26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

The Role of Sustainable Thinking in New Chemical Reviews

Symposium Organizers: Richard Engler, Director of Chemistry, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., and Ligia Duarte Botelho, Manager, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

A circular economy requires new thinking about what we make, what we make it from, and where it goes at the end of its useful life. An important but often overlooked aspect of new product development is an understanding of the regulatory framework and landscape that will govern the commercialization of the new product. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates the manufacture, use, processing, and disposal of industrial chemicals. TSCA requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review new chemicals and determine whether they would adversely impact human health or the environment. If EPA determines that a new chemical may pose a risk, EPA can either prohibit the use of the new chemical or require restrictions on the chemical to mitigate risks. Currently, EPA reviews and regulates new chemicals based solely on hazards, without regard to whether exposures are reasonably foreseen. EPA also does not consider sustainability benefits that may accrue by the introduction of a new chemical.

This symposium will be a panel discussion that explores the “new chemicals bias,” as it is called, and how it continues to pose a barrier to market acceptance of novel chemistry and sustainable thinking. The session will also include discussions on possible policy changes that could eliminate or alleviate current regulatory challenges to chemical innovation. The session will help attendees understand the regulatory landscape of TSCA implementation and how and whether EPA might change its approach to reduce barriers to circular economy innovations. It will include company representatives, EPA scientists and invited speakers from non-governmental organizations. The moderator will introduce the topic, and then each panelist will give brief introductory remarks, followed by at least 30 minutes of practical discussion among the panelists, including a question and answer session to engage with the audience.

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