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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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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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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The Woman Who Got Bromine Out of Kids’ Pajamas Fears It’s Coming Back

August 27, 2019

Among the technical and sometimes arcane-seeming debates at this year’s meeting of the International Code Council was one that grew surprisingly emotional: whether building codes should allow the use of polystyrene insulation not treated with flame retardant in foundations, below a 3.5-inch concrete slab. At stake was a larger argument about whether some volatile elements, including bromine, are safer for human health if they’re part of longer chains of molecules. …

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