News Release

T – 16 – 18
Barbara A. Lee, Director

November 1, 2018

Contact: Sanford (Sandy) Nax
(916) 327-6114

DTSC Hosts International Chemical Management Symposium

Event Will Highlight Global Efforts to Reduce Toxic Ingredients in Consumer Goods

SACRAMENTO – Experts from around the world are gathering in Sacramento today and Friday to discuss the latest efforts to find safer substitutes for toxic chemicals in common consumer products at a symposium hosted by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

Consumers are pressing for safer alternatives. As more evidence links toxic chemicals to health concerns, businesses and government are increasingly asking, “Is this chemical necessary?” That question is at the heart of California’s Safer Consumer Products program and its “alternatives assessments” process.

“Alternatives assessment ensures manufacturers don’t replace one harmful chemical with another,” said DTSC Director Barbara A. Lee. “We’re excited that leading manufacturers, product developers and academics are joining us in a coordinated effort to protect people and the environment from the effects of toxic chemicals.”

Other states, nations and major companies are embracing the concept of alternatives assessments as governments and businesses realize that reducing toxic ingredients before consumer products hit the marketplace is more efficient and effective than taking regulatory action afterward.

At the symposium, panelists representing industry, academia and government will discuss the history and trends within the emerging alternatives assessment field. The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at University of Massachusetts, a leader in the field, is organizing the symposium.

“The field is advancing rapidly and this second international AA symposium provides a great opportunity for practitioners to collaborate and learn together with the goal of creating a more formal community of practice,” said Joel Tickner, Professor at UMass Lowell and Executive Director, Green Chemistry & Commerce Council.

Tickner noted that a new professional society, the Association for the Advancement of Alternatives Assessment (A4), will be launched at the symposium.

The International Symposium on Alternatives Assessment is being held today and Friday at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters building in Sacramento.

DTSC’s Safer Consumer Products program, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality are among the sponsors.

View the symposium agenda.

View more on the California Safer Consumer Products program.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.