Sinister Synergists

Synergist chemicals keep a low profile, but they are a crucial part of flame retardants’ act: Think of them as Teller to flame retardants’ Penn. These little-known compounds don’t slow ignition on their own, but when used in combination with flame retardants, they help delay fire spreading by creating less-flammable chars or quenching chemical reactions. And we use a lot of them: While flame retardants can make up 15% of the weight of some plastic electronics cases, synergists can comprise another 10%.…

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May 2019: Here Today, Here Tomorrow

I hope you are enjoying spring. To begin on a sad note, please see below my tribute to my good friend Bob Luedeka, who passed away last month after a long battle with cancer. Bob, the executive director of the Polyurethane Foam Association, was a strong advocate for stopping the use of toxic flame retardants in furniture.…

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March 2019: A Killer Smile

I’m recently back from Washington, D.C. where I facilitated PFAS 101 discussions on highly fluorinated chemicals-or PFAS-for the PFAS House Task Force and with Senate staff. The increasing number of communities dealing with PFAS contamination is leading to considerable interest on the Hill in providing clean water for constituents and legislation to reduce contamination. Our message is: “PFAS are problematic and difficult to clean up, so prevention is preferable.”…

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