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Flame Retardants in Consumer Products: Does the Benefit Justify the Harm?, Sep 21

The complete schedule for the fall semester is online at

. All talks may be viewed on our

Webviewing at UC Davis: 1003 Kemper Hall

Webviewing at UC Merced: SE1 100

Webviewing at UC Santa Cruz: SOE E2 Building, Room 506


Organohalogen flame retardants, structurally similar to banned substances such as DDT and PCBs, are used at high levels in furniture, baby products, and other consumer and building products. These chemicals are semi-volatile and migrate from products into dust which ends up in people, animals, and the environment. Extensive research shows that exposure to organohalogen chemicals is associated with neurological, reproductive, endocrine, and thyroid disorders, as well as cancer. And for many uses they do not provide a fire safety benefit.

Measuring the levels of the chemicals in products, dust, and people and the pathways in between can contribute to regulating their usage. Utilizing a variety of new and established analytical techniques and partnering with scientists across disciplines, Green Science Policy Institute (GSP) has led the way in measuring levels of these toxics in consumer products and using that information to help change policy.

Arlene Blum PhD, biophysical chemist is a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry, and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute (GSP). The Institute brings peer-reviewed science to the public and decision makers to protect health and the environment form toxic chemicals in consumer products.

More information is at www.greensciencepolicy.org and www.arleneblum.com.