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Lesson One: The Essentials of Green Chemistry

Module Four: Green Chemistry Tackles the Grand Challenges


The following questions are meant to give you an idea of this module's main learning objectives.  If you feel comfortable answering the questions without reviewing your notes, then you are on your way to knowing the content of this module.

  • Consider what other fields of study chemists today should become familiar with, or at least aware of, to better understand how hazardous substances affect health and the environment.
  • Think of an example of a hazardous substance that is distributed in the environment, where the releases could have been avoided if its source product or process had been designed differently using available information. How would this have involved different training or knowledge of other fields?
  • Why do we need to rethink the way we test for hazardous substances?
  • What have we learned about endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that is causing us to rethink the way their toxic effects should be tested?
  • Why can very small doses of a chemical have adverse effects on living things?
  • If you were a working chemist, what steps would you take to change the way we test EDCs? How would you enact those steps in the real world?
  • Choose one of the six steps outlined in this module and think about how you would go about making it a reality. Would you network with scientists in other fields? Lobby for changes in the law? Do experiments that prove a point? Write articles and scientific papers?

Creative Thinking Challenges

  • Have other societies found ways to reduce hazardous substances in their products and processes? How have they accomplished this?
  • Think of a concrete example of a product you might develop that could reduce endocrine disruptor exposures for people and the environment.

If you have completed this Review, and are ready to take the Quiz for this module, please click on the "Quiz" button in the menu on the right of this page. If you aren't taking this course for credit, or wish to skip the Quiz, then click the "Next" button below to go on to the next module.