Press Releases

Scientists Urge Business & Government to Treat PFAS Chemicals as a Class

June 30, 2020

All per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) should be treated as one class and avoided for nonessential uses, according to a peer-reviewed article published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

The authors—16 scientists from universities, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the European Environment Agency, and NGOs—say the extreme persistence and known toxicity of PFAS that have been studied render traditional chemical-by-chemical management dangerously inadequate. The article lays out how businesses and government can apply a class-based approach to reduce harm from PFAS, including fluoropolymers, which are large molecules.…

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Toxicity Comes Standard

June 16, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has drawn attention to stark health disparities in our communities. Though many factors contribute to high disease burdens for poor people and people of color, older furniture—which is often passed to lower income households—is likely to contain flame retardants that can cause suppressed immune responses, reproductive problems, or cancer. Nearly all furniture made since 2015 does not contain these chemicals. Now a team of researchers has investigated why these chemicals get into households in the first place. The scientists wanted to learn what drives many manufacturers to add flame retardants to their wares, and what causes them to stop.…

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Study Finds Another Reason to Wash Hands: Flame Retardants

June 9, 2020

Harmful flame retardants may be lurking on your hands and cell phone, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

The researchers found that halogenated flame retardants added to plastic TV cases can move from the TV to indoor air and dust, to hands, and then to cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices. Once on your cell phone, that surface provides an ongoing source of exposure to these chemicals each time you touch your cell phone.…

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Study: PFAS in Carpets a Major Exposure Source for Children

April 29, 2020

Children can be exposed to a toxic medley of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) from carpets, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Chemosphere. But the good news is that daycares, schools, and families can eliminate this exposure source by replacing older carpets. Most carpet manufacturers recently stopped using PFAS, which were formerly applied to carpets to make them stain- and soil-resistant. Retailers like The Home Depot and Lowe’s now only sell PFAS-free carpets. …

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Communities Petition EPA to Regulate Hazardous PFAS Chemicals

January 15, 2020

How are an indigenous tribal leader from an Arctic community, a North Carolina Sunday School teacher, a Michigan attorney, a Colorado community leader, and two suburban mothers from outside of Philadelphia united in an effort that could impact the drinking water and health of everyone in the U.S.?

Today they joined scientists from the Green Science Policy Institute in petitioning the EPA to list hundreds of PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated chemicals) as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The petitioners are being represented by the University of California Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic.…

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Scientists Celebrate PFAS Victories in NDAA

December 17, 2019

The U.S. Senate today approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains groundbreaking provisions to reduce harm from the “forever chemicals” PFAS that are contaminating the drinking water of millions of Americans. These include nationwide water testing for PFAS by the U.S. Geological Survey and phasing out PFAS in military firefighting foam. The president is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the year.…

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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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