Newsletters

August 2019: Guinea Pigs?

I hope you are having a relaxing summer. Keynoting the Oregon Clean Water Agencies meeting, I appreciated meeting and hiking with the hard-working and thoughtful people responsible for clean water for the state.…

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June 2019: Highly Timely

I’m just back from fruitful East Coast meetings. Tom Bruton and I, along with attorney Rob Bilott and North Carolina scientist Detlef Knappe, led briefings and had meetings in the House and Senate where numerous bills are in play to reduce harm from PFAS. …

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May 2019: Here Today, Here Tomorrow

I hope you are enjoying spring. To begin on a sad note, please see below my tribute to my good friend Bob Luedeka, who passed away last month after a long battle with cancer. Bob, the executive director of the Polyurethane Foam Association, was a strong advocate for stopping the use of toxic flame retardants in furniture.…

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March 2019: A Killer Smile

I’m recently back from Washington, D.C. where I facilitated PFAS 101 discussions on highly fluorinated chemicals-or PFAS-for the PFAS House Task Force and with Senate staff. The increasing number of communities dealing with PFAS contamination is leading to considerable interest on the Hill in providing clean water for constituents and legislation to reduce contamination. Our message is: “PFAS are problematic and difficult to clean up, so prevention is preferable.”…

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February 2019: A New Canary in the Coal Mine?

The last month has seen much activity around the chemical classes of flame retardants and highly fluorinated chemicals or PFAS. At our February 15 Flame Retardant Dilemma and Beyond Symposium at UC Berkeley, we were inspired by speakers such as Robert Bilott, the lawyer who successfully represents communities with PFAS-contaminated drinking water, and Pam Miller who helps Arctic peoples who have some of the world’s highest levels of these toxics in their bodies.…

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January 2019: A Huge Success: Insulation Without Flame Retardants!

We are celebrating a huge victory! Yesterday the California State Building Commission ruled unanimously that California can safely update its codes to allow the choice of polystyrene building insulation without flame retardants below a concrete slab.
Building insulation–where there is no fire safety benefit–is one of the largest uses of toxic flame retardants. After many years of our scientific research and policy work towards healthier buildings, our Institute applauds this very positive first step. Big thanks to Green Science Policy staff who have led this work: Veena Singla, Avery Lindeman, Swati Rayasam, and Joe Charbonnet.…

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July 2018: Ten Years! Can You Believe?

Can you believe it’s been more than ten years since we began our flame retardant work? A veritable roller coaster of ups and downs have ensued, with thankfully many successes so that toxic flame retardants are no longer needed in our nation’s furniture and most children’s products. We are planning a 10th Anniversary Celebration of Big Ideas here in Berkeley to thank our many friends and colleagues who have provided invaluable collaboration and support. Stay tuned for more information.…

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