Defense Bill Boosts Climate Resilience, Ends PFAS Foam Use

December 10, 2019

A sweeping defense bill would mandate phasing out by 2024 firefighting foam that contains chemicals linked to cancer and other health problems, and improve planning to protect military bases from natural disasters.…

Read more

Scientists Rebuff Industry-Funded Efforts to Weaken PFOA Health Protections

I recently attended a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America meeting focused entirely on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). To a casual observer, it might have seemed like just another scientific conference. Powerpoint talks, coffee break, powerpoint talks, poster session, repeat.  But below the surface, the meeting was the latest battlefield in an escalating fight over environmental liabilities that could have multibillion dollar consequences for chemical manufacturers.…

Read more

From Science to Policy: Fighting Forever Chemicals

October 12, 2019

While working on his dissertation at the UC Berkeley School of Environmental Engineering, Tom Bruton had high hopes for developing a groundbreaking technology to break down toxic chemicals in groundwater. But in 2017, after years of painstaking development, his method proved less than effective.…

Read more

The Woman Who Got Bromine Out of Kids’ Pajamas Fears It’s Coming Back

August 27, 2019

Among the technical and sometimes arcane-seeming debates at this year’s meeting of the International Code Council was one that grew surprisingly emotional: whether building codes should allow the use of polystyrene insulation not treated with flame retardant in foundations, below a 3.5-inch concrete slab. At stake was a larger argument about whether some volatile elements, including bromine, are safer for human health if they’re part of longer chains of molecules. …

Read more

PFAS Chemicals in Food: Expert QA

August 8, 2019

Millions of people have eaten out of them: Molded fiber bowls, the popular food containers from restaurants like Chipotle and Sweetgreen.

They are supposed to be compostable and environmentally friendly, but some public health experts say the chemicals that allow these bowls to hold hot, wet, and greasy foods without falling apart are toxic to both the environment and you.…

Read more

“Forever Chemical” Replacements on the Rise in the Great Lakes

July 22, 2019

As industry phases out certain toxic PFAS chemicals, the compounds are decreasing in and around the Great Lakes, but replacement chemicals—which some argue also pose serious health concerns—are increasing, according to new research from Canada.…

Read more