Green Science Policy Institute
  • provides unbiased scientific data to government, industry, NGOs and consumers
  • informs decision-making about chemicals
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Who We Are

Our mission is to facilitate responsible use of chemicals to protect human and ecological health. We educate and build partnerships among scientists, regulators, businesses, and public interest groups to develop innovative solutions for reducing harmful chemicals in products.

To achieve this, we:
• Provide unbiased scientific data for informed decision-making.
• Motivate and participate in scientific research that serves the public interest.
• Act as a watchdog for regulations that could lead to increased use of toxics.
• Promote policy and purchasing decisions to reduce the use of classes of harmful chemicals.

About GSP Read our FAQ

Our Science

The Institute is made up primarily of Ph.D. scientists who specialize in the publication and communication of peer-reviewed research. We collaborate with leading scientists on policy-relevant research projects and translate scientific information to educate key decision makers, the press, and the public.

Our paper on flame retardant chemicals in baby products was ES&T's top science paper of 2011.
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Press

Huffington Post: Would you like flame retardants with that couch?

Most of Aimee Robinson's customers are moms. And more of them are starting to ask questions about the contents of the couches and chairs she constructs.…

21 Jul 2014

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New York Times Magazine: The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightm…

Just months before Rob Bilott made partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister, he received a call on his direct line from a cattle farmer. The farmer, Wil…

06 Jan 2016

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New York Times: Commonly Used Chemicals Come Under New Scrutiny

A top federal health official and hundreds of environmental scientists on Friday voiced new health concerns about a common class of chemic…

01 May 2015

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Chicago Tribune: Dangerous for kids' pajamas, safe for sofas?

From the Chicago Tribune More than three decades after manufacturers stopped making children's pajamas with a flame retardant suspected of causing ca…

27 Nov 2012

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TIME: How to Find Out If Your Drinking Water Is Safe

  To find out if your local water supply does contain PFASs in excessive amounts, the EPA says your county health department may help you test it. If …

10 Aug 2016

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SF Chronicle: Program seeks to get harmful chemicals out of furnitur…

When Lori Yonelunas decided to detoxify her life, she knew she had to do something about her toxic leather couch but was reluctant to get rid of it.…

18 Jun 2014

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San Jose Mercury News: Berkeley scientist battles toxic sofas to pro…

The banner that Arlene Blum unfurled in 1976 on the 24,500-foot mark of the world's highest mountain had an image of two petri dishes and an obscure mess…

18 Mar 2014

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Chicago Tribune: Toxic flame retardants may be on way out

For decades, U.S. manufacturers have filled upholstered furniture with pounds of toxic chemicals to comply with a flammability standard …

22 Nov 2013

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Reed Magazine: Peak Chemist Takes Eliot Award

Reed is proud to announce that mountaineer, chemist, and environmental advocate Arlene Blum ’66 will be honored with the Thomas Lamb Eliot Award, recognizin…

18 Mar 2015

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PBS NewsHour: Calif. law change sparks debate over use of flame reta…

Flame retardants are commonplace in most upholstered furniture to help prevent house fires. But studies have linked the chemicals to cancer and fertility problems, prompting California to change t…

01 Jan 2014

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New York Times and Retro Report: A Flame Retardant That Came With It…

This New York Times article, featuring a video by Retro Report, concisely recounts the flame retardant saga. If you closely examine your living room cou…

03 May 2015

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Goop: What We Need to Know About PFOAs

The toxic saga of chemical contamination related to Teflon and other highly fluorinated chemicals is a long and dark one—it’s most recently captured in Nathaniel Rich’s story,…

31 Mar 2016

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CBS5 ConsumerWatch: Chemical-free couch foam now available

Couch owners who want to limit their exposure to flame retardant chemicals now have a new option. The Safer Sofa Foam Exchange is a new program that helps consumers replace the old foam in thei…

22 Apr 2014

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Civil Eats: The FDA Just Banned These Chemicals in Food. Are They th…

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will withdraw its approval for three chemicals used to make grease, stain,…

06 Jan 2016

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Michigan Public Radio Environment Report: Furniture Makers Getting R…

This week, we’re bringing you a series of stories about firefighters and cancer. Firefighters say they’re worried about getting exposed to certain ki…

09 Apr 2015

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Trim Tab: Interview with Arlene Blum

Summiting the world’s highest mountain peaks takes incredible strength, bravery and perseverance. Arlene Blum has climbed many of the world’s highest and…

30 Nov 2014

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Science & Policy Blog

A Day in the Life at GSP: Veronica Chin

Out with the old, in with the new! Swapping old couches for new ones sounds simple enough. But when you’re doing it for twelve homes it gets complicated - phone calls, de…

21 Sep 2016

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Forty years later TSCA gets an overhaul

In June, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (TSCA reform, hereafter), a revision to the 1976 Toxic Substance…

14 Jul 2016

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Monitoring chemicals in our environment with wristbands

Whether to show support for a cause or track daily activity, wristbands and tracking bracelets have become a trendy modern accessory. Why Monitor? Six Classes and…

18 May 2016

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A Perfect Storm

The phrase “a perfect storm” has gone from wildly popular to wildly unpopular. Detractors say it should be banned due to overuse. But it’s not banned yet. A perfec…

07 Mar 2016

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Lead in Water Action Kits Now Available

We’ve heard the stories about lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan. The situation is appalling, infuriating, heartbreaking. But, as NY Times columnist Nick Kristof write…

18 Feb 2016

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“Remove the Handle” – Calling on the CPSC to Turn Off the Toxic Pump

Should you ever find yourself enjoying a pint at London’s John Snow Pub, you might raise a glass to the pub’s namesake, Dr. John Snow, the “father of epidemiology.” In th…

13 Jan 2016

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Backfire: Unintended Consequences of Flame Retardants

Fun fact. Combustion scientist, Donald Lucas, started his career doing research at temperatures near absolute zero (−430°F) before working in combustion, where temperatur…

11 Nov 2015

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The Nature of the Beast

This article is the second installment of our blog series, “Scientist Spotlight: The Scientists Behind our Consumer Products Petition." [caption id="attachment_7812" a…

09 Sep 2015

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Four times breast cancer risk linked to prenatal DDT exposure

Barking up the wrong branch of the family tree For years scientists studied women who were exposed to DDT as adults. An analysis of existing research found “no signifi…

04 Aug 2015

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The Proof is in the Sewage: Can Harmful Chemicals Move from Sofas to…

Rolf Halden: halogenated flame retardants contaminate natural resources and our bodies Rolf Halden is a professor at Arizona State University, adjunct faculty at John …

31 Jul 2015

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Introducing Our Blog Series "Scientist Spotlight: The Scientists Beh…

Imagine you are reclining on your couch and turning on a horror movie. Did you know that the flame retardants in your couch may be scarier than the monster on the screen?…

30 Jul 2015

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What’s in your house dust? Study Participants Wanted

Do you live in Northern California? Are you planning to buy a new couch or swap out your old foam cushions for new, flame retardant-free furnishings before November, 2…

07 Jul 2015

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Flame Retardants in Car Seats—Do We Need Them?

Car seats are essential to protecting children in cars. Due to a federal motor vehicle flammability standard, many materials in automobiles, including car seats, contain …

24 Jun 2015

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Pop Stop: Denmark retailer stops sale of microwave popcorn amid heal…

Some love it, some hate it: that overwhelming buttery, salty smell that fills the house every time you throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. However, larger concerns h…

03 Jun 2015

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Chemical Industry Insider Comes Clean

“Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” “False in one, false in all” is the legal principle that says a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any ma…

02 Jun 2015

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Goliath, meet David – The 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize

We got the Golden Ticket! Technically, it was the Goldman ticket but just as good. At GSP, Simona and I were the lucky ones who got to attend this year’s Goldman Envir…

12 May 2015

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Please help support our work

The Green Science Policy Institute has prevented the addition of millions of pounds of unneeded chemicals to furniture, bed coverings, computers, and other products in our homes. Please donate so that we can continue to stop toxics and protect the health of our children, wildlife, and the planet.

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