Richard Liroff is the founder and director of the Investor Environmental Health Network.
Richard Liroff founded the Investor Environmental Health Network in 2004 and serves as its Executive Director. IEHN has developed the business case for companies to adopt safer chemicals policies and engages companies on these issues. He serves on the Advisory Committee of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council, the leading organization convening companies working towards safer chemicals policies. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the BizNGO Working Group on Safer Chemicals, a collaboration of businesses and environmental health advocacy organizations advancing safer chemicals policies and practices. He manages the monthly “The Right Chemistry” blog at greenbiz.com, featuring contributions from trade groups, individual companies, and others on their safer chemicals policies and practices. IEHN’s website links to the safer chemicals policies and practices of numerous companies. Liroff holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and a B.A. from Brandeis University.
The competing and often strident claims about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas can obscure the real story of the risks involved. As a recent report notes, the chemicals and drilling waste are more hazardous above ground than miles beneath it.
The latest revision of the world's most widely used framework for corporate sustainability reporting provides an opportunity to push for increased disclosure of companies' efforts to reduce their toxic footprints.
U.S. companies should heed European regulatory and advisory bodies' increasing scrutiny of hazardous chemical mixtures. Most initiatives to restrict chemicals in products and supply chains in the past decade can trace their roots to Europe. And increased knowledge of mixture effects means that levels of chemicals once considered safe when viewed in isolation will no longer be deemed so innocent.
Companies whose products contain certain out-of-favor chemicals can suffer from toxic lockout, and Colgate-Palmolive is among the firms that are moving away from triclosan -- a chemical frequently used in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.