TURI Awards Grants to Reduce the Use of PFAS, Solvents and Other Toxic Chemicals
TURI recently awarded $177,500 in grants to reduce the use of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), solvent cleaning agents, carcinogens and other harmful chemicals.

The nine funded project teams include Massachusetts industries, small businesses, community groups and UMass Lowell researchers in partnership with industry.

The projects aim to reduce the use of PFAS in manufacturing, firefighting gear and consumer products; solvents in manufacturing, auto shops and dry cleaning; and toxics in personal care products. TURI awarded the grants to:

  • Central Metal Finishing Inc. of North Andover will purchase new cleaning equipment to eliminate the use of n-propyl bromide, a hazardous chemical that can affect the central nervous and reproductive systems.
  • S.E. Shires of Holliston, a maker of custom brass musical instruments, will purchase an aqueous ultrasonic cleaning machine for a new line of larger instruments.
  • Rindge School of Technical Arts of Cambridge will create a safer environment for students who learn and work in the automotive technology program by replacing solvents with bio-based parts washing systems.
  • North Randolph Cleaners will convert its dry cleaning shop from using perc, a likely human carcinogen, to professional wet cleaning.
  • Associate Professor Hsi-Wu Wong in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UMass Lowell aims to identify safer, effective solvents in collaboration with Johnson Matthey, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, at its facilities in North Andover and Devens.
  • Professor Ramaswamy Nagarajan in the Department of Plastics Engineering at UMass Lowell will work with Transene Company of Danvers to research safer chemicals, to replace PFAS surfactants used in electronic processing chemicals.
  • Community Action Works and Clean Water Fund of Boston will provide workshops and resources to community members about PFAS in drinking water, helping them to identify opportunities to reduce the use of PFAS in consumer products and other applications.
  • Nantucket PFAS Action Group will work with firefighters to replace firefighter gear containing PFAS, study the impacts of this replacement and educate firefighters about PFAS and safer alternatives.
  • Silent Spring Institute of Newton and Resilient Sisterhood Project of Boston will use social media to share information about toxic chemicals and safer alternatives, with a focus on personal care products marketed to Black women.
Administrative Council Votes to Add Category of PFAS to TURA List
The TURA Administrative Council voted unanimously on August 19, 2021, to add the Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances Not Otherwise Listed (PFAS NOL) category to the TURA list of Toxic or Hazardous Substances.

Listing PFAS under TURA will help manufacturers understand how PFAS are being used, identify ways to reduce use, and avoid potential contamination, thereby reducing cost and liability.

Studies reviewed by the TURA Science Advisory Board show evidence of PFAS health effects on the endocrine system, including the liver and thyroid, as well as metabolic effects, developmental effects, neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity.

Save the Dates: Continuing Education Fall Conference
Mark your calendar for the online TURA Continuing Education Fall Conference:

  • Thursday, November 4
  • Tuesday, November 9

Along with fundamentals, conference session topics include PFAS and safer alternatives for metal finishing. More details on topics will be coming soon. If you have any questions, contact Pam Eliason.
2019 TURA Data Shows Overall Reductions
Companies that report toxic chemical use in Massachusetts continue to show overall reductions in use, byproducts and waste, as demonstrated by the most recent 2019 data reported by companies.

The graphic on the left highlights overall reductions for Massachusetts facilities in the 2007 Core Group, which includes all industry categories and chemicals that were subject to TURA reporting from 2007 to 2019 at the same reporting threshold.

The data are adjusted for production. Find more details on our website.

The 2007 Core Group excludes trade secret chemicals and chemicals designated as higher hazard substances (HHS) that were filed under the lower 1,000 pound threshold after 2007. It also excludes n-propyl bromide (nPB), which was first listed in 2010 and designated as an HHS in 2016.

Use the new TURA Data interactive tool to view chemical reductions by year, chemical, community and company.

For any questions about the TURA Data, contact Heather Tenney.
CD Aero Case Study Published
The CD Aero case study documents the process that the company used to eliminate the use of nPB at its New Bedford facility.

By replacing nPB with an aqueous cleaner, CD Aero significantly reduced worker exposure to hazardous chemicals, reduced operating costs, and realized many unexpected benefits.

One surprising benefit is that the new equipment took up less space on the factory floor, which can now be used for manufacturing.

Visit our website to see the case study, video and recording of the demonstration site.

Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds Fact Sheet
The TURI Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds fact sheet was recently updated with the most recent usage, health and research data.

Cadmium is used in batteries, pigments, coatings and plating solutions, polymer stabilizers, metal alloys and semiconductors for solar cells.

Due to its serious adverse effects on human health and the environment, cadmium is subject to multiple regulations at the state, federal, and international levels.

In 2018, Massachusetts facilities subject to TURA reported the use of over 160,000 pounds of cadmium and cadmium compounds. Cadmium and cadmium compounds were designated as higher hazard substances under the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) in January 2008, which reduced the associated reporting thresholds to 1,000 pounds per year. Learn more:

SAB Meeting on Carbon Nanotubes and Fibers
The next meeting of the Science Advisory Board (SAB) will be held virtually on September 23, 2021, noon to 3 p.m. The discussion will focus on the Carbon Nanotubes and Fibers petition. View the agenda and supplemental materials.

Please email Heather Tenney if you have any difficulties accessing the meeting or meeting materials.