December 2019: Forecast: Fluorine-Free Flurries

Arlene has been enjoying a well-deserved vacation in Indonesia, so this month’s update comes to you from the rest of the Green Science Policy Institute staff. While the views from our desks may not be as picturesque as coral reefs, the future is looking bright for healthier products in 2020.…

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New Flame Retardants, Old Problems: Replacement Flame Retardants Present Serious Risks

October 22, 2019

New flame retardants escaping from our TVs, other electrical and electronic products, and children’s car seats are just as toxic as the flame retardants they’re intended to replace, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The authors found that the replacement chemicals, called organophosphate flame retardants, have been associated with lower IQ in children, reproductive problems, and other serious health harms.…

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October 2019: Dark Waters

Last weekend, our Institute hosted a fun book party in a lush Berkeley garden for environmental attorney Rob Bilott’s new book Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont. Rob captivated over 100 of our friends and colleagues with his epic tales of defending communities with drinking water contaminated by PFAS, one of the most persistent and harmful classes of chemicals on the planet.…

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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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September 2019: This is Ridiculous!

I hope you are enjoying the last days of summer. A lot is happening in the world of PFAS, the class of toxic “forever chemicals.”
Earlier this week, Home Depot announced they will stop selling carpets and rugs containing PFAS by the end of the year! This is great news as carpets have been a major source of PFAS exposure.…

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August 2019: Guinea Pigs?

I hope you are having a relaxing summer. Keynoting the Oregon Clean Water Agencies meeting, I appreciated meeting and hiking with the hard-working and thoughtful people responsible for clean water for the state.…

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