Environmental Health Scientist Speaks at Chemistry Convocation

in Alumni, Front Page, Undergraduate
April 21st, 2015

Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Director Consumer Safety and Sustainability, will be Chemistry’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni Speaker

The Director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports, Dr. Urvashi Rangan, was the Distinguished Alumni Speaker at this year’s Chemistry Convocation (May 16, 2015).  Dr. Rangan received her BA in Chemistry from Boston University in 1990, doing undergraduate research in organic chemistry with Prof. John Snyder.  She received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1995 and did postdoctoral work at the Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute (Rutgers University).  She was an NIH fellow from 1990-97.

A noted environmental health scientist, Dr. Rangan has a column in Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart magazine and also serves as a top spokesperson for Consumer Reports in the areas of sustainable production and consumption practices. She has a wide area of expertise, including organic standards, food safety issues, environmental pollution, toxics in consumer products, and environmental health concerns and has appeared in numerous national broadcast outlets. Her expertise is called upon to respond to breaking product safety news, speak on behalf of CU investigative test stories, and to discuss production problems and consumer solutions around a wide range of sustainability topics including food safety issues, organic food, risky ingredients in personal care products, misleading labels, electronics recycling, and energy efficiency for household products.

At the Consumers Union, which she joined in 1999, she has been responsible for managing risk analysis, policy assessments, label evaluations and consumer advice for tests, reports, and related advocacy work.  She developed the ratings system, database, and Web site, Eco-labels.org, for evaluating environmental and food labels. In 2005, she managed the launch of GreenerChoices,org, which covers green aspects over a wide range of products and services.   To “meet” Dr. Rangan, please go to her 2012 TEDxManhattan talk, “From fables to labels.”