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  • We’re partnering with the High School for Environmental Studies to create a Secret Life class in which students make their own videos.
  • The Secret Life of Cell Phones was screened at cell phone recycling collection points throughout the Johns Hopkins University campus on Earth Day.
  • Zayed University in Dubai has requested use of Secret Life materials for its students.


The reports below are listed in chronological order.

Shedding Light on Mercury in Fluorescents: A Workbook for Design Professionals
Cameron S. Lory, Sarah O'Brien (2004, 40 pp.)

The environmental tradeoff of today's more energy-efficient fluorescent lighting is its reliance on mercury, a potent neurotoxin that can permanently poison the environment and cause irreversible damage to the human fetus, small children, and adults. This study provides building professionals with basic information on the mercury content of some of the principal types of architectural lighting, the environmental and health effects associated with the use and disposal of these products, available lower-mercury models and technologies, representative specifications that can be used by those wishing to purchase these "greener" alternatives, and other recommendations for reducing the environmental impact of mercury-added lamps and other building materials.

Cleaning for Health: Products and Practices for a Safer Indoor Environment
Alicia Culver, Marian Feinberg, David Klebenov, Judy Muskinow, Lara Sutherland (2002, 86 pp.), ISBN 0-918780-79-9

Toxic chemicals found in many cleaning products can jeopardize the health of janitorial workers and other building occupants. Several states and local governments have found that switching to “greener cleaners” has improved indoor air quality, reduced complaints among janitorial staff and even saved them money. This report is a one-stop guide to environmentally preferable cleaning products and methods that have been effectively used in office buildings, schools, hospitals and other facilities in the United States and Canada. It describes pioneering product evaluation programs and lists the brands that were chosen based on environmental and performance criteria. It also provides a model specification, as well as manufacturer contacts and other resources for those who want to develop a safer cleaning program for their buildings.

Expanding the Public's Right to Know: Materials Accounting Data as a Tool for Promoting Environmental Justice and Pollution Prevention
Steven J. Anderson, Alicia A. Culver, Mark H. Dorfman, Amy S. Hughes (2000, 40 pp.), ISBN 0-918780-76-4

Of all the states, New Jersey is one that has taken the lead (along with Massachusetts) in collecting the information residents need to monitor not only the amount of toxic chemicals released as waste by local facilities, but also how these materials are used and the amounts transported through the community. This "how-to" guide provides the basics on how New Jersey's "materials accounting database" can be used to learn about plant practices so environmental, worker, public health, and consumer groups can engage in discussions with plant personnel as well-informed and capable advocates. Also compares New Jersey's program with the US EPA's less comprehensive national Toxics Release Inventory and argues for its adoption by other states or nationwide.

Joining Forces: Case Studies in Business and Environmental Integration
Mark Haveman (Waste Reduction Institute) and Mark Dorfman (INFORM) (1998, 34 pp.,) ISBN 0-918780-70-5
Many companies have begun to realize that integrating business functions like design and manufacturing with improvements in pollution prevention can have benefits for both the environment and the bottom line. This report describes the efforts of three of the nation's leading manufacturers to simultaneously improve business and environmental performance through communication and coordination of activities and goals. Discusses the barriers to integration and its tangible results at an SC Johnson consumer products manufacturing plant, a DuPont chemical manufacturing plant, and a General Electric equipment fabrication and assembly plant.

Tracking Toxic Chemicals: The Value of Materials Accounting Data
Mark H. Dorfman and Marian Wise (1997, 80 pp.), ISBN 0-918780-68-3

Explores why New Jersey's materials accounting data is a valuable means of collecting information on toxic chemicals and would greatly improve the Toxics Release Inventory, the federal database of toxic chemicals. The report shows how the materials accounting data provide a new way of measuring pollution prevention progress. Read an executive summary of this report.

Risks on Record: An Overview of TSCA's Substantial Risk Reporting System with Bulletins on Selected Chemicals
Carolyn A. Nunley (©1996, 45 pp.)
When a company discovers a "substantial risk" to human health or the environment associated with a commercial chemical it manufactures, processes or distributes in this country, it is required to report this information to US EPA. However, very little public attention has been paid to the more than 13,000 "Notices of Substantial Risk" recorded in EPA's database over the last 20 years. Risks on Record is the first major independent initiative to analyze this little-known resource. Read an executive summary of this report.

Toxics Watch 1995
(1995, 816 pp.), ISBN 0-918780-64-0
Consolidates and examines data from the Toxics Release Inventory, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and numerous other sources to determine trends in the use of toxic chemicals in commerce, their presence in industrial waste, and their release to the environment. Looks at the legislative developments in the field, new information on health effects, and the rise of the environmental justice movement. Read an executive summary of this document.

Stirring Up Innovation: Environmental Improvements in Paints and Adhesives
John S. Young, Linda Ambrose, and Lois Lobo (1994, 128 pp.), ISBN 0-918780-63-2
A look at some industry efforts to eliminate or reduce toxics use in paints and adhesives and the impediments and motivations behind those efforts.

Preventing Industrial Toxic Hazards: A Guide for Communities
Marian Wise and Lauren Kenworthy (1993, 208 pp.), ISBN 0-918-780-60-8

Leads community groups step-by-step through a process for encouraging local plants to reduce their use of toxic chemicals and their creation of toxic waste. By researching the plants and developing a constructive dialogue with plant managers, citizens can help businesses become better, cleaner neighbors.

Environmental Dividends: Cutting More Chemical Wastes
Mark H. Dorfman, Warren R. Muir, Ph.D., and Catherine Miller, Ph.D. (1992, 288 pp.), ISBN 0-918780-50-0

Documents dramatic new evidence of the environmental and economic benefits of preventing the generation of toxic and hazardous waste through an in-depth analysis of 181 specific source reduction activities at 29 chemical manufacturing plants first studied in INFORM's 1985 Cutting Chemical Wastes.

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