The population of California is more than that of Canada, accounting for more than 12% of all U.S. citizens living in the Golden State. With already strained water and energy resources, work to build consensus on appropriate environmentally sustainable alternatives is at the center of Clean Water Fund’s California programs.
Did you know that there are approximately 80,000 chemicals in commercial use but that for most of them, there has been little or no testing for potential health or environmental impacts? As a result household cleaners, garden chemicals and pesticides, personal care products, computers, clothes, food, and even beds may contain chemicals about which there is little readily available safety information.
While not all man made chemicals are harmful and many provide important benefits, there is growing evidence linking chemical exposures overtime to health impacts such as cancer, reproductive problems,neurological disorders, and respiratory disease.
The good news is that manufacturing products with less toxic materials and promoting the development of "green chemistry" can protect our communities, workers, and ecosystems. It can also save businesses money, increase efficiency, reduce liability, and give them a competitive advantage as other parts of the world regulate the use of toxic materials.
California's EPA had recently launched a Green Chemistry Initiative, investigating ways to promote the design, manufacture, and use of non-toxic chemical products, while reducing waste, creating sustainable businesses and jobs, and using less energy.
Among Clean Water Fund’s many efforts to reduce toxic chemical use in California, was a partnership with the Lowell Center for Sustainable Development at the University of Massachusetts in 2006 to launch the Safer Jobs and Sustainable Economy through Green Chemistry Project. The Project began by researching the concerns and needs of various constituencies, including representatives from industry, government (state and local), public interest groups, the investment sector, academia, and labor of moving toward a green chemistry based economy. The results have been outlined in a report summarizing the various perspectives and offers important guidance on how to frame both public discussion on the future of chemical use and management in our state.
For more information about California Clean Water Fund go to http://www.cleanwaterfund.org/california