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Thursday April 14 2011 - Toxics Use Reduction Community Conference: Sharing Successes and Networking

April 14, 2011

8:30am - 4:30pm

Boston Marriott Newton

2345 Commonwealth Avenue

Newton, MA

(617) 969-1000

About the Conference

The TURI Community Program provides grants and assistance to communities to tackle toxics issues of concern. Through the Institute’s community grant program, over 90 community-based projects have addressed topics such as pesticide use reduction (indoor and outdoor), safer personal care products, safer janitorial cleaning, healthy cosmetology, reduction of solvent and lead use in auto shops, reduction of lead in fishing gear, and healthy floor finishing.

The goal of this conference is to share successful TUR models and inspire and encourage future grantees and others to replicate and expand on previously executed projects. Many resources, such as trainings, brochures, flyers, posters, and tool kits exist that can be replicated. It is TURI's hope that many of the past projects will one day be state-wide and self sustaining.


8:30 -9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00-10:00 Plenary
10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-12:00 Morning Sessions:

1. Transitioning Lawns and Athletic Turf - Success Stories from the Field

2. Reducing Toxics in Small Businesses Part 1: Nail Salons and Auto Body Shops

3. Greening Cleaning and Disinfection in Hospitals, Schools and Municipal Buildings: A Nuts & Bolts Approach

12:00 - 12:45 Lunch
12:45 - 1:30 Grant Opportunities Panel

1:30 - 3:00 Afternoon Sessions :

4. Promoting Green from Within: Municipal Models in Green Policy, Purchasing and Practices

5. Toxics Use Reduction in Small Business Part 2: Dry Cleaning and Floor Finishing

6. Greening Household Cleaning for Professionals and Do-it-Yourselfers

3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:25 Moving Forward - Collaborative Breakout Sessions
4:25 - 4:30 Conference Wrap-up


Welcome, Michael J. Ellenbecker, Sc.D., CIH , is the Director of TURI. He is an expert in toxics use reduction and industrial hygiene. Dr. Ellenbecker is co-author of Ventilation for Control of the Work Environment, the standard textbook for the design of industrial exhaust systems. His current research focuses on the safe use of nanomaterials in the workplace. He is also a Professor in the Department of Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, teaching industrial hygiene and cleaner production.

Keynote Speaker and Honored Guest, Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
Dr. Ted Schettler is the Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. He has a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s in public health from Harvard University. He also serves as science director of the Collaborative on Health and Environment and science advisor for the Health Care Without Harm campaign. He is co-author of the recently published Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, co-author of In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development (GBPSR 2000), and co-author of Generations at Risk: Reproductive Health and the Environment (MIT Press 1999). Ted will be speaking about toxic chemicals and their potential impacts on human health throughout the lifespan.

Morning Sessions

1. Transitioning Lawns and Athletic Turf – Success Stories from the Field - Surveys of homeowners and landscape professionals show that many would embrace and practice natural lawn care if they “only knew how to do it.” Transitioning chemically laden lawns to a natural system is about more than just using organic products. It includes understanding soil health and implementing sound preventative practices. This systems approach, employed by Chip Osborne, is responsible for the successful transition of lawns and athletic fields across the country. Chip will share his experience educating citizens and officials throughout the country, starting with the pilot Living Lawn in Marblehead.

The successful efforts in Marblehead spawned many efforts across Massachusetts. You will hear stories and get advice from citizens who conducted public outreach and policy efforts from urban centers to suburban communities.

2. Reducing Toxics in Small Businesses Part 1: Nail Salons and Auto Body Shops - Workers in nail salons and auto body shops use and are exposed to a number of hazardous chemicals, including solvents. The Boston Public Health Commission’s Safe Shops Project originally partnered with auto repair and body shops, community groups, health centers, and City agencies to promote pollution prevention and address health disparities in communities that are overburdened with toxic chemical exposure. In 2007, The Project’s scope grew to address nail salons, creating the Safe Nail Salon Project. BPHC provides both auto shops and nail salons with environmental and workplace safety trainings, health care referrals and technical assistance. Come and learn about unique educational strategies, lessons, and resources, such as the Safe Shops Toolkit, for working with small businesses in your community.

3. Greening Cleaning and Disinfection in, Schools, Municipal Buildings and Hospitals : A Nuts & Bolts Approach - The cleaners and disinfectants used in institutional buildings have an impact on indoor air quality and the health of workers and occupants. The prevalence of validated green cleaners and model programs makes adoption of green cleaning easier than ever. Lynn Rose, an expert in green cleaning and disinfection, will share her experience working with four school districts and the Army National Guard to develop their Green Housekeeping and Infection Control Program. She will present her system for assessing existing products, identifying needs, setting priorities, selecting vendors and equipment, working with unions and administration, and setting up the infrastructure for a sustained approach. Additionally, you will learn how TURI’s Lab is partnering with the Clinical Science lab at UML to evaluate safer disinfectants, and about the TURI Lab’s experience working with the Veterans Administration Hospital to evaluate bio-based cleaning products.

Grant Opportunities Lunch Panel

Just after lunch we will hear from potential funders about funding opportunities, eligibility, what makes a successful applicant, the types of projects that are funded, tips for grant writers, and upcoming deadlines. The Environmental Protection Agency will talk about their many grant programs such as Healthy Communities, Environmental Justice, and Pesticide Environmental Stewardship, and TURI will discuss its Community Grant Program. Come with your questions!

Afternoon Sessions

4. Promoting Green from Within: Municipal Models in Green Policy, Purchasing and Practices - Municipalities have tremendous opportunities to reduce toxics use and model practices for their citizens. In this session you will hear about several proactive efforts of municipal officials to make their communities safer. The City of Somerville launched a public education effort to bring practical information on green building to their businesses, residents and local government officials and has now broadened those efforts. Newton will share their experience implementing integrated pest management in 22 of its schools. You will learn about Barnstable’s efforts to adddress perchlorate contamination by switching to new LED flares for road and marine emergencies. You will also hear about the Swampscott Board of Health’s work to implement a turf management policy and their efforts to ensure safe and effective mosquito control operations.

5. Toxics Use Reduction in Small Business Part 2: Dry Cleaning and Floor Finishing - Growing concern over perchloroethylene (perc), a solvent widely used in dry cleaning, has led to efforts to restrict its use and develop viable alternatives. TURI has been working with the dry cleaning sector for over ten years, with a focus on promoting wet cleaning. You will get an overview of the array of alternatives and their pros and cons, and hear first hand from a dry cleaner about his experience making the switch. A compelling business case will also show how wet cleaning not only reduces toxic chemical usage, but saves energy and natural resources.

After the tragic death of three Vietnamese floor finishers was blamed on the use of highly flammable products, the Vietnamese-American Initiative for Development (Viet-AID) and others initiated the Healthy Floor Finishing Project. The multi-year effort focused on finding alternatives, providing education, health and safety training, and developing a consumer marketing campaign. This extensive bi-lingual community outreach model will be shared.

6. Greening Household Cleaning for Professionals and Do-it-Yourselfers - Green cleaning is about using safer products and products that work. The Brazilian Women's Group will share their model of educating Brazilian house cleaners and residents about the hazards of household cleaners and helping them convert to safer alternatives made from simple household ingredients. Their Vida Verde project attracts mainstream media attention and has elevated the issue for a wider audience. The International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) and TURI are testing and validating safer products for professional use. Come and learn about the results that could transform the professional cleaning industry and bolster your efforts to institutionalize green cleaning.

Ever wonder if those do-it-yourself recipes with common household ingredients really work? The TURI laboratory will provide you with their evaluation and testing results.

Moving Forward- Collaborative Breakout Sessions - Are you inspired? Do you want to model one of the projects you heard about today on a larger scale? Dr. Ken Geiser, Co-Director, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, will kick off this session as we develop strategies to spread the many successes you have learned about. We will hold breakout groups to discuss interests and opportunities for more regional or statewide collaboration to advance the many alternatives and models for action that have been proven to work. The topics will be Green Cleaning, Pesticide Use Reduction, Municipal Operations, and Small Business TUR.









To Register: Download the registration form. Please return the completed registration form with a check made payable to UMass Lowell, mail to the Toxics Use Reduction Institute by April 7, 2011 .

The registration will not be complete and the space will not be held until payment and the registration form are received. Seating is limited. We will confirm session selections with your conference confirmation.

Fax registration to (978) 934-3050 or mail to:
Brenda Wilson
Community Conference
TURI - UMass Lowell
Wannalancit Mills
600 Suffolk Street, 5th Floor
Lowell, MA 01854-2866

Fees: The registration fee includes conference materials, a continental breakfast, lunch and breaks.

The cost of the all-day conference and lunch is $35. Please make a check out to the UMASS Lowell. A limited number of scholarships are available; please contact Anne Basanese at (978) 934-3144 or Anne_Basanese@uml.edu

Registration Deadline: Registration may be faxed or mailed but must be received by April 7, 2011. The registration will not be complete and the space will not be held until payment and the registration form are received.

Cancellations: Cancellations must be received 5 business days before the event (April 7, 2011) . Cancellations received 5 days before the event will receive a credit for the registration fee that may be used for a future event. There will be no credit given for cancellations less than 5 days before the event.

Mail cancellations to:
Brenda Wilson
TURI - UMass Lowell
Wannalancit Mills
600 Suffolk Street, 5th Fl.
Lowell, MA 01854-2866 or FAX to (978) 934-3050

If you have any questions or special needs, contact Anne Basanese at (978) 934-3144 or Anne_Basanese@uml.edu


Conference presentations are available here: