News Release

BVSD Logo
  6500 East Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80301

2/25/2010
For Immediate Release
  Contact:
Samantha Messier, Ph.D.
Director of Science
Boulder Valley School District
720-561-5198 / samantha.messier@bvsd.org

 

Roche Colorado, EPA and Boulder High School Team Up to Reduce Inventory of Chemicals


BOULDER: Volunteers from Roche Colorado Corporation (Roche Colorado) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be partnering with science teachers at Boulder High School to complete the school’s annual inventory of the its chemical storeroom on Friday, February 26, 2010.

Boulder Valley School District requires secondary science departments to complete a chemical inventory annually and submit it to our Environmental Services Department. 

These inventories

  1. assist schools in managing the storage of chemicals by tracking the quantity, location, age, etc of laboratory chemicals;
  2. provide information about chemical hazards for firefighters or other emergency personnel in the unlikely event of an emergency; and
  3. identify chemicals that need to be removed because of a variety of issues such as expiration, changes in curriculum, or changes in district policy or law.

Completing an inventory is time-consuming work. Partnering with the EPA and Roche Colorado to update inventories and remove any chemicals identified as unnecessary will provide a helpful and time-saving service to teachers at Boulder High. 

Chemical hygiene is an important component of BVSD’s approach to science safety and includes a wide range of issues including storage, handling, disposal, and personal protection. Over the past three years, BVSD has been systematizing its approach to science safety and increasing district-level support for individual schools. To date, BVSD has completed a safety audit of science classrooms, provided professional development on safety to science teachers, and created a website with extensive resources.
A full description of policies and recommended best practices can be found at the following website: http://bvsd.org/curriculum/science/safety/Pages/default.aspx

The participation of Roche Colorado and the EPA in the Boulder High School inventory is an extension of their long-standing school laboratory safety partnership that dates back to 2005. Roche Colorado joined the EPA in developing a model for organizing business sector chemical safety experts to support schools in addressing potential laboratory hazards. The program now is administered within the EPA as the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign. The EPA awarded five Roche Colorado environmental, health and safety professionals with the Environmental Achievement Award in 2006 for their pioneering work to design and implement this school laboratory safety program.

"EPA Region 8 is pleased to collaborate with Roche Colorado, Boulder High School teachers, and Boulder Valley School District to reduce chemical inventory at Boulder High School," said Matt Langenfeld, Chemical Initiative Coordinator for EPA's Denver Office. "An updated chemical inventory is fundamental to sound chemical management and reflects Boulder Valley School District's commitment to safety of its staff and students."

“Roche Colorado’s involvement in the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign is a reflection of our company’s commitment to safety in all of our pharmaceutical production activities,” said Don Fitzgerald, Roche Colorado President and Site Manager.  “We are pleased to share our hazards analysis and mitigation expertise, in a partnership with the EPA, to make school laboratories a safer place for our students.”

Roche Colorado Corporation, a subsidiary of the Roche Group, is a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility located in Boulder. Roche Colorado has a workforce of about 280 employees, including chemists, engineers, and pharmaceutical manufacturing personnel, who specialize in the production of therapeutic peptides and highly active compounds. The company has received particular acclaim for its work on Fuzeon®, an anti-HIV drug, which was awarded the 2004 International Prix Galien as the world’s most innovative new medicine.


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