Every day we encounter various chemicals through the simple act of going about our lives—from the beauty products in your morning routine, to the packaging for your takeout meal, to the furniture you sit on. Chemicals are found in just about everything we touch or consume, and not all of them are completely benign. The identification and substitution of safer chemicals is a constant work in progress for regulatory bodies and manufacturers alike. In California, the Safer Consumer Products Program is committed to identifying safer alternatives to chemicals of concern through a process called alternatives analysis. Alternatives analysis goes beyond traditional alternatives assessment by requiring the inclusion of broader and deeper aspects such as a greater number of toxicological endpoints and life cycle impacts over a product’s lifespan. We spoke with lead author Kelly Grant to find out more of what the SCP program is about and what we can learn from it. Access the article in the July 2022 issue of IEAM.
About the Guest
Kelly Grant is a senior environmental scientist in California’s Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program and has been there since 2018. At SCP, she helps to identify problematic chemicals in products, review Alternative Analyses (AA) submitted by manufacturers, and develop regulatory responses based on the AA reports. Prior to joining SCP, Grant was a biology professor at a small university on the shores of Lake Erie, where her research used molecular biology to answer questions about toxicology, ecology, and environmental science. Before that, Grant served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Policy Fellow in U.S. EPA’s Design for the Environment, where her work focused on encouraging product manufacturers to use safer chemicals. Her Ph.D. is in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington in Seattle, and her undergraduate degree is from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
Articles Referenced in this Podcast
Grant, K.A., Nakayama Wong, L., Meng, Q., Lee, H., Phelps, D., Davis, S., Salinas, M., Luan, T. and Zhou, X. (2022), Informed substitution of hazardous chemicals through the lens of California’s Safer Consumer Products Alternatives Analysis: Best practices, challenges, and opportunities. Integr Environ Assess Manag, 18: 1007-1019. https://doi.org/10.1002/ieam.4527
This podcast includes a sound clip from Free SFX.
Permission to use “Intentions” as the opening track kindly granted by The Whitest Boy Alive.
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