NGC’s Dr. Amelia Nestler presented yesterday in the launch of the Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment’s (A4) quarterly webinar series: Alternatives Assessment’s Past, Present, & Future. The field of alternatives assessment is being driven by increasing policy and market demands to substitute chemicals of concern in process and products, as well as the need to help decision-makers in industry and government make smarter, safer choices about chemicals, materials and technologies used. To kick off this series, the first A4 webinar addressed Alternative Assessment's Past, Present, and Future, including:
The origins of alternatives assessment and its recent history, as well as its successes;
An overview on advances in the field’s methods and practice, in addition to ongoing gaps that require engagement and collaborations among a multi-disciplinary array of professionals to accelerate the pace of methods development and standards of practice;
The recent launch of A4 as a forum to advance the science and quality of alternatives assessments, develop professional excellence, enhance capacity, and share best practices.
Dr. Nestler shared lessons learned from some of NGC’s Alternatives Assessment work on the Washington State Antifouling Boat Paint Alternatives Assessment and Alternatives to Five Phthalates of Concern to Puget Sound. We’ve found that it is vital to engage a diverse group of participants, including everyone involved in and impacted by the life cycle of the product or chemical in question. This improves scoping, results, and adoption. Each of these aspects of Alternatives Assessments results in a different format, which impacts adoption of results and transparency.
Other speakers included Joel Tickner and Molly Jacobs from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, and Pam Spencer of Angus Chemical Company and President of A4. The webinar was moderated by Meg Whittaker of ToxServices and Co-Chair of the Program Committee.