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Press Releases

Map: Wildlife Polluted by Flame Retardants on Massive Scale

October 18, 2023

More than 150 species of wild animals across every continent are contaminated with flame retardant chemicals, according to a new map tracking peer-reviewed research worldwide. Polluted wildlife include killer whales, red pandas, chimpanzees and other endangered species. Added to furniture, electronics, vehicles, and other everyday products to meet flammability standards, the chemicals often do not work as intended. They also migrate out of products and into wildlife—and people.  

Gov. Newsom Signs No Toxics Tent Act

October 16, 2023

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 267, The No Toxics Tent Act. The legislation fixes an outdated flammability code that has led to the addition of unneeded and harmful flame retardants to camping tents and children’s play tents and tunnels.

Analysis: Most Research on PFAS Harms Is Unpublicized

July 18, 2023

Though per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) make headlines daily, a new paper reveals that most studies finding links between PFAS exposure and human health harms are published without a press release and receive little or no media coverage. The peer-reviewed analysis, published today in the journal Environmental Health, found that studies without any press attention receive fewer scholarly citations as well.

Scientists Raise Concerns About Popular COVID Disinfectants

May 9, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the unnecessary use of antimicrobial chemicals linked to health problems, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental harm, warn more than two dozen scientists in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. Their critical review details how quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are increasingly marketed and used in home, healthcare, education, and workplace settings despite the availability of safer alternatives and in some cases limited evidence of reduced disease transmission.

Study Finds Harmful PFAS Don’t Actually Prevent Furniture Stains

April 4, 2023

The health and environmental harms of PFAS are well-known, but a new peer-reviewed study calls into question their touted stain-fighting benefits. Researchers tested the performance of PFAS finishings on furniture fabrics and found that they had limited to no effectiveness, particularly under real-world conditions.

Scientists Advise a Major Shift in Chemicals Management in the U.S. and Canada

January 19, 2023

A new approach can help governments and businesses eliminate harmful chemicals from daily use and exposure, according to a paper published in Environmental Science & Technology. It’s a simple concept, but a drastic departure from the status quo of chemicals management in the U.S. and Canada.

116 Scientists Reject WHO’s Draft PFAS Guidelines

November 10, 2022

More than 100 scientists sent a letter to the World Health Organization today urging a complete overhaul or withdrawal of the organization’s draft drinking water guidelines for the two most well-studied per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The letter details how WHO’s draft eschews calculating health-based standards, disregarding robust evidence for the harms of PFOS and PFOA. The letter also notes the lack of transparency about the draft’s authorship.

High Levels of PFAS Detected in School Uniforms

September 21, 2022

Millions of schoolchildren in the U.S. and Canada are exposed to potentially harmful levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) everyday through their uniforms, according to our new joint study. We detected PFAS in all the “stain-resistant” school uniforms we tested from nine popular brands. Most products had concentrations as high as those in outdoor clothing.

Analysis Finds Government Websites Downplay PFAS Health Risks

May 11, 2022

State and federal public health agencies often understate the scientific evidence surrounding the toxicity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their public communications, according to a new analysis published in the journal Environmental Health. Particularly notable was the failure of most messaging to address the greater risks and needs of highly exposed populations.

Common Chemicals in Electronics and Baby Products Harm Brain Development

October 6, 2021

Chemicals increasingly used as flame retardants and plasticizers pose a larger risk to children’s brain development than previously thought, according to a new commentary published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The research team reviewed dozens of human, animal, and cell-based studies and concluded that exposure to even low levels of the chemicals—called organophosphate esters—may harm IQ, attention, and memory in children in ways not yet looked at by regulators.

We’re Breathing PFAS: Study Finds Harmful Forever Chemicals in Indoor Air

August 31, 2021

The air we breathe in our homes, schools, and workplaces can be polluted with harmful PFAS chemicals, according to a study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. A new measurement technique developed by the research team detected PFAS chemicals in the air of kindergarten classrooms, university offices and laboratories, and a home—some with levels as high as those measured at an outdoor clothing company and carpet stores selling PFAS-treated products. The results suggest indoor air is an underestimated and potentially important source of exposure to PFAS, particularly for children.

Unlabeled PFAS Chemicals Detected in Makeup

June 15, 2021

Makeup wearers may be absorbing and ingesting potentially toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to a new study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The researchers found high fluorine levels—indicating the probable presence of PFAS—in most waterproof mascara, liquid lipsticks, and foundations tested. Some of the products with the highest fluorine levels underwent further analysis and were all confirmed to contain at least four PFAS of concern. The majority of products with high fluorine, including those confirmed to have PFAS, had no PFAS listed on the label.

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