Elizabeth Daigneau is GOVERNING's managing editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
California has created the new Green Chemistry Initiative, which seeks to eliminate or reduce the use of toxic substances in products and manufacturing processes.
Since consumer warnings were issued about lead in lipstick, mercury in medicine and BPA in baby products last year, concerns over toxic chemicals in everyday consumer products have ramped up. California has found a way to address these concerns with its new Green Chemistry Initiative, which seeks to eliminate or reduce the use of toxic substances in products and manufacturing processes. The initiative, which envisions the most comprehensive regulations ever adopted for consumer goods, would inform customers about how products are manufactured and transported and how safe their ingredients are. Officials envision a public database where consumers will one day be able to scan the bar code of a product to determine how green it is -- or isn't. The ultimate goal of this initiative, however, is to develop a comprehensive approach for assessing potential hazards from chemicals in consumer products and for finding safer alternatives to them. Currently, officials are developing the initiative's regulations, which the public can comment on on the initiative's wiki.