Detoxifying Commerce

in Events
April 6th, 2023

Students from local schools and environmental citizens concerned about toxics in our environment will convene on April 19 from 2-4 to hear from experts on how we can reduce toxics in our lives.  Attendees will move from learned helplessness to agency by hearing about what can be done and how doable it is, and then having the chance to participate in breakout discussions of the Detox Agenda we need.  A report on what people think that should be will be the result.  Or, they can attend presentations on Environmental Data Utilization – understanding the mountains of data that can be mined to advance the social interest in bettering public and environmental health.

Register to attend by zoom:

Register to come in person: email with DETOX in the subject line. The event will be in Room 209 of the College of Communications, 640 Commonwealth Avenue.

Presenters: 2:00 – 4:00

Wilma Subra, independent scientist who has spent decades helping people who live near huge chemical plants in Louisiana.

Rachel Massey – former policy expert at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, now with the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, winner of the 2022 Pollution Prevention Champion Award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR).

Nick Ashford – Originator of the idea of technology options analysis, MIT professor of environmental law, author of many authoritative books and articles, advisor to governments, trainer of many who went on to great accomplishments in the environmental field.

Joel Tickner – founding Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment, founder of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3), 2008 NPPR Pollution Prevention Champion.

Bev Thorpe – cofounder of the pioneering firm Clean Production Action, helping companies understand the value of transparency, helping them identify chemicals of concern and learn how to institute and conduct an active program of finding safer substitutes.

Kenneth Geiser – credited with the foundational ideas for the successful Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Program, founder of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute and the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, the Center for Environmentally Appropriate Materials, author of books and articles laying out the vision for how we may achieve a less toxic world.

Terri Goldberg – as Pollution Prevention director at the Northeast Waste Management Officials Association and then director of the organization Terri organized meetings and information helping the states of the northeast to learn from each other and to apply the prevention concept to their work.  She helped launch national and regional programs on data, how to work with companies, providing an essential link between policymakers in Washington and state capitols, and people doing the work on the ground.

Swati RayasamScience Associate at the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment and grassroots community organizer.

4:00 – 5:00 Participate in breakouts to refine the DETOX AGENDA – in person (students will show you where) or by zoom:

Passcode: 829296

or Remain in the Room (Zoom and Room 209) and Attend a Discussion of Environmental Data Utilization:

Chris Rascher, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 New England, on the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act data.

The Office of Technical Assistance, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on OTA’s interactive map of hazard sources, contamination, flood risk.

Flower Armijo, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1 New England, former BU student, on citizen use of water quality data.

Katelyn Tarrio, Boston University’s Earth and Environment Department, on creating as a BU student MassDEP’s first map of contaminated sources and flood risk.

 Jonathan Arentsen, former BU student, on the analysis of TSCA and TURA data he performed that won the 2022 Most Valuable Student award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

Organized by Rick Reibstein, formerly a manager of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction program and enforcement attorney for EPA, and creator of this project class, helped by Eden Floyd, Aubrey Hoes, and other students in Earth and Environment 538.

Conference Flyer



Presentations and Background (Powerpoints)

Detoxifying Commerce

Emerging Toxics (1)

Toxics Release Inventory – Chris Rascher

Chloroprene Air Emissions From DuPont and Denka Facilities-Wilma Subra (1)

Mercury Use Table

Mercury Table

Nick Ashford Alternatives Analysis incorporating innovation

Cleaner Production Action_BevThorpe_BU_April19

Joel. Forward looking policy to address the toxics crisis and drive safer chemistry – BU 4-23

2023_ Phenol in Massachusetts Project Summary