KQED Science: Flame retardants, redux: from toxic couches to buildings

28 Nov 2012

Speaking before a roomful of breast cancer researchers and activists in San Francisco earlier this month, Arlene Blum revealed her latest plan to get toxic chemicals out of our homes. “We want to change the international building code,” she said, “so you can have more fire safety in buildings without flame retardants.”…

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New study: health and environmental risk in building insulation

Foam plastic insulation materials such as polystyrene, polyurethane, and polyisocyanurate are important to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce carbon footprints. However, potentially harmful flame retardants are used to help foam plastic insulations meet a flammability test. Unfortunately, these chemicals have spread around the globe and are now found in just about everything else too – dolphins, birds, our house dust, food, and families. This is a concern because they have been associated with neurological and developmental toxicity, endocrine…

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Science Daily: Health and environmental risk in flame retardants in building insulation

25 Nov 2012

Researchers in the United States are calling for a change to the US building codes, following a study showing that the mandatory flame retardants routinely added to foam insulation are not only harmful to human health and the environment, but also make no difference to the prevention of fire in buildings where a fire-safe thermal barrier already exists. Such a change would bring the US building codes in line with regulations in Sweden and Norway…

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