press release: toxnot.com launches chemical hazard crowdfunding site

Northwest Green Chemistry starts first ever chemical hazard crowdfunding campaign

For Immediate Release – Sept. 12

toxnot PBC has partnered with Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC) to kick off the first ever crowdfunded chemical hazard assessments.  NGC is using a crowdfunding approach to both increase public engagement and expand the number of chemical alternatives which can be assessed in support of their alternatives assessment work.  toxnot.com is providing a platform to crowdfund the new work as well as a platform to see and compare chemical hazards.

By funding research in the public interest, residents in the Pacific Northwest and around the world can support more rapid discovery of safer alternatives to the chemicals affecting their water and fisheries.  Toxnot’s crowdfunding approach allows the bundling of small contributions in a space where previously only governments and large companies have been able to work.  “the internet is full of people trying to determine safer chemical choices but until now all those voices haven’t had a way to directly support getting science based answers to their questions” says Lauren Heine, Executive Director at NGC.  “We’re really excited to work with toxnot to give consumers a way to get real answers about preferred alternatives.”

The first crowdedfunded project on toxnot.com looks at alternatives to copper based boat paint, which is harmful to salmon.  A 2007 Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) study found high levels of copper in Puget Sound marinas—much of it due to the use of antifouling paints. Copper negatively impacts many forms of aquatic life.  In 2007, an Ecology study found high levels of copper in two Puget Sound marinas – most of it coming from antifouling paints used to prevent marine life from attaching or growing on boat hulls.  Even low levels of copper interfere with a salmon’s sense of smell, which reduces its ability to avoid predators and find its way back to their birthplace to spawn and find mates.  Copper also adversely impacts the ability of fish eggs and fry to develop normally.

Salmon fisheries are a major source of sustenance and recreation in Washington. The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that recreational boating accounts for $3.18 billion of economic activity in Washington each year and supports over 17,256 jobs in the state.  Fishing and boating also support local communities that depend on recreational tourism.

Working with the Northwest Marine Trade Association, the state legislature passed a law in 2011 requiring the phase out of copper-based antifouling paints on recreational vessels less than 65 feet in length by 2020. The law also requires Ecology to evaluate possible alternatives to copper-based paint. To meet this legislative requirement, Ecology is working with Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC) to identify and evaluate alternatives to copper antifouling boat paints. Identifying inherently safer alternatives to copper in antifouling boat paints benefits the environment, boatyards, the fishing industry, and recreational tourism.

To assess the chemical hazards of key ingredients in alternative paints, NGC is utilizing a tiered approach starting with List Translator, moving to the Quick Chemical Assessment Tool(QCAT) method, and finally, using the full GreenScreen method where necessary.

Full details about the crowdfunding project and how to contribute to the NGC project are available at toxnot.com

 


toxnot.com is a free, open platform for chemicals management and hazard assessment.  toxnot allows brands, customers and suppliers to collaborate on chemicals transparency both through an open exchange of data and by crowdfunding new chemical assessments.  toxnot also provides a robust commercial toolset that allows companies to apply chemicals hazard assessment in their products and chemical inventories as well as providing support for reporting and compliance initiatives.  toxnot PBC is a registered public benefit corporation with the specific goal of providing a materially positive impact on the management of chemicals and materials in order to further environmental sustainability.

Northwest Green Chemistry is a 501 (c) 3 organization established in 2013 with seed funding from an EPA National Estuary Program grant 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 Pacific Northwest. NGC is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs and is led by a Leadership Team comprised of representatives from industry, academic, government, non-governmental organizations, and tribal communities and includes leading green chemistry and engineering experts, NGC’s Executive Director is Dr. Lauren Heine who led the development of the well-established tools, GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals and CleanGredients and the OECD Policy Principles for Sustainable Materials Management.  Lauren also serves on the Governing Board of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute and the Apple Green Chemistry Advisory Council. To learn more about NGC, visit www.northwestgreenchemistry.org.

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toxnot PBC is a public benefit corporation with a mission to help companies be transparent about chemicals and their impacts with design tools, client communications and supply chain intelligence so that they can promote and sell better products.