Short items, December 2008

Animal-free alternatives

Animal-free alternatives An online tool that lists alternative, animal-free methods to test the toxicity of chemicals has been launched by European Commission’s Institute for Health and Consumer Protection. The tool lists alternative tests already approved by the EU, as well as new tests currently being considered. 

Powered by the people

The UK government has introduced feed-in tariffs to encourage communities to install renewable energy micro-generators. Wind turbines, solar panels and the like that produce up to 3MW - enough power for around 1500 people - qualify for the tariff, which guarantees any energy sold back to the national grid receives a premium price. 

Reach for the RSC

The Royal Society of Chemistry has published its  Brief Guide to Reach  an attempt to clearly lay out obligations under the new legislation. ’Many professional chemists assume that Reach only applies to large chemical companies,’ says RSC environmental, health and safety policy group chairman David Taylor. ’They could not be more mistaken.’ 

Say What?

" I wouldn’t recommend nanosilver clothes and I wouldn’t wear them myself. "

John Lawton, head of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, is concerned that antibacterial silver nanoparticles in fabrics could upset ecosystems and disrupt bacteria-based wastewater treatment plants.