Green Chemistry Law in California

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Our Thursday green news bring you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

solar energy innovations

Photo courtesy of bebitoi via Flickr

  • Green chemistry law is now in effect in California: As of October first 2013, California’s Safer Consumer Products law (also known as  the Green Chemistry Initiative) went into effect. The main purpose of this initiative was to assure safer production of hundreds of common consumer products such as shampoos, cosmetics, cleaning supplies and food packaging. The law represents a new approach in product safety, where instead of trying to determine levels of toxicity in specific chemicals, it questions manufacturers whether these chemicals are necessary at all and could be replaced by safer alternatives.
  • Scientists learn from photosynthesis how to harvest more solar energy: In an article recently published in the journal Chemical Science, researchers explain that in photosynthesis, nature relies on intensely colored pigments to absorb select wavelengths of light. In their study they point out that chlorophyll effectively misses the middle of the visible light spectrum. This non-violet, or red light as well as infrared light beyond the visible spectrum contain energy that has not been utilized yet. Based on that model they developed a self-assembling ring of proteins comprising of both natural and synthetic materials that can absorb more of the light spectrum than chlorophyll does.
  • Dangerous hormone disruptors can regenerate at night like zombies: In a recent study published in Scientific American, environmental scientists explain how their recent discovery proves that hormone-disrupting chemicals (or endocrine disrupters), which are often broken down by sunlight, can regenerate at night like zombies. These pollutants that unbalance hormone systems are known to harm fish, and there is now growing evidence linking them to serious health problems in humans, including infertility and various cancers. They are especially dangerous for children.
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