Science & Policy Blog: Children

A Day in the Life at GSP: Veronica Chin

As Program Associate, Veronica Chin leads GSP’s role in the Foam Furniture Replacement Study. The “Dust Study,” as we call it, replaces old furniture containing flame retardants with new furniture without those chemicals for low-income families in the Bay Area. In collaboration with UC Davis and Biomonitoring California, we are testing the old furniture for chemical content, and measuring levels of flame retardants in house dust over time.…

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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 Substances Control Act, or TSCA. The amended law removes several roadblocks that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faced when trying to determine the safety of chemicals in household products. There are significant improvements and some drawbacks concerning the revisions…

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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. Silicone strips can also be useful chemical monitoring devices. They have long chainlike structures that create channels similar in size to the pores in human cell membranes…

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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 perfect storm is “a critical or disastrous situation created by a powerful concurrence of factors.” It’s just the “right” factors leading to just the wrong outcome. High rates of exposure to organohalogen flame retardants can be seen as a perfect storm that’s hitting all of us, but especially children.…

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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 writes in Are You a Toxic Waste Disposal Site?,“many parts of America have even higher rates of child lead poisoning than Flint.” And lead is only one of the industrial chemicals found in drinking water. …

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

Kim Harley, PhD, is an environmental epidemiologist at the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health, University of California, Berkeley. Through her research, she tracks the sources and causes of disease. She studies how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why, then applies this knowledge to the prevention of further harm, especially to pregnant women and children.…

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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 significant association” between exposure and breast cancer risk. But a new study from the Public Health Institute tells us scientists may have been looking at the wrong women. They should have been looking at those women’s daughters. New findings indicate that women who were exposed to higher levels of DDT while in…

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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 harmful flame retardants. There is no evidence showing this standard increases fire safety for children, but the standard results in exposure to chemicals that have been associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, and neurological and reproductive impairment. In a study by the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit, three quarters of car seats tested were found to contain hazardous…

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