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Champions of Toxics Use Reduction

Event details

June 20, 2023
11:00 am - 1:30 pm
24 Beacon Street
Boston Statehouse, Great Hall
Boston, Massachusetts 02133

Every year companies and community groups work to reduce the use of toxic chemicals, helping to make Massachusetts a safer place to live and work. TURI’s annual champions event recognizes outstanding leaders who are making the Commonwealth a safer place for all residents to live, work, learn and play.

Join us to hear about some of the champions who worked with TURI in the past year to do just that.

  • Steel Art Co. is an architectural quality signage manufacturer that had been utilizing a solvent blend composition of n-propyl bromide (nPB) and isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to remove buffing compounds from metal parts.  OTA was providing technical assistance, and suggested that they work with the TURI lab. After receiving a TURI Industry grant and working with the TURI Lab to identify alternatives, they moved to an aqueous cleaner and a new cleaning system.
  • S.E. Shires has been finding safer ways to produce brass musical instruments for over a decade, most recently by removing TCE from their process.  Working with OTA and the TURI lab, and assisted by a TURI grant, S. E. Shires implemented a new ultrasonic cleaning process using a safer alternative. They estimate a cost savings of tens of thousands of dollars. They replaced 3,600 pounds of  TCE + replaced annual use of about 1,600 pounds of  Methylene Chloride solution.
  • Conklin Office Furniture, a manufacturing plant in Holyoke, recycles and reconditions office furniture. As part of extensive efforts to provide the safest working environment for its employees and minimize its environmental footprint by developing an Environmental Management System, Conklin is working with TURI and OTA to find safer alternatives for cleaning solvents and adhesives.
  • Gymnastics foam pits provide a safe landing area and a fun play space for children.  The foam cubes typically have flame retardants added, but this exposes children to hazardous chemicals with numerous health effects, and is not the best way to ensure fire safety.  Donoma Gymnastics worked with TURI and their local fire chief, replacing their foam cubes with non-flame retardant cubes, providing for fire safety and a healthier environment for staff, children and families.
  • The Nantucket PFAS Action Group has been partnering with firefighters in Nantucket, Fall River and Hyannis to evaluate the exposure of firefighters to PFAS chemicals in their turnout gear, and to educate firefighters throughout Massachusetts about PFAS. The leading cause of death among active duty firefighters is not fires — it is cancer — and PFAS are an important class of suspected carcinogens that firefighters are exposed to. The Nantucket PFAS Action Group and their firefighter partners are working to change standards so that turnout gear can be made without PFAS, and are national leaders in raising awareness about PFAS and safer alternatives and practices.
  • Transene Company is now offering safer solutions to customers that don’t contain toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Because of their work with TURI, Transene’s customers in industries such as radio frequency and microwave chips, lasers, photronics, aerospace and defense have switched to using the new, safer etching products without PFAS.

Learn about past events here.

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