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Health and Safety: 2001 to 2005

By this time, the Lowell Center had developed a recognized international profile and the concept of sustainable production had achieved acceptance in environmental policy discourse. Lowell Center staff and faculty were publishing papers on sustainable production and being invited to make presentations on sustainable production in meetings and conferences throughout the country as well as in Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

The Lowell Center opened a new project in 2000 on sustainable consumption with a two-day forum that brought together Mexican, Canadian and United States professionals to develop an Alliance for Sustainable Consumption. In addition, Lowell Center faculty and staff helped to plan and sponsor a highly successful conference at the University of Sonora in Hermosillo, Mexico on Cleaner Production and Pollution Prevention education and projects at universities.

In 2003, just prior to the publication of the European Union REACH proposal, the Lowell Center organized a four-city tour of the United States by a group of European chemicals policy experts to stimulate discussion of chemicals policy in the United States. 

The Lowell Center received a $4M, four-year grant from NIOSH for Project SHARRP in 2004 to research ways to protect home healthcare practitioners from needlestick injuries and blood exposures. Project SHARRP was a collaborative effort with five leading home healthcare agencies and labor unions: VNA Care Network, which operates within 200 communities in the region; the UMass Memorial Home Health and Hospice in Worcester; Winchester Home Care; the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA); and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 2020.

The Environmental Health Initiative (EHI) joined the Lowell Center in September 2004.The EHI seeks to better understand relationships between environmental exposures and human health [link].Working at the local, state, New England regional and national levels, EHI develops and implements programs and policies aimed at reducing environmental exposures to reverse rates of chronic disease.

To help colleges, universities, public schools and others improve and sustain environmental performance, the Lowell Center created the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Service Program.The Lowell Center offers trainings on developing and maintaining environmental management systems to reduce operating costs, increase energy savings, and promote healthier facilities.

The first North American dialogue about sustainable chemicals policy was initiated in 2005 by the Lowell Center. The meeting brought together chemical producers, downstream users, representatives of government and non-government organizations, and others for presentations and group discussions on key elements of a more sustainable chemicals policy.

With sponsorship of the Lowell Center, the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) was formed by attendees who participated in “Sustainable Business and Safer Chemistry through the Supply Chain: An Innovators Roundtable” at the Darden School of Business.

The Lowell Center led an initiative to encourage healthcare payers to finance effective environmental interventions for asthma patients.

In collaboration with the Collaborative for Health and Environment, the Lowell Center developed the white paper “Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer” to demonstrate why environmental and occupational cancers should be given serious consideration.

The Lowell Center launched the Toward Tomorrow initiative to develop an agenda for action on health and the environment.By bringing together leaders and scholars from diverse fields, Toward Tomorrow identified goals that will guide the next generation as they address the complex linkages between human and ecosystem health and linkages critical for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of global health threats.One of the elements of this project was the creation of a web site www.towardtomorrow.org where people are encouraged to share their visions of a healthy human population and environment.