looking blueprint for the modernization of our chemicals policy that is urgently needed to address emerging products, materials, and production processes based on nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

David Rejeski, Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; coeditor of Environmentalism and the Technologies of Tomorrow

From the Publisher

Ken Geiser has done it again. Chemicals without Harm weaves together the disparate literatures and perspectives on chemical policy into a comprehensive, systematic whole, considering—among other things—law and policy, business history, economics, and environmental science. Written with a clarity that makes it accessible to all, and a depth of understanding that makes it essential reading for academics, business people, advocates, and policymakers alike.

Timothy Malloy , UCLA School of Law and Fielding School of Public Health

Pragmatic, ambitious, comprehensive, and humane, here is a systematic yet visionary blueprint for bringing smart politics together with good science to create tomorrow's clean economy.

Daniel Sarewitz , Codirector and Cofounder, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, and Professor, Science and Society, Arizona State University

This book provides a forward-looking blueprint for the modernization of our chemicals policy that is urgently needed to address emerging products, materials, and production processes based on nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

David Rejeski , Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; coeditor of Environmentalism and the Technologies of Tomorrow

David Rejeski

This book provides a forward-looking blueprint for the modernization of our chemicals policy that is urgently needed to address emerging products, materials, and production processes based on nanotechnology and synthetic biology.

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