Name that chemical

Proposed initiative will help consumers see what’s in their purchases

Wondering what sorts of toxins are in the goods you purchase? If so, you’re not alone.

California officials want consumers to know what they’re really buying, including the ecological footprint associated with those purchases.

Last week, the state Environmental Protection Agency released the final recommendations for its Green Chemistry Initiative—an effort to shed light on the health and safety of products and to eliminate or reduce the toxic substances used in them and their manufacturing processes.

In response, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the program and California’s environmental leadership: “These recommendations usher in a new era of how we look at household products—from our children’s toys to the plastic we use to make shampoo bottles. … Instead of paying attention to the toxic substances in our everyday products only when it comes time to throw them away in the landfill, we will now pay attention to those substances every step of the way.”