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Sustainable “green” Chemistry

Introduction

Has any legislation been passed regarding the implementation of green chemistry?

Also yes! A couple of examples are the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program in Europe and the California Green Chemistry Initiative in California in the United States.

The purpose of the REACH program is to require that companies make data available that demonstrates the safety of their products. This includes the potential chemical hazards during the use of a product, and it also describes means of restricting the use of specific chemicals. A similar piece of legislation, the Toxic Substances Control Act, exists in the United States, but this has received criticism for being far less effective.

The California Green Chemistry Initiative was approved in 2008, requiring the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to place priority on specific “chemicals of concern.” This initiative effectively shifted the responsibility for testing chemicals away from individual companies and placed it on the government agency. These laws received criticism for not incentivizing research and education regarding green chemistry in the industry. Due to widespread opposition to the initially proposed regulations, the implementation of this initiative had to be postponed at least once due to the need to rewrite the proposal.



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