251272 Deploying safer alternatives through public health law

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:45 PM

Peter Sinsheimer, PhD, MPH , Sustainable Technology & Policy Program, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
The goal of this project is to use four case studies of different uses of lead to examine the role of law in driving the substitution of toxic chemicals with safer alternatives. It seeks to develop a methodology for integrating a prevention-based alternatives assessment approach into chemical regulation. The project asks four research questions: How is lead used in the United States, and what are the exposures? What safer viable alternatives are available? What are the legal, technical, socio-economic and cultural barriers to the diffusion of such alternatives? How can regulatory policy overcome these barriers and ultimately drive the prevention of lead exposure? In Phase 1 we characterized the use, emissions and exposure to lead in the United States, focusing upon five major life cycle components: extraction, processing, manufacturing processes, uses, and disposal and recycling. Based on this data, we identified thirteen lead uses raising the greatest health concern. These included: automotive batteries, uninterrupted power sources, PVC piping, bridge paint, artists' paint, sheet metal, aviation fuel, piezoceramics, solder, ammunition, cosmetics, automotive radiators, and ceramics. For each candidate, a preliminary legal survey and alternatives survey was conducted to identify four uses for intensive evaluation. The four selected were: automotive batteries, solder, ammunition, and aviation fuel. In Phase 2, for each use, an alternatives assessment will be conducted to compare and evaluate commercially available alternatives in terms of health, environmental impact, performance and cost. Phase 3 focuses on two tasks. First, for each case, a conceptual model is developed of the legal and socio-economic environment in which the businesses using lead make technology choices. Second, this model identifies the legal, technical, economic, social and cultural barriers to the adoption of viable alternatives, and evaluates potential regulatory approaches designed to overcome or mitigate those barriers.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe two regulatory/policy approaches to improve the uptake of safer chemical alternatives.

Keywords: Public Health Policy, Lead

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the co-Principal Investigator of this research project
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.