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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December 2019: Forecast: Fluorine-Free Flurries

Arlene has been enjoying a well-deserved vacation in Indonesia, so this month’s update comes to you from the rest of the Green Science Policy Institute staff. While the views from our desks may not be as picturesque as coral reefs, the future is looking bright for healthier products in 2020.…

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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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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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