History Highlight: When Superheroes Fought Toxics

The Avengers franchise has stolen the superhero spotlight lately, but not long ago, heroes wore lab coats, not capes. And though it sounds like a comic book weapon, mutagen X was a very real toxic chemical villain. The story of mutagen X—how it was discovered and how it was vanquished—demonstrates the important role of fundamental science in a healthier world. …

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Japanese study: Flame retardants likely shed toxic products into indoor dust

Dioxins are chemical compounds that are toxic, carcinogenic, and persistent organic pollutants. Due to their adverse effects, some types of dioxins are banned and/ or regulated internationally, and the World Health Organization sets limits on acceptable human exposure to these chemicals. Results in a recent paper published in Environmental Science & Technology indicate that Japanese indoor dust contained significant amounts of brominated dioxins, which may have come from flame retardants in TV casings and other plastics. The authors first analyzed…

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