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Berkeley researchers design solutions that promote sustainability

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A lot of talk about “going green” focuses on what consumers buy, drive, eat, or use. But a new field focuses on eco-friendly products that are designed to reduce waste, contamination, and harmful human and environmental exposure from the get-go.

Berkeley researchers are at the leading edge of this emerging field, known as green, or sustainable, chemistry. With faculty from CNR, Chemistry, Engineering, Public Health, and Business and law, the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry is developing research and training programs ranging from the molecular origins of materials to health and environmental impacts, policy, and economics.

Led by Chris Vulpe, associate professor of toxicology, the center is creating an interdisciplinary graduate program that will train a new generation of sustainability-focused chemists, academics, and professionals to develop new methods for anticipating and detecting toxicity and to advance science-based, business-savvy, and policy-savvy solutions to motivate more sustainable industrial investment and consumer behaviors. In addition to Vulpe, CNR experts at the Berkeley Center include toxicologist Dale Johnson and environmental and social scientists John Harte, Alastair Iles, Rachel Morello-Frosch, and Dara O’Rourke.

-Cyril Manning

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