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UMass Lowell's Toxics Use Reduction Institute Awards Five Community Grants


LOWELL - The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell awarded five $10,000 Toxics Use Reduction Networking (TURN) grants to community organizations across the commonwealth to reduce chemical use in salons, schools and neighborhoods.

Recipients are the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH), Dorchester; New Ecology, Inc., Cambridge; Town of Westford Water Department; Lower Pioneer Valley Education Collaborative, East Longmeadow; and Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.

"We see a tremendous opportunity to make a difference through the work of these organizations to promote safer alternatives for pest-free lawns, clean schools and healthy salons," said Eileen Gunn, TURI's community program manager.

A grant requirement is to forge partnerships with other organizations to communicate safer and effective solutions to citizens, cities and towns. All of the 62 projects funded by TURI over the past 10 years serve as models for other organizations to replicate within their communities.

This year's five projects include advancing the use of green cleaners in Boston schools, promoting healthy cosmetology through the development of a model vocational school salon and alternatives analysis with Vietnamese nail salon workers, and raising awareness about pesticide use and alternatives.  The projects begin in November 2004 and end in June 2005 with a presentation of the grant results at a State House event.

Green Cleaners in Boston Schools

Now in its second year, The Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health, Dorchester, will continue its Healthy Boston Schools Janitorial Project that engages custodians, Boston Public Schools and the larger school community in an effort to reduce the use of toxic cleaning chemicals in schools and promote healthy policies and procedures in Boston and across the state. 

Healthy Cosmetology

New Ecology, Inc., Cambridge, will implement the Vietnamese Healthy Nail Salon InitiativeProject to evaluate the performance of safer products with salon owners and promote alternative products with salon suppliers and salons in Greater Boston and Western Massachusetts.

The Lower Pioneer Valley Career and Technical Education Center, East Longmeadow, will initiate the Model Cosmetology Salon Project to incorporate toxics use reduction into the curriculum and building design of a new state-of-the art vocational school in West Springfield slated to open in 2005.


Pesticide Use and Alternatives

The Town of Westford Water Department will build public awareness about pesticide use with the Bridging Pesticide and Human Health Awareness with Water Resource Protection Project.  The goal is to improve communication among town departments regarding pesticide use reduction, recommend safer alternative methods for lawn care and bridge pesticide use reduction with water resource protection and human health impacts.

The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences will seek to identify and reduce long-term pesticide exposures in humans and wildlife with the Massachusetts Wildlife and Human Health Initiative: Focusing on Exposure to Current-Use Pesticides Project.  The Center will present a synthesis report and recommendations through a workshop with land managers, scientists, regulators and educators. 

About the Toxics Use Reduction Institute 

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell provides the resources and tools to help Massachusetts companies and communities make the commonwealth a safer place to live and work.  Established by the State's Toxics Use Reduction Act of 1989, TURI provides research, training, technical support, laboratory services and grant programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals while enhancing the economic competitiveness of local businesses.  For more information about the TURN Grant, contact Eileen Gunn at 978-934-434

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224