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Have you ever wondered if your little pocket-sized tube of hand-sanitizer really works on germs?  Or more importantly, have you ever wondered if it’s really safe to your health?


The ugly truth is that many anti-bacterial hand-sanitizers contain harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, quaternary ammonium, and the infamous triclosan. Research has shown that over time, some of these ingredients can alter hormone regulation, reduce muscle strength, and even harm the immune system.  Now, where is the safety in that?  Recently, members of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) staff set out to discover an effective and greener alternative to common antibacterial hand-sanitizers and took the experiment on the road!


On July 19-21, 2014, ACS GCI partnered with ACS Diversity Programs at the 2014 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Family Expo in Los Angeles, California for three fun-filled days of green chemistry education and outreach!  NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States that works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  In efforts to further the advocacy of green chemistry throughout the global chemical enterprise, this was a partnership opportunity that we could not pass up!



During our outreach venture, ACS GCI staff and volunteers conducted what we like to call the “Clean & Green Hands” table-top experiment that allowed over 600 children to make their own homemade hand-sanitizer using only rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and organic essential oils.  That’s right, just three simple ingredients were used to make hand-sanitizer that is effective and less toxic to the body!


There you have it, another example of how green chemistry can be used in everyday life.  Take the time, and use creativity to make your life greener!



“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows Program was created by the ACS Board of Directors in December 2008 to recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in and contributions to science, the profession, and the Society.  This year, 96 remarkable candidates were selected to become ACS Fellows. Two of those candidates included: Dr. David T. Allen, University of Texas at Austin, and Dr. Terrence Collins, Carnegie Mellon University who deserve green spotlight recognition by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI).


Dr.  Allen is the Melvin H. Gertz Regents Chair at the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering and serves on National Research Council and Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board activities, where he provides insight and support on environmental policy. He is also a member of the ACS GCI Governing Board and author of six books. At the University of Texas at Austin, he has taught Design for Environment and Sustaining a Planet courses and focused his research in the area of environmental sustainability. He was recognized by the ACS Fellows Program for his significant contributions to atmospheric chemistry, air quality management, and environmental education. For more information on Dr. Allen’s research, publications, and honors click here.


Dr. Terrence Collins is known as a “champion” in the green chemistry sector.  He is the Teresa Heinz Professor in Green Chemistry, and the Director of The Institute of Green Science. He served on the ACS's Committee on Environmental Improvement for 12 years and was a principal intellectual contributor to ACS policies on biomonitoring and endocrine disruption. He is internationally recognized for his diligent work around creating a new class of oxidation catalysts that are projected to benefit the environment, significantly. For more information on Dr. Collin’s lectures on green science, awards, and patents click here.





“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

"Like a Comet

Blazing ‘cross the evening sky

Gone to soon

Like a rainbow

Fading in the twinkling of an eye

Gone too Soon…"



David Wylie was a native of New Zealand and joined the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) in 2011 as the Program Manager.  For over ten years prior, he worked within the academia and industry sectors as an analytical and environmental chemist in South Carolina.  He taught Chemistry, Physical Science, Environmental Science, and Physics at Georgetown High School in Georgetown, South Carolina and worked in research and development at Milliken Chemical.  While at Milliken, he managed the company’s polymer additives laboratory and was honorably inducted into the Milliken Innovators Hall of Fame.  During his tenure at ACS GCI, he continued to use this passion for education and innovation to make difference.


As the ACS GCI Program Manager, Dr. Wylie worked diligently to advance educational tools and opportunities for students interested in green chemistry and engineering; spearheaded green chemistry workshops for professionals and educators, and was an integral part of the Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference series.  He also had the opportunity to present at the 2012 Gordon Research Conference on Green Chemistry in Lucca, Italy and the 2012 International Conference on Chemical Education in Rome, Italy before suddenly passing in late September 2012.  Though his untimely death was and still is difficult to accept, we continue to celebrate his life and the positive impact he left on the ACS GCI team.


Dr. Wylie was the epitome of a team player and an incredible colleague and friend to many.  His passion, enthusiasm, and excitement for chemistry and teamwork exuded from him daily.  He made chemistry exciting and was largely known for rallying students in a cheer of “Go Green Chemistry!” at ACS National Meetings.   He was a tremendous asset to the ACS GCI team, and the bond we shared was unparalleled.  He was by far, “Father of the Millennium” to his two loving children; Zealand and Sophie whom he loved more than anything.


Dr. Wylie was more than a colleague.  He was our friend, our brother, and his legacy will live in our hearts forever.




“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

Its opening night and green chemistry enthusiasts scurry to take their seats.  The wait is finally over!  The stage is set, the houselights dim, and the curtain slowly opens… There they are; shoulders squared and standing tall.  They are the elect, the chosen twelve, the stars of the show, they are…The12 Principles of Green Chemistry.  This is their global movement, and your exclusive inside look at the ACS Green Chemistry Institute’s® (ACS GCI) 2013 Student Workshop that brought them to life. Monday, June 17, 2013, David Constable, Director of ACS GCI along with Rich Williams, Founder and President of Environmental Science & Green Chemistry Consulting, LLC. co-facilitated a high-energy and fast-paced collaborative learning experience where each principle took center stage.  The workshop was hosted in conjunction with the 17th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference and was held at the American Chemical Society’s Headquarter Office in Washington, D.C. where over 90 attendees (including the 2013 National Science Foundation Scholars) participated.


Shadowing a modular approach, David and Rich provided in-depth presentations for each of The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and strategically focused on key learning objectives.  The presentations were followed with interactive small-group learning activities that allowed students to further expand their knowledge base through practical application.  The level of enthusiasm that filled the room was so infectious that I couldn’t help but to get excited and want to learn more myself!  The students were eager to learn and had the perfect dynamic-duo instructors to get the job done!  But the show didn’t end there, in fact, it had just begun, and we had a little surprise up our sleeves. the workshop, Amy Cannon and Kate Anderson of Beyond Benign conducted an insightful presentation on the importance of advocacy and educational outreach activities.  Unbeknownst to the attendees, the student workshop was coincidentally hosted on the same day as the 2013 ACS Bring Your Child to Work Day.  Little did they know, their next “small-group” learning activity would consist of over 100 1st – 8th grade students, who’d just eaten lunch.  Need I say more? SURPISE!  Led by the Beyond Benign staff, the workshop attendees were partnered into groups with the ACS children and challenged to assist in a biomimcry card -matching game followed by a “green” glue-making experiment in which children made glue with water, powdered milk, vinegar, and baking soda.  The glue was later put to the test as they constructed green chemistry collages with recycled paper… Talk about a full day! year’s student workshop was a tremendous success and the attendees greatly appreciated the opportunity to take part in an event of its caliber.  The majority of the students had never seen such insightful presentations of The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and left fully understanding just how practical they can be in everyday application. 


And so, the stars of the show took to the stage for their final bow leaving the audience to remember:  green chemistry isn’t just a moment; it’s a movement, and a lifestyle.  Together, we must work to create a more sustainable future for the current generation and those to come.  Each of us must now take center stage in our own communities and begin to be the agent of innovation and change.  It’s your world… be the star, be the difference. 



“The Nexus Blog” is a sister publication of “The Nexus” newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, please email, or if you have an ACS ID, login to your email preferences and select “The Nexus” to subscribe.


To read other posts, go to Green Chemistry: The Nexus Blog home.

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