Press: Policy

Chemical Watch: US House considers modifying flammability standards in car seats

June 3 2016

Congressman Jared Huffman (D–California) has introduced legislation to revise the federal flammability standard for children’s car seats. This would allow it to be met without added chemical flame retardants. Bill HR 5359 would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to revise the existing flammability standards to measure a car seat’s smoulder resistance, rather than using an open flame test. The measure would also direct…

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The New York Times: Tainted-Water Worries Spread to Vermont Village

March 14 2016

Above the Walloomsac River, where ramshackle farmhouses sit just downhill from tidy homes with organic gardens out back, the old ChemFab plant was, for many, a respected local employer from the days when this village’s prosperity depended on industry. For others, it was an eyesore and a nuisance, its smokestacks choking their homes with an acrid smell that seemed to cause headaches, sore throats and nosebleeds. But since the plant shut down more than a dozen years ago, few had given a thought to its environmental legacy. In recent weeks, however…

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Science Magazine: Tackling Toxics

March 11 2016

Most Americans believe that if a chemical is in their cosmetics, their coat, or their couch, someone is making sure it’s safe for their health. In reality, little toxicity information or regulation is required for 80,000 industrial chemicals used in commerce in the United States. To address this, legislation to update the ineffective 1976 Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is currently moving through Congress.…

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Chemical Watch: Kaiser Permanente: managing chemicals of concern

February 1 2016

Kaiser Permanente has recently committed to phasing out the use of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in its furnishings, removing flame retardants from furniture and banning 15 antimicrobials from the built environment. Phasing out chemicals of concern, however, is not new to the company. In 2004, it phased out…

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Colorado Springs Business Journal: Study: Local water contaminated

January 14 2016

Recent studies in Fountain, Security and Widefield show that the water there is contaminated with industrial chemicals that could cause a public health hazard.

Known as perfluoroalkyls, or PFAs, research suggests the chemicals are potent carcinogens and endocrine disrupters at levels far below the Environmental Protection Agency’s provisional exposure limits for drinking water.…

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Civil Eats: The FDA Just Banned These Chemicals in Food. Are They the Tip of the Iceberg?

January 6 2016

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, and water repelling food packaging and consider banning seven food additives used in both “artificial” and “natural” flavors. While the news may have gotten lost during the first post-holiday weekday, it’s worth noting. And it raises much larger questions about one of the agencies with the most control over the safety of what we eat. Here’s what you need to know.…

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

January 6 2016

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, Wilbur Tennant of Parkersburg, W.Va., said that his cows were dying left and right. He believed that the DuPont chemical company, which until recently operated a site in Parkersburg that is more than 35 times the size of the Pentagon, was responsible. Tennant had tried to seek help locally, he said, but DuPont just about owned the entire town. …

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New York Times: Chemicals in your popcorn?

June 4 2015

What do a pizza box, a polar bear and you have in common? All carry a kind of industrial toxicant called poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, that do two things: They make life convenient, and they also appear to increase the risk of cancer.…

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