University of California



LOHP Refinery Safety Meeting Report (June 2013)

Refinery Safety Report (June 2013)


OnEarth Magazine (Summer 2011)


Science Magazine (November 2009)


Environmental Health Perspectives
(August 2009)


Berkeley Science Review
(Winter 2009)


California Magazine (Summer 2008)


California EPA Report (2008)

Report to California EPA (January 2008)


UC Berkeley School of Public Health Magazine (Summer 2007)


California Out
in Front (EHP 2007)


California Legislature Report (2006)

Report to the California Legislature
(March 2006)

Michael P. Wilson, PhD, MPH

Michael P. Wilson, PhD, MPH

National Director, Occupational and Environmental Health Program
BlueGreen Alliance
155 Montgomery St. Suite 1001
San Francisco, CA 94104

BlueGreen Alliance (BGA)
Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP)
Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC)

Dr. Wilson lectures in the EHS program on labor and community organizing, occupational and environmental health policy and regulation, process safety, chemicals policy, and emergency planning and response. He is the director of health initiatives for the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of Americaís ten largest labor unions and six most influential environmental organizations, which came together ten years ago to help tackle the nation's most intractable environmental and public health problems while also building a stronger, fairer economy and high-road employment. Dr. Wilsonís national portfolio includes new regulatory initiatives for refineries and other high hazard industries; strategies to protect workers under the Lautenberg revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); protection of worker health and safety in the green economy; and elimination of childhood lead exposures.

Dr. Wilson is the former Director and Principal Investigator of UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program. LOHP is one of the nation’s preeminent public University outreach programs to advance worker and community health and safety. Dr. Wilson also served as Associate Director for Integrative Sciences of the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC), which involves students, faculty and researchers from the Colleges and Schools of chemistry, public health, natural resources, engineering, and business.

Dr. Wilsonís research and practice focus primarily on the intersection of occupational and environmental health sciences and policy in California, the U.S. and internationally, with emphasis on the chemical and oil refining sectors. He specializes in interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving and in the development of strategic partnerships to improve health, safety and environmental practices in the high-hazard industries. He conducts technical work in exposure assessment and control, alternatives assessment, and emergency response.

Dr. Wilson earned a BA with Thesis Honors in Biology (1984) from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master of Public Health (1998) in Industrial Hygiene from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned the PhD (2003) in Environmental Health Sciences from UC Berkeley, studying under Professor S. Katharine Hammond. Dr. Wilson is a graduate of the Trade Union Program at Harvard University (1995), the Projecto Linguistico Instituto Francisco Marroquin in Antigua, Guatemala (1987), and the Pre-Hospital Care Program at Stanford University (1986).

Dr. Wilsonís doctoral dissertation research demonstrated that exposure to n-hexane from the use of brake cleaning products was the cause of a disabling neurological disease among workers in the vehicle repair industry and was engendered, in part, by state policies to phase-out the use of chlorinated solvents. His research helped support interventions by the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health (n-Hexane).

In 2007, Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez appointed Dr. Wilson to the California Biomonitoring Scientific Guidance Panel, where he served until 2014. He was appointed by the California EPA Secretary to the Green Chemistry Science Advisory Panel (2007) and to the Green Ribbon Science Panel (2009). His report to the California Legislature in 2006, (2006 report) and a 2008 report to Cal/EPA (2008 report) co-authored with Dr. Megan Schwarzman and UCLA colleagues, and signed by over 120 faculty from across the UC system, together with papers in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) and Science (Science), explore the role of chemicals policy and the environmental health sciences in advancing green chemistry and the green economy. Collectively, this work informed the framing of the stateís Green Chemistry Initiative, as well as AB 1879 (Feuer-D, LA) and SB 509 (Simitian-D, Palo Alto) which resulted in the California Safer Consumer Products regulations and other policy actions.

In 2011, Dr. Wilson was named by UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal as one of the 45 most distinguished alumni to graduate from the campus since its founding in 1965 (

By invitation, Dr. Wilson provides testimony on occupational and environmental health and safety before various governmental bodies, including the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee, the Assembly Health Committee, and Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, the Assembly Resources Committee, and the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

From 1981—1996, Dr. Wilson worked in the Central Coast area of California as an EMT, paramedic, firefighter-paramedic, and U.S. Coast Guard reserve crewman and coxswain; as a rank-and-file organizer and field representative for SEIU Local 250; as co-founder of the Central America Health Rights Project; and as an officer with Salinas Firefighters IAFF Local 1270, AFL-CIO. He presently serves as a Hazardous Materials Specialist for FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) California Task Force 4, hosted by the Oakland Fire Department (TF-4).


  • Testimony on behalf of the California Department of Industrial Relations and the Interagency Refinery Task Force before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Oversight Hearing on Chemical Facility Safety and Security, March 6, 2014 (see EPW 2014).
  • Testimony before the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, Oversight Hearing on the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Chemicals Management Program at EPA, August 2, 2006 (see EPW 2006).
  • Testimony before the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, April 19, 2013 on the matter of the Richmond, Chevron fire. [pdf]
  • Testimony before the joint Legislative hearing of Senator Hancock and Assemblymember Skinner, April 5, 2013 on the matter of the Richmond, Chevron fire. [pdf]
  • Testimony before the Cal/OSHA Standards Board, March 21, 2013, on the matter of Californiaís adoption of the Globally Harmonized System on Classification and Labeling. [pdf]
  • Testimony before the Assembly Health Committee and Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, February 15, 2011 on the implementation of the California Green Chemistry Initiative. [pdf]
  • Testimony before the Assembly Health Committee, Committee on Natural Resources, and Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, August 3, 2010, oversight hearing on the Safer Consumer Product Alternatives. [pdf]


Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation Webinar, March 15, 2017, Building Alliances with Labor:

San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2016, California Must Toughen Refinery Safety Rules:

Zocalo Public Square, October 19, 2016, New Refinery Regulations Will Benefit Workers and Communities:

Interview on KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny, speaking on the California Safer Consumer Products Regulations, October 2, 2013

OnEarth Magazine feature article, Pure Chemistry, by Laura Wright Treadway

Keynote address before the General Session of the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition, May 17, 2011.
Full text of speech | EHS Today article

National Public Radio report, Living on Earth, featuring the work of Dr. Wilson and his colleagues in forming the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry:

UC Berkeley video on the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry

Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry video


Scruggs, Ortolano, Wilson, Schwarzman (2015) Effect of Company Size on Potential for REACH Compliance and Selection of Safer Chemical. Env Science & Policy 45:79-91. (

Wilson M, Schwarzman M (2015) International Chemicals Policy, Health, and Human Rights. In: Textbook of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 5th Edition. Chapter 44, pp. 741-747. Ladou and Harrison, Eds. [pdf]

Scruggs, Ortolano, Schwarzman, Wilson (2014). The Role of Chemical Policy in Improving Supply Chain Knowledge and Product Safety. J. Env Studies and Sciences.4:132-141

Wilson M (2013) Collaborative Memo on the July 2013 Draft Report of the Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety, Improving Public and Worker Safety at Oil Refineries, Oct 15, 2013. [pdf]

Wilson M (2013) Refinery Safety in California: Labor, Community and Fire Agency Views. (June 4, 2013) Commissioned by the Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Refinery Safety. [pdf]
UC Berkeley press release:
Epoch TimesDanger Increases at US Oil Refineries, August 13, 2013

Maguire S, Iles A, Matus K, Mulvihill M, Schwarzman M, Wilson M (2013). Bringing new meaning to molecules by integrating green chemistry and the social sciences. In: World Social Science Report 2013: Changing Global Environments. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
OECD World Social Science Report
OECD Chapter

Wilson M. (2012) In the Arc of History: AIHA and the Movement to Reform the Toxic Substances Control Act. J. Occ Env Hygiene, 9(5):D87-94 [pdf]

Wilson M, Madison H, Healy S. (2012) Confined Space Emergency Response: Assessing Employer and Fire Department Practices. J. Occ Env Hygiene, 9(2), 120-128 [pdf]
UC Berkeley press release:

Wilson M, Chia D, Ehlers B (2012) Green Chemistry in California: A Framework for Leadership in Chemicals Policy and Innovation. In: From Critical Science to Solutions: The Best of Scientific Solutions, Richard Clapp, Ed. New York: Baywood.

Schwarzman M, Wilson M. (2011) Reshaping Chemicals Policy on Two Sides of the Atlantic: The Promise of Improved Sustainability Through International Collaboration. In Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: The Shifting Roles of the EU, the US and California, Jo Swinnen, Editor. Edward Elgar Publications, United Kingdom.

Schwarzman M, Wilson M. (2009) New Science for Chemicals Policy. Science 326. 1065-1066. 20 Nov.[pdf]

Demou E, Hellweg S, Wilson M, Hammond SK, and McKone. (2009) Evaluating Indoor Exposure Modeling Alternatives for LCA: A Case Study in the Vehicle Repair Industry. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43. 5804–5810 [pdf]

Hughes J, Legrande D, Zimmerman J, Wilson M, Beard S. (2009) Green Chemistry and Workers. New Solutions 19(2) 239-253. [pdf]

Wilson M and Schwarzman M. (2009) Toward a New U.S. Chemicals Policy: Rebuilding the Foundation to Advance New Science, Green Chemistry, and Environmental Health. Env Health Persp 177(8) 1202-1209.[pdf]

Wilson M and Kirschner M. (2008)  Policy Developments in the United States Related to Chemicals and Electronic Waste. In Governance, Risk and Compliance Handbook: Technology, Finance, Environmental, and International Guidance and Best Practices, Anthony Tarantino, Ed. ISBN: 978-0-470-09589-8, Wiley & Sons. [link]

Wilson M, Madison H. (2008) Protecting Workers in Industrial Confined Spaces. Report to the Los Angeles District Attorney and the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley. [pdf]

Wilson M, Schwarzman M, Malloy T, Fanning E, Sinsheimer P. (2008) Green Chemistry: Cornerstone to a Sustainable California. Special Report to the California Environmental Protection Agency. University of California Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health. [pdf]
UC Berkeley press release:
Cal/EPA press release: [pdf]

Wilson M, Hammond SK, Hubbard A, Nicas M.  (2007) Worker exposure to volatile organic compounds in the vehicle repair industry.  J Occ and Env Hyg. May(4) 301-310 [pdf]

Wilson M, Chia C, Ehlers B. (2006) Green Chemistry in California: A Framework for Leadership in Chemicals Policy and Innovation. Special Report to the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. University of California, California Policy Research Center. [pdf]
Legislative Brief: [pdf]
UCB press release

Awards, Honors, Recognition

Named one of 45 Most Distinguished Alumni, 1965-2010 Office of the Chancellor, UC Santa Cruz 2010
Environmental Leadership Award Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation  2010
Helen Clark Memorial Award in Occ and Env Health  Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition  2009
Environmental Leadership Award Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation  2009
Environmental Sciences Fellowship  Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation  2003
Robert Legge Memorial Award  American Industrial Hygiene Association, NCS 2002
James Keogh Memorial Award American Public Health Association 2000
Bernard D. Tebbens Memorial Award American Industrial Hygiene Association, NCS 1998
Industrial Toxicology Award Environmental Health Sciences, UC Berkeley  1997
Industrial Occupational Safety Scholarship Semiconductor Industry Safety Association  1997
Industrial Occupational Safety Scholarship National Safety Council  1997
Distinguished Union Service Award  International Association of Firefighters Local 1270 1996
Harvard University Trade Union Program Scholarship  International Association of Firefighters   1995
Honorable Discharge U.S. Coast Guard 1986