Flame Retardants and Public Health: Fire Safety Without Harm
March 4, 2015 @ 9:00am (AKST)
Extensive research has determined that flame retardant chemicals, as they have been used in home furniture and baby products, do not improve fire safety and are associated with endocrine disruption, cancer, and neurological and reproductive impairments. In response, California recently changed their state furniture flammability standard to provide increased fire safety without the use of flame retardants. How will the new standard allow manufacturers to achieve fire safety without harm? Arlene Blum Ph.D., author, mountaineer, and founder of the Green Science Policy Institute, discussed six classes containing chemicals of concern, the science and policy of flame retardant chemicals, and the national health impacts of new fire safety standards. On this call we learned how to support efforts in Alaska to support legislation that would phase out harmful flame retardants from children’s products and upholstered furniture.
Arlene Blum PhD, is a biophysical chemist, author, mountaineer, and founder of the Green Science Policy Institute. Blum holds a doctorate in biophysical chemistry, and has taught at Stanford University, Wellesley College, and UC Berkeley, where her research was instrumental in banning tris and Fyrol, two cancer-causing chemicals that were used as a flame retardant on children’s sleepwear as well as the pesticide DBCP. Blum is author of Annapurna: A Woman’s Place and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life. Her awards include selection by the UK Guardian as one of the world’s 100 most inspiring women and National Women’s History Project selection as one of 100 “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” selection as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, election to the Hall of Mountaineering Excellence and recent selection as the recipient of the Thomas Lamb Eliot award from Reed College, an annual award for lifetime achievement of a Reed graduate. Please see www.arleneblum.com for more information about adventures and a calendar of events.