Scientists discuss search for safer chemicals at green toxicology workshop

Designing less-toxic, environmentally friendly chemicals is theme of two-day course April 23-24 in Troutdale, Ore.

Media Contacts:
Northwest Green Chemistry, Indira Balkissoon, ibalkissoon@northwestgreenchemistry.org, 206-577-3050
University of Washington: Elizabeth Sharpe, esharpe@uw.edu, 206-685-6737

SEATTLE – Recognized leaders in chemistry, toxicology, ecotoxicology and other disciplines will guide participants through a  two-day course April 23-24 to advance understanding of safer chemical design and formulation.

The workshop, “The Nexus of Toxicology and Chemistry,” will be hosted by Northwest Green Chemistry, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing green chemistry and green engineering in the Pacific Northwest region, and the Molecular Design Research Network, a multidisciplinary effort led by scientists at Yale University, Baylor University, George Washington and the University of Washington that is focused on the rational design of chemicals and materials to reduce toxicity.

“There are tremendous advances taking place in our ability to use toxicology to guide the development of safer chemicals,” said Ken Zarker, executive director of Northwest Green Chemistry. “This workshop will offer professionals working in chemical design and chemicals management the latest research and tools to succeed in this emerging field.”

The goal of this work is to create safer, cleaner, better building blocks for future products, so that we are not left with toxic cleanups decades from now, explained Terrance Kavanagh, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health.  However, because there is little toxicity data available for many chemicals, identifying safer materials is challenging.

The workshop is intended for toxicologists, environmental scientists, chemical and product designers, chemists, chemical engineers, and other professionals engaged in the decision-making process of using existing chemicals or creating new ones. Participants will discuss cutting-edge science and practical strategies for designing safer chemicals.

The event will be held at McMenamins Edgefield in Troutdale, Ore. Early bird registration for the two day workshop costs $125 through March 15. After March 15th the registration fee will be $195.  Online registration is at http://www.ngcworkshop.eventbrite.com. A flyer with additional information can be found at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/p2/GreenChem/pdfs/flyer2.pdf

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About Northwest Green Chemistry
Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC) was established in 2013 with seed funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Bullitt Foundation.  NGC seeks to enhance human and environmental health while also fostering innovation and economic opportunities through sustainable green chemistry and engineering solutions. NGC provides leadership and promotes collaboration to advance the use of safer chemicals in products and manufacturing processes.   NGC’s initial efforts are focused on environmental improvements in the Puget Sound area, with plans to expand throughout the Pacific Northwest. NGC is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a non-profit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501 (c)(3) of Internal Revenue Code. To learn more about the NGC and green chemistry, go to http://www.northwestgreenchemistry.org.


About the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences provides educational opportunities for students and professionals. Our researchers discover how environmental exposures can affect people’s health and conduct service and outreach to citizens, workers and employers throughout Washington state and the Northwest region. Our goal is to create healthy, safe and sustainable communities and workplaces. The Department is part of the School of Public Health, which was founded in 1970, and is ranked among the top ten public health schools in the U.S. http://deohs.washington.edu