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TURI Funds $75K in Community Grants to Reduce Toxic Chemical Use

Projects Promote Safer Alternatives for Land, Art, Beauty and Food Products

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TURI awarded grants to five communities to educate the public about safer alternatives in land care, art studios, cosmetics and more.

By Karen Angelo

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) awarded $75,000 to five Massachusetts community organizations to educate the public about safer products used in land care, art studios and cosmetic products and more. 

“Each year, the community projects get more interesting and innovative,” says Joy Onasch, TURI community and small business manager. “These groups are educating adolescent and teenage girls, artists, gardeners and the general public about toxics used in everyday life, and promoting safer alternatives.” 

TURI awarded grants to the following organizations: 

  • La Chic Mentoring Plus, Inc.: Healthy Girls Model Healthy Products project. The project team will use $9,950 to develop a curriculum for middle and high school girls about safer beauty products, presenting the materials during the “Healthy Girls Model Healthy Products” after-school programs and at a fashion show at the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn. The team leaders, who mentor at-risk girls, will present informational material and provide safer beauty products for the teens to try. La Chic will also present the project at the American Chemical Society conference. 
  • Full Circle Earth Greenhouse and Farm: Healthy Communities Initiative: Pesticide Use Reduction through Promotion and Practice of Organic Land Care Principles project. The Full Circle Earth project team will use $6,500 to educate more than 100 community members on organic land care methods. Through workshops and community events in Beverly, Wakefield and Woburn, the team will help the public achieve healthy lawns and landscapes without the use of pesticides or harmful fertilizers. 
  • Franklin Regional Council of Governments: Green Cleaning for Food Service project. The project team will use $18,881 to compile green cleaning product information, practices and benefits for public health inspectors of commercial and institutional kitchens to distribute during routine inspections. The team will develop green cleaning guides and on site and online training for food service operators. 
  • Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension: Hidden Hazards in the Art Studio Educational Outreach Program project. The project team will use $20,000 to share information about toxic chemicals in art supplies and about safer alternatives with municipal and state organizations responsible for the oversight of hazardous materials. These officials will then share the information with artists and the general public. Common toxics found in art supplies include solvents, lead, cadmium, chromium, heavy metals and hydrochloric acid. 
  • Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition: Cancer-Free New Economy: Integrating Toxics Reduction Approaches with Sustainable Community Development project. The project team will use $20,000 to develop methods, materials and workshops to encourage a community conversation about reducing the use of carcinogens. They will also identify 20 individual businesses to transition from carcinogens to safer alternatives.