Toronto Star: Toxic Chemical Laws are Not Protecting Human Health


Most people assume a chemical in their clothes, cosmetics or couch has been thoroughly tested for safety. Unfortunately, such testing is often nowhere near as rigorous as needed.

I learned that unfortunate truth in 1976, as a biochemistry researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. I published a lead article in Science showing the flame retardant Tris, then used in most children’s pyjamas in Canada and the U.S., changed DNA and was likely to cause cancer. We recommended a halt to Tris use.

Fortunately, lawmakers were listening, and three months later, Tris was banned from children’s sleepwear.

Arlene Blum

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