Newsletters

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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May 2018: Kids, Carpets, and Chemicals

I hope you are enjoying the spring. Here at the Green Science Policy Institute, we are back from our sixth annual Six Classes Toxics Reduction Retreat in the Santa Cruz Mountains. During this inspirational retreat, scientists, businesses, NGO and government leaders developed innovative joint projects to limit the use of highly fluorinated stain and water repellant chemicals (PFAS).

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April 2018: 25 Senators making a difference

The hills are green, colorful wildflowers are blooming, and I am back from a lecture/workshop trip to five cities. I shared the Six Classes concept for reduced toxics and a healthier world at the Chemistry Dept., University of Toronto, Canada; Health Canada in Ottawa; Harvard University and Harvard Hospitals in Boston; and in New York City and Albuquerque, I shared the Six Classes concept for reduced toxics and a healthier world.  

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March 2018: Farewell to Forever Chemicals?

When it comes to highly fluorinated or “Forever Chemicals,” only using them when they are truly essential is so much easier than trying to clean them up after they are contaminating our drinking water and ecosystems. An example of a safer alternative is one of the first outdoor jackets without these chemicals in the fun short video on the right. And now other outdoor manufacturers are also offering clothing with alternative waterproof treatments!…

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