History Highlight: When Superheroes Fought Toxics

The Avengers franchise has stolen the superhero spotlight lately, but not long ago, heroes wore lab coats, not capes. And though it sounds like a comic book weapon, mutagen X was a very real toxic chemical villain. The story of mutagen X—how it was discovered and how it was vanquished—demonstrates the important role of fundamental science in a healthier world. …

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Bigger Not Always Better for Toxic Chemicals: Study finds “Green” Flame Retardant Breaks Down into Possibly Harmful Products

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy being green. Kermit the Frog probably didn’t have chemistry in mind when he sang that line, but according to researchers from Germany, the phrase rings true for a purportedly “green” flame retardant. Many everyday products contain flame retardant chemicals which are often found to be toxic to humans and ecosystems. A new peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology, found that heat and ultraviolet light can break down a flame retardant marketed as eco-friendly into smaller, potentially harmful chemicals.…

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