A bill establishing a Chemical Innovations Institute (CII) at the UCONN Health Center was passed as
Public Act 10-164 in June 2010.
It is an honor to be chosen as the home institution for the Institute. This was the top legislative priority for the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut (www.safehealthyCT.org), and a step toward development of safer chemical practices for CT businesses, workers, and the community.
The Board of Directors, named by the legislature, has representatives of business, labor, universities, and the environmental community. While there is not yet funding in place (the state law that established the CII did not
provide funding), we are working on developing the scope of the Institute as well as a scientific advisory group. This website will be developed to provide resources to employers, workers, and the community to assist in the
move to safer alternatives and in the understanding of the changing international framework for chemical regulation and what that means for Connecticut businesses.
We are currently developing a business strategy,
submitting grant applications, and putting together a survey to help guide the development of the Institute. We have joined the Interstate Chemical Clearinghouse (http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/ic2)
and the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3; www.greenchemistryandcommerce.org) to help in coordinating activities,
and are partnering with both state agencies and the regional EPA to help in
We welcome suggestions for helping in the development of the Institute.
You may send comments or questions to Nicholas Leadbeater, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the CII, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Study estimates over 600 million pounds of chemicals used in Connecticut workplaces
A study by the Chemical Innovations Institute and conducted by UConn Master of Public Health graduate student Jesse Wagner (working with Dr. Tim Morse and industrial hygienist Nancy Simcox) estimated that there are over 600 million pounds of chemicals used in Connecticut manufacturing workplaces, including about half that are either cancer-causing or reproductive hazards. The study,
published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, used reported chemical use
data from Massachusetts to estimate Connecticut usage, based on the relative size of employment by
sector between the two states. Massachusetts data was used since they have much stricter reporting requirements under their Toxic Use Reduction Act than other states, and the similarity of industry between the two states.
The vast majority of the estimated usage was in the Chemical Manufacturing subsector, but there was an estimated 17 million pounds used in other manufacturing sectors (such as plastics and rubber products and fabricated
metal product manufacturing) as well. The high numbers indicate a need to better understand actual use patterns in Connecticut as well as the need for identifying effective safer alternatives to reduce the use of highly toxic
chemicals. The most commonly used chemicals were estimated to be styrene, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), methanol, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and glycol ethers, with each estimated to be over 20 million pounds of use