August 10, 2010
Safer Alternatives to Toxic Chemicals Needed to Protect Workers and Communities
Stating that US laws offer little protection from hazardous chemicals, in the July issue of Perspectives, from UC Berkeley, public health professionals call for using safer alternatives and work processes. They also call for involving occupational health professionals in promoting alternatives because of their experience with worker illnesses and successful collaborations to develop alternatives.
The article—Preventing Toxic Exposures: Workplace Lessons in Safer Alternatives—gives practical, real-world examples of initiatives that have enabled companies to reduce use of chemicals in manufacturing, services, and other sectors. The solutions have improved worker and community health, as well as company finances.
Recommendations include: enabling public health departments to access manufacturers’ chemical use information; expanding support for the development of safer alternatives and work processes; training for workers, unions, and businesses; and integrating occupational health concerns when developing environmental chemical legislation and regulations.
Perspectives is published by Health Research for Action, a center in the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.
Joan Lichterman, Principal Editor
Health Research for Action
UC Berkeley School of Public Health
2140 Shattuck Avenue, 10th Fl.
Berkeley, CA 94704-7380