213035 What Green Chemistry Means to Workers

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:50 AM

Joseph Hughes , Director, Worker Education and Training Branch, NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC
Our green jobs community needs to better understand the science and implications of global climate change and prepare for both the dire emergencies and the opportunities for potential innovation which will likely result. Alternative energy sources, such as biofuels and hydrogen, will likely provide new opportunities for preparing an emerging workforce in focused occupational and environmental safety and health training. New chemicals, materials, and nano-technologies will present opportunities for training the workforces involved in production, and in the industrial application of secondary products and ultimately in handling waste disposal by-products.

We will meet the emerging threats to worker safety and health posed by issues, such as the changing climate, alternative energy sources, cleanup of deadly legacy wastes, and rapidly penetrating new materials and technologies into the emerging green workplace. Green chemistry represents an emerging innovative approach which can reduce both worker and environmental health risks.

While harvesting green research insights in the laboratory, multi-disciplinary teams can apply them to clean technology innovations for both the workplace and the environment. Exploring these issues and building a dialogue is the purpose of our workshop today.

We must build strong linkages between scientists involved in the development of green products and processes, workers and communities involved in emerging green industries and the multiple stakeholders and policymakers who must create a fair, just and health protective framework to regulate the emergence of a green economic infrastructure.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to describe the principals of green chemistry

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My 35 years experience in Occupational Health and Safety directing worker education programs for NEIHS
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.