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Press Releases

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.

Report: Harmful PFAS Chemicals are Pervasive in Building Materials

April 21, 2021

From the floor to the roof, the average building may be rife with persistent and potentially toxic “forever chemicals” called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). A report released today by the Green Science Policy Institute is the first to document that PFAS, including large fluoropolymers, are used in a wide variety of building materials.

COVID-19 Fueling Use of Potentially Harmful Antimicrobials in Building Materials

March 31, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for antimicrobial chemicals in building products like doorknobs, countertops, and paint. However, a joint statement released today by leading green building organizations, architects, and scientists warns that building materials with added antimicrobials have no proven health benefit—and may be harmful.

Climate-friendly Foam Building Insulation May do More Harm than Good

February 23, 2021

The use of the polymeric flame retardant PolyFR in “eco-friendly” foam plastic building insulation may be harmful to human health and the environment, according to a new commentary in Environmental Science & Technology. The authors’ analysis identifies several points during the lifecycle of foam insulation that may expose workers, communities, and ecosystems to PolyFR and its potentially toxic breakdown products.

Scientists Urge Congress to Protect Military from Toxic Chemicals

October 22, 2020

A group of 42 scientists submitted a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees today calling for a ban on military purchasing of certain consumer products with per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).

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.

Study: 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.

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.

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.

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.?

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