Thursday, August 12, 2010

California Environmental Health Office Publishes Green Chemistry Hazard Traits

Many people know that the state of California has been working on a "green chemistry" program, though it has struggled because of the severe economic downturn.  The 2008 statute requires the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessement (OEHHA) to specific "hazard traits," i.e., environmental and toxicological endpoints and other relevant data that are to be included in the state's "Toxics Information Clearinghouse."  The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will use the clearinghouse information to help identify chemicals of concern in consumer products.

To get things started, and to jump start the process, OEHHA has developed what they are calling a "pre-regulatory draft" for discussion.  Based on feedback, the final language may change substantially.  Which is highly likely given that it lists some pretty specific - and new - types of hazard traits that they will consider using in regulation.  Besides the usual acute and chronic toxicity studies, they also include:

  • Carcinogenicity
  • Cardiovascular toxicity
  • Dermotoxicity
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Endocrine effects
  • Epigenetic toxicity
  • Specific organ toxicity (e.g., liver, kidney)
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Ocular (eyes) and Ototoxicity (ears)
  • Respiratory toxicity
  • and more!!
For environmental hazard traits, besides acute and chronic toxicity they suggest:
  • Wildlife survival impairment
  • Wildlife reproductive and developmental impairment
  • Wildlife growth impairment
  • Non-target phytotoxicity
  • Loss of genetic and biodiversity
  • Eutrophication
  • Ambient ozone formation
  • Global warming
  • and more!!
Quite a list.  

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