Guardian: Quest to eliminate chemical flame retardants from Californian homes is far from over, experts say

May 15 2015

A California regulation effectively eliminated the need for chemical flame retardants in furniture in November 2013. Two years later, though, experts say the quest to eliminate the retardants from the home is far from over.…

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New York Times: Commonly Used Chemicals Come Under New Scrutiny

May 1 2015

A top federal health official and hundreds of environmental scientists on Friday voiced new health concerns about a common class of chemicals used in products as varied as pizza boxes and carpet treatments. The concerted public campaign renews a years-old debate about a class of chemicals known as poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs.…

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Science Insider: Scientists call for limits on emerging class of common, long-lived chemicals

May 1 2015

More than 200 scientists from 38 countries spoke with one voice today, calling for curbs on the global production and use of a class of chemicals found in hundreds of grease- and water-resistant industrial and consumer products. To avoid long-term harm to the environment and human health, nations should act now to limit use of the toxic compounds, which can persist for long periods in the environment, the scientists conclude in a statement appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives.…

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Huffington Post: Scientists Issue Warning Over Chemicals Common In Carpets, Coats, Cookware

May 1 2015

In 1961, a DuPont toxicologist warned colleagues that exposure to their company’s increasingly popular Teflon chemicals enlarged the livers of rats and rabbits. Studies over the following decades found no safe level of exposure in animals and determined that humans, too, got sick when exposed to the chemicals — which were also seen to build up in the body and resist breakdown in the environment.…

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Trading Health for Small Conveniences?

“Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal” is how journalist Callie Lyons describes a highly fluorinated chemical called C8. When C8 was released into the air and water supply near processing plants in the mid-Ohio Valley, tens of thousands of people became seriously ill, with a range of health problems including cancer, liver malfunction, thyroid disruption, obesity, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and lower birth weight and size. The disturbing results of this large-scale inadvertent human study led to the recent phase-out of…

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Phthoughts on phthalates: odd spelling, clear problem

Have you ever heard of phthalates or DEHP? I hadn’t either, until I read a recent US study that monitored nearly 800 pregnant women and found that exposure to a common household chemical called DEHP may alter infant boys’ genitals before birth, along with potentially being linked to a host of other health problems. In 2008, the US issued a nationwide ban on DEHP and two other phthalates (DBP and BBP) in children’s toys at levels higher than 0.1%; the…

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Upcoming workshop on PCBs in schools

More than 700 New York City public schools are believed to contain PCB-containing lighting fixtures and/or PCB containing caulk/sealants. Prior to remedial actions in pilot program schools, students were inhaling about six times the amount of PCBs that come from dietary sources. Might students attending schools in other locales be similarly exposed? What is the latest research on inhaled PCBs? In September, the Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) will hold its annual meeting in Monterey CA. The meeting’s theme…

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