Ann Blake to Speak on “Green Chemistry”

Potentially harmful chemicals are everywhere, including in food packaging, cleaning products, cosmetics, and other unexpected places. And exposure to toxic chemicals is linked to all major public health problems, including obesity, heart disease, childhood cancers, and neurological problems. 

Ann Blake ’85, a College trustee, is an expert in the environmental impact of chemicals in consumer products. She believes that “one of the key obstacles that keep businesses from making more sustainable choices about their sourcing, manufacturing, retailing, or purchasing is the lack of information and good decision-making tools.” So she founded Environmental and Public Health Consulting to help organizations reduce use of harmful chemicals while meeting their needs for goods, services, and jobs.

She will speak on “Travels of a Rubber Duck: Science and Policy on Chemicals in Global Manufacturing” Thursday, October 24, at 4:30 pm in room 305 of Kendade Hall.

Blake will talk about what scientific research tells us about the human health and environmental impacts of chemicals in products, as well as the latest developments in regulation of chemicals. She will also discuss the interplay among science, regulation, policy, and global economic drivers, and current efforts to shift from a “take-make-waste” economic model to a greener “triple bottom line” of people, planet, and prosperity.

Blake has 20 years of experience in toxics-reduction strategies. Her work has included creating criteria for environmentally preferable purchasing, ecolabels, and product-rating systems as well as local, national, and international chemicals-policy reform. Her talk is sponsored by MHC’s Miller Worley Center for the Environment.