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TURI Honors Leaders at State House Recognition Ceremony

2003 TURA Data Shows Toxic Chemical Usage Declining

June 16, 2005, Boston - Massachusetts Representatives and Senators joined the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) today in honoring leaders in Massachusetts communities and companies for reducing toxic chemical use across the state.

“These individuals and companies embody the spirit of the Toxics Use Reduction Act program,” said  Michael Ellenbecker, Director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute.  “We recognize them today for making Massachusetts safer, healthier and more competitive,” he continued.

Community leaders included the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Dorchester, who introduced safer green cleaners into the Boston School System; New Ecology, Inc., Cambridge, and Lower Pioneer Valley Education Collaborative, East Longmeadow, who worked to make hair and nail salons safer; the Westford Water Department, who raised awareness in their region to reduce pesticide use on lawns; and the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences for compiling existing knowledge of pesticide impacts on humans and wildlife and bringing Massachusetts researchers and advocates together for the first time.

“I am truly amazed at the dedication and passion of these community leaders who are tackling very difficult issues.  It not only takes technical knowledge about toxic chemical use, it also takes perseverance to influence deep-rooted behaviors,” said Eileen Gunn, Community Program Manager at TURI.

TURI recognized outstanding company Toxics Use Reduction Planners, the Environmental Management Systems grant recipient and industry supply chain leaders who are working to help Massachusetts businesses remain globally competitive.

Toxics Use Reduction Planners included Frank Marino, Raytheon Company, Waltham, and Lucille C. Servidio, Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc., Marlborough.  The Environmental Management System Peer Mentor Grant Recipient is Solutia, Inc., Springfield.  Industry Supply Chain Leaders included AlphaGary, Leominster, for their work in the wire and cable industry and M/A-COM, Lowell, for their contributions to the lead-free electronics workgroup.

The Proof is in the Data

TURI announced at the event that Massachusetts companies continued to reduce both chemical use and waste in 2003 while maintaining their competitive edge.  Among industries and chemicals subject to reporting since 1990 (and adjusted for changes in production), chemical use has been reduced by 40%, byproducts by 70%, and releases on site by 92%.  Dr. Ellenbecker attributed this 13-year success to the joint efforts of the Massachusetts companies, their Toxics Use Reduction Planners, TURI and its sister agencies, the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance for Toxics Use Reduction and the Department of Environmental Protection.  For the first time, municipal solid waste combustors filed data on lead, mercury and dioxin.  To learn more, visit the Institute’s web site at www.TURAdata.turi.org.

About the Toxics Use Reduction Institute 

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) provides the resources and tools to help Massachusetts companies and communities make the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work.  Established by the State’s Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989, TURI provides research, training, technical support, laboratory services and grant programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals while enhancing the economic competitiveness of businesses.

Toxics use reduction involves reducing pollution at its source, rather than treating wastes once they are produced.  Since 1990, TURI has provided toxic use reduction certification training to over 1,000 industry professionals, awarded 67 community grants and nine Environmental Management Systems grants--all to raise awareness about toxic chemicals, reduce chemical use and introduce safer alternatives.  For more information, visit www.turi.org.