Conference to Address Future Uses, Environmental Effects of Chlorine


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--An MIT conference June 12-13 will address the future uses of chlorine, which is among the most pervasive of all chemicals in our society and an extremely important source of accumulated, manmade toxins in the ecosphere.

Speakers, including Nobel laureate Mario Molina of MIT and Barbara Dudley, Executive Director of Greenpeace, represent a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. They will present their work on issues in chlorine policy, technology, and science.

In addition, Wednesday evening, June 12, attendees can participate in a game that simulates environmental treaty talks. The Global Management of Organochlorine was developed by an MIT professor.

The goal of the conference is to offer participants opportunities to learn from, and to educate, the decision makers who will be formulating and implementing future chlorine policy.

Chlorinated compounds can be found in thousands of chemical products in circulation today. They are used in the production of plastics (PVC) and pesticides, drinking water purification, paper bleaching, dry cleaning and other cleaning operations, and pharmaceuticals.

These compounds may contribute to up to 20 percent of the greenhouse effect. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that chlorinated compounds may mimic the characteristics of hormones, such as estrogen, in animals. The effects of estrogen-mimicking chemicals may range from increased incidence of breast cancer to offspring more susceptible to developmental defects such as the masculinization of females and the feminization of males.

In the past half-decade, numerous groups from industry, government, and environmental advocates have formed to explore the health and environmental issues associated with chlorine use. Some have issued calls to phase out chlorinated organic compounds, while others have called for further study.

The format of the two-day conference will include plenary sessions, intensive half-day workshops, as well as informal discussions.

Plenary sessions will address:

��������������������������� The toxicology of organochlorines
��������������������������� Public concerns about current and future uses of chlorine
��������������������������� How industry is responding-and leading
���������������������������������������������The use of science in environmental policy-making
��������������������������� Strategies for education, outreach, and stakeholder participation

Concurrent workshops will explore themes outlined by the plenary speakers. Workshops will be led by senior scholars and will feature papers from graduate students, faculty members, and researchers from industry and environmental groups. An agenda is below.

The Future Uses of Chlorine: Issues in Education, Research, and Policy
June 12-13, 1996

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stratton Student Center
84 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA

AGENDA

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 1996

8:00 a.m.
Registration - Outside Sala de Puerto Rico - Second floor
Coffee and pastries - West Lounge - Second floor

9:00 a.m.
Welcome and opening remarks - Sala de Puerto Rico - Second Floor

David H. Marks, James Mason Crafts Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
"The MIT Chlorine Project: A Model for Environmental Research?"

Gary Kleiman, Doctoral Student, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
"The MIT Chlorine Project: A Student's Perspective"

9:45-12:00
Setting the stage for the next generation of researchers:
Four perspectives and discussion

Robert T. Watson, Associate Director for Environment, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House
"Using science in policy-making: Lessons from negotiating the Montreal Protocol"

William Farland, Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
"The toxicology of organo-chlorines: EPA's research agenda"

Barbara Dudley, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
"Public concerns about current and future uses of chlorine"

W. Ross Stevens III, Manager of Corporate Issues, DuPont
"How industry is responding-and leading"

12:00
Lunch - Mezzanine Lounge - Third floor

1:00-2:45
Forces shaping public and private chlorine strategy - Sala de Puerto Rico - Second floor

Charles Neivert, President, New Vernon Associates
"How the market is shaping industry chlorine strategy"

Joanne Kauffman, Department of Political Science, MIT
"Private interests in the public domain: The role of industry in global environmental politics"

John Ehrenfeld, Director, MIT Technology, Business, and Environment Program
"The role of science in shaping chlorine strategy"

3:00-5:30
Simultaneous workshops

5:30-6:30
Reception - 20 Chimneys - Third floor

6:30-8:30
Brown bag dinner - Mezzanine Lounge - Third floor

Negotiation simulation - West Lounge - Second floor

Poster sessions - Room 407 - Fourth floor

Informal discussions

THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 1996

8:00 a.m.
Coffee and pastries - West Lounge - Second floor

8:30 a.m.
Keynote address - Sala de Puerto Rico - Second floor

Mario Molina, Winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize
"The scientist in the public policy arena: A struggle to be heard"

9:15-12:00
Simultaneous workshops

12:00-1:00
Lunch - Mezzanine Lounge - Third floor

Dianne Dumanoski, environmental journalist and author of "Our Stolen Future"

1:00-3:00
Speakers and plenary discussion - Sala de Puerto Rico - Second floor

"Educating Corporations: Transforming the Ways Companies Think about the Environment"

Anthony D. Cortese, Sc.D; CEO, Second Nature and Treasurer, The Natural Step US

Ralph Earle, Director, Alliance for Environmental Innovation (A project of the Environmental Defense Fund and Pew Charitable Trust)

W. Joseph Stearns, Director of Environmental Affairs, Chemicals and Metals Division, Dow Chemical Company

Moderator: Prof. Vicki Norberg-Bohm, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

3:30
Wrap-up and adjourn

This conference is sponsored by the MIT Initiative in Environmental Leadership
and the MIT Alliance for Global Sustainability


Topics: Chemistry and chemical engineering, Environment, Special events and guest speakers

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