Hazardous Chemicals and Government Silence — a Dangerous Mix

March 26, 2020

Imagine this: More than six million Americans have drinking water that is poisoned by a group of closely related chemicals. Some of the chemicals are known to cause liver and thyroid disease, immune system suppression, high cholesterol and cancer; others are the subject of suspicion and ongoing research.…

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Advocates Petition EPA to Regulate PFAS as Hazardous Waste

January 17, 2020

Community advocates in several states have jointly petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hundreds of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, as hazardous waste under a law that would empower federal regulators to initiate cleanups.…

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Bucks-Montco Group Joins Nationwide Petition to Designate PFAS as Hazardous Waste

January 16, 2020

Thousands of residents from Bucks and Montgomery counties have joined communities across the country in a national petition demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency regulate a toxic class of chemicals known as PFAS.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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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