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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PFAS Chemicals in Food: Expert QA

August 8, 2019

Millions of people have eaten out of them: Molded fiber bowls, the popular food containers from restaurants like Chipotle and Sweetgreen.

They are supposed to be compostable and environmentally friendly, but some public health experts say the chemicals that allow these bowls to hold hot, wet, and greasy foods without falling apart are toxic to both the environment and you.…

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“Forever Chemical” Replacements on the Rise in the Great Lakes

July 22, 2019

As industry phases out certain toxic PFAS chemicals, the compounds are decreasing in and around the Great Lakes, but replacement chemicals—which some argue also pose serious health concerns—are increasing, according to new research from Canada.…

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Should You Be Concerned About PFAS Chemicals?

April 8, 2019

A group of substances known as PFAS chemicals are behind a variety of everyday conveniences that make our lives a little bit easier.

They line pizza boxes and fast-food packaging so grease doesn’t seep through, form the nonstick coating on many pans, make fabrics and carpets stain-resistant, and help outdoor gear and clothing repel water.…

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