Northwest Green Chemistry enthusiastically endorses the March for Science. The March for Science celebrates science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity, uniting scientists and science fans as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good. The best available science should inform political leaders and policy, enabling the enactment of evidence-based policies in the public interest.
NGC Activities Align with March for Science Goals
Product designers, procurement departments and individuals are often unaware of the human and environmental health impacts associated with their selection of chemical products or processes.
NGC applies alternatives assessment and chemical hazard assessment methodologies to help designers make informed decisions when selecting chemicals for products and processes. For example, last October we published the Washington State Antifouling Boat Paint Alternatives Assessment. This report has informed draft policy on copper level limits in antifouling boat paints in multiple states.
Some copper-free antifouling paints contain significantly more zinc oxide which replaces the conventional copper. While zinc is generally regarded as safer for marine life than copper, it’s important to assess the potential impacts of the market switching to zinc-based paints. NGC is currently assessing the impact of increased concentrations of zinc oxide on Puget Sound. Our work will prevent the adoption of alternative paints or policies that have unintended health and environmental consequences.
NGC is also examining alternatives to five different hazardous plastic additives commonly called phthalates. Phthalates are added to plastic to make it more flexible and are used in personal care products and fragrances to ensure that fragrances linger. While many manufacturers have started to phase out certain phthalates, the alternatives they’ve selected may not be safer for humans or the environment. By assessing the hazard profiles of the potential alternatives and making them publicly available, we will help manufacturers, designers, every day consumers and legislators make informed decisions.
NGC fully supports the mission and goals of the March for Science:
Provide support for science research & education for all
Promote science as accessible, transparent & inclusive
Partner with the public throughout our community