Author archives: Green Science Policy Institute

New Flame Retardants, Old Problems: Replacement Flame Retardants Present Serious Risks

October 22, 2019

New flame retardants escaping from our TVs, other electrical and electronic products, and children’s car seats are just as toxic as the flame retardants they’re intended to replace, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The authors found that the replacement chemicals, called organophosphate flame retardants, have been associated with lower IQ in children, reproductive problems, and other serious health harms.…

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Congress opens the door for fluorine-free firefighting foams

On October 5, federal legislation was enacted which will allow commercial airports in the U.S. to use firefighting foams without PFAS.  Until now, FAA rules have required airports to use firefighting foams that meet the U.S. military’s specification, which requires the use of PFAS.  Firefighting foam is a major source of PFAS contamination, so this should mean healthier drinking water for those living near airports.…

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On America Recycles Day, What Goes Around Comes Around, & It Might Be Toxic

Thursday, November 15 is America Recycles Day, when we celebrate the individuals, recycling companies, and governments that are diverting millions of pounds of materials otherwise headed to landfills.
But there can be a hidden danger in recycling. For example, millions of pounds of toxic flame retardants are added to furniture foam, plastic TV cases and other electronics. Recycled plastic containing flame retardants can end up in unlikely and undesirable places. Flame retardants have been found in lunch boxes, children’s toys, and even soup ladles. What’s worse, they can move from the ladle into the broth, making “toxic chemical soup” less of a metaphor and more of a frightening reality.…

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February 2017: Consuming Toxic Chemicals with our Fast Food?

Since our last newslettter we have made significant progress with our efforts to reduce the use of highly fluorinated stain and water repellents. Our joint paper Fluorinated compounds in US fast food packaging was downloaded over 4,000 times in the first week after publication, and received major press coverage around the world. The paper illuminates the widespread use of these chemicals in food packaging – the first step towards reducing their use. Several fast food chains had not known their packaging contained fluorinated…

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The Never-Ending Story: Chemicals that Outlive – and Harm – Us

February 22, 2017

Chemical manufacturers have agreed to pay $670 million in damages to people with cancer and other health harm from exposure to a recently phased-out highly fluorinated chemical. In a peer-reviewed feature article, A Never-Ending Story of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)? in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers highlight that numerous related chemicals continue to provide…

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The Flame Retardant Dilemma and Beyond

February 10, 2017

Contributors from academia, industry, government, and citizen groups shared information on flame retardants, flammability standards, and other toxics

When: February 10, 2017, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Where: 150 University Hall, UC Berkeley; 2199 Addison Street, Berkeley, California…

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