Oct 26, 2013
Yale's 'Father' of 'Green' Chemistry Leads Project Seeking Less Toxic Chemicals
Jim Shelton/New Haven Register
Yale professors Julie Zimmerman, left, and Paul Anastas, part of the team of researchers looking for new ways to create safer chemicals.
Yale University is heading up a $4.4 million project aimed at creating less toxic chemicals across a wide spectrum of products, processes and services.
Think of it as safer living through chemistry.
Led by Paul Anastas, a Yale chemistry professor widely known as the “father” of green chemistry, the four-year project will include dozens of scientists at several institutions, including Baylor University, George Washington University and the University of Washington, in addition to Yale.
“We’ve had a couple hundred years of people being able to design chemicals to do amazing things,” Anastas said. “It’s revolutionized every aspect of our lives. But the one thing we haven’t been able to do is realize these benefits without the unintended consequences of substances causing harm to ourselves and the environment.”
Fortunately, he said, there has been a convergence in both our understanding of what makes substances toxic and in the technology of designing new chemicals. That convergence, researchers believe, will allow them to suggest design protocols to produce less harmful chemicals.