San Jose Mercury News: Berkeley scientist battles toxic sofas to promote public health


The banner that Arlene Blum unfurled in 1976 on the 24,500-foot mark of the world’s highest mountain had an image of two petri dishes and an obscure message: “THE MUTANTS.”

Blum never made it to the top of Mt. Everest, though she was the first American woman to try. But on icy nights, nestled in a tent, she finalized the first of two landmark scientific studies that found a chemical commonly added to children’s pajamas was a mutagen, capable of damaging DNA and possibly causing cancer. The results of the work led to a U.S. ban.

This year, she did it again…

Matt O'Brien