December 2010 Newsletter
Holiday greetings. Annalise and I are leaving Tuesday for a vacation in Jordan and Egypt . I return January 9,and Annalise goes to the Thai Burma border for her fellowship with the Green Border Energy Team. Next August I, and possibly Annalise, will lead a trek around Mt. Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland. There is some talk of a Himalayan trek in April. More about the Alps below in case you might want to join.
Events where I was honored to speak about reducing toxics to protect health include:
- GreenGov, Obama’s event bringing together thousands of government leaders to strategize how to green the Federal Government with green purchasing, recycling, energy efficiency, solar panels on the White House. Inspiring!
- GreenBuild in Chicago attended by nearly 40,000 green architects, builders, and designers
- Great Pacific Garbage Patch TEDx talk in Santa Monica for the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
- Dioxin 2010 in San Antonio Texas where 1000 scientists gathered to share research toxics and we led a workshop on the Science and Policy of Flame Retardants
California Senator Mark Leno, with whom we have collaborated for four years on ground breaking bills to prevent the use of toxic flame retardants is likely to once again sponsor legislation and we are cautiously optimistic. Get in touch if you might want to volunteer to help and please consider making an end-of–year contribution.
A very happy holiday season to you and your loved ones.
1. Great news about GSP successes in 2010
2. Your Support Can Help Us to Create a Less Healthier World
3. An Autographed Copy of “Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life ” for a Holiday Gift
4. Alps Adventure August 26 to September 6, 2011
5. The Flame Retardant Dilemma at UC Berkeley February 11
6. Averting Another Toxics Disaster in China
8. Annalise’s Adventure Blog and Gap Year Website
9. 28th Annual Berkeley Himalayan Fair May 14-15, 2011 at Live Oak Park in Berkeley
1. GREAT NEWS ABOUT GSP SUCCESSES in 2010
The Green Science Policy Institute (GSP) continues to bring good science into policy to protect health with the following successes:
- The proposed California bed clothing flammability standard was suspended. Pillows, comforters, and memory foam mattress pads are safe from toxic chemicals.
- The US Green Building Council is giving a LEED point for not using halogenated flame retardants inside buildings and has asked us to help them plan a health summit.
- San Antonio Statement on Halogenated Flame Retardants was signed by 205 scientists from 30 countries and published in EHP http://www.greensciencepolicy.org/node/269
- We are optimistic about ending the use of flame retardants in furniture and baby products. The California Conference of Local Health Officers will sponsor legislation this year.
- My recent TEDx talk, which calls for this legislation, will soon be posted online and I have a possible invitation to speak at TED in February.
- Halogenated Flame Retardants: Do the Fire Safety Benefits Justify the Risks? has been accepted by Reviews of Environmental Health.
2. YOUR SUPPORT CAN HELP US TO CREATE A LESS HEALTHIER WORLD
We at the Green Science Policy Institute believe that preventing health problems by reducing toxic chemicals is much more effective than trying to cure the conditions they cause such as cancer, endocrine and thyroid disruption, neurological and reproductive problems such as hyperactivity and infertility. Our collaborative efforts have stopped the unnecessary use of billions of pounds of flame retardants in consumer products and helped prevent these problems.
Please make a tax-deductible donation at http://greensciencepolicy.org/support-green-science-policy-institute or by check payable to SEE/GSP. Mail to:
Green Science Policy Institute
P.O. Box 5455, Berkeley, CA 94705
Please include the following information: Name, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone
GSP is a Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Contributions of $50 or greater will receive an acknowledgement letter from SEE that can be used for tax purposes.
3. BREAKING TRAIL AND ANNAPURNA BOOKS, TSHIRTS, VIDEOS FOR A GIFT
For your holiday reading or a gift, consider a copy the hardback or revised paperback edition of “Breaking Trail”. They are $27.50 and $14 respectively with a personal autograph.
Annapurna a Woman’s Place, is happily back in print the famous “A Woman’s Place is on Top…Annapurna” t-shirt, Annapurna videos, and Himalayan language courses are also available at http://arleneblum.com/annapurna.html Please order soon for delivery by Christmas.
4. ALPS ADVENTURE AUGUST 26 to SEPTEMBER 6
You are invited to join Annalise and me for a “comfort” version of the classic hike around Mt. Blanc (15 771’- the roof of Western Europe), in France, Italy, and Switzerland. The tentative dates are August 26 to September 6, 2011. Thanks to minibus support we only carry day packs and spend the night in small hotels. Each day we hike up to the ridges and descend into valleys below, (averaging 3000 feet up and down each day) with time to enjoy views of glaciers, green mountain meadows and peaks. Get in touch if you might like to join us for this comfortable adventure in three countries and we will send you more information after January 1.
5. THE FLAME RETARDANT DILEMMA AT UC BERKELEY FEBRUARY 11, 2011
The Green Science Policy Institute Flame Retardant Dilemma
Friday, February 11, 2011 8:30am – 3:30pm, 150 University Hall, UC Berkeley,
Register at http://greensciencepolicy.org/node/289
How can we achieve both health and fire safety? This series brings together contributors from academia, industry, government, and citizen groups to share information on the science and policy of flame retardants.
Speakers include Ami Zota, Sue Chiang, Mike Kirschner, Joyce Egginton, Elizabeth Grossman, and Arlene Blum
Past presentations at: http://greensciencepolicy.org/events
What’s in your couch?
Please consider donating a small piece of foam to learn what flame retardants are inside your couch. We can test your couch if you purchased it new. (No hand me downs, used furniture, or sofa beds can be tested).
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the criteria to join the study.
6. AVERTING ANOTHER TOXICS DISASTER IN CHINA
“Averting Another Toxics Disaster in China”, detailing the bromine industry’s growth in China and the potentially disastrous consequences for global health was posted on-line in the new volume of the China Environment Series, from the Woodrow Wilson Center. Write us for a pdf or the volume can be accessed here.
We are just getting started on Facebook, but please do go to our site and become a fan. We will be posting more information there soon.
8. ANNALISE’S ADVENTURES and GAP YEAR WEB SITE
Annalise is home from Nairobi. She writes about her adventures and the good friends she made at annaliseblum.blogspot.com with photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/annaliseblum/Nairobi2010# and
After graduating form Stanford in June, Annalise was awarded a MAP Sustainable Energy Fellowship, ( http://www.maproyalty.com/fellowships.html), to help provide refugees and villages near the Burma-Thai border with sustainable water, sanitation and energy where she will go in January.
Annalise took a gap year after high school and made a website to help other students who want to take time off at and volunteer outside the U.S. http://www.freewebs.com/gapyearsite
The site has profiles of successful gap years and resources for volunteering internationally.
9. 28th ANNUAL HIMALAYAN FAIR May 14-15, 2011
The Himalayan Fair is continuing to bring the food, music, crafts and dances of the Himalayas to Berkeley. The fair’s profits go directly to the Himalayan regions as donations to orphanages, medical clinics, schools, village water supplies and agricultural and child nutrition projects and other Himalayan charities. I describe starting the Himalayan Fair after returning from the ten month long Great Himalayan Traverse in Chapter 23 of my memoir “Breaking Trail.”
Please consider contributing to our work of stopping this requirement for unneeded and untested flame retardant chemicals and materials in our beds by making a donation at: http://greensciencepolicy.org/support-green-science-policy-institute
Please contact us if you would like your name to be taken off this e-mail list or would like more information about the Green Science Policy Institute or Arlene Blum’s leadership and sustainability lectures or workshops
Arlene Blum PhD
Visiting Scholar, Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
Telephone: 510 644-3164 Mobile: 510 919-6363
Web: www.greensciencepolicy.org, www.arleneblum.com