Chemical pollutants that are released into the air and water streams.
The Lean and Chemicals Toolkit provides guidance on 12 ways to implement green chemistry concepts. Green chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.
- Prevent waste
- Design safer chemicals and products
- Design less hazardous chemical syntheses
- Use renewable feedstocks
- Use catalysts, not stoichiometric reagents
- Avoid chemical derivatives
- Maximize atom economy
- Use safer solvents and reaction conditions
- Increase energy efficiency
- Design chemicals and products to degrade after use
- Analyze in real time to prevent pollution
- Minimize the potential for accidents
Download the EPA Lean and Chemicals Toolkit to learn more about the 12 principles.
Pollutants are also part of cleaning products, used in businesses and households. Here are other reasons to switch to less toxic cleaners
- Switching to green cleaners helps reduce the more than $75 million a year U.S. institutions spend to address chemical-related custodial injuries (JPPP, 1999).
- The four million janitors who keep North America’s buildings clean also experience unnecessarily high injury rates with some experts estimating that 6 out of every 100 are injured by the chemicals they use (Culver, 2002).
- Using safer cleaning products, in addition to better ventilation and cleaning, could improve worker productivity by between 0.5% and 5%, an annual productivity gain of $30 billion to $150 billion (Culver, 2002).
The following is a Lean and Green project conducted at Romac Industries to reduce chemicals in wastewater. This program is part of a grant program through the State of Washington Department of Ecology, with assistance from Impact Washington.