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November 2007 Newsletter2017-08-30T00:46:48+00:00

November 2007 Newsletter

Greetings,

I’m back from speaking with the International Association of Firefighters, National Fire Protection Agency, EPA, Senate Commerce Committee staffers, the CPSC (with the fire retardant industry in attendance and vocal), and other organizations to propose a moratorium on new flammability regulations until fire retardant materials or alternative strategies have been shown to be safe.

Now I’m working to start a nonprofit for our efforts to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products and to involve more scientists in policy work. Get in touch me if you’d like to help me dream up a name, have funding ideas, or would like to be involved in other ways.

Annalise and I will be in Nepal trekking in the Annapurna region with many friends from Dec 18 to Jan 7. Possible Nepal treks for next summer and fall to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our Annapurna expedition are below

You’re invited to Devra Davis’s book party at the Goldstine’s this Sunday December 2 at 2:00 pm and there is lots more information below.

Arlene

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NEWS REPORT including some of our work on KNBC in Los Angeles
http://video.knbc.com/player/?id=189813
Regulations Could Increase Chemicals
New regulations may result in more fire-retardant chemicals in American homes, but are they safe?
The footage was shot on Labor Day at my house and home of a mother in the EWG biomonitoring study. It was shown on KNBC in Los Angeles during the Wednesday news Nov. 28, 2007
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SCIENCE EDITORIAL
the editorial (attached at the end of this message) from the Nov 23rd Science Magazine concludes that Congress should introduce a proof-of-safety provision for chemicals.
“That would stop the chemical industry from continuing to make consumer protection look like a game of whack-a-mole.”     Donald Kennedy

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GOOD NEWS RE NO TOXIC FR CHEMICALS IN THE NATION’S FURNITURE
Fire retardant chemicals will not be used in furniture foam according to the brand new CPSC draft furniture flammability standard. This is a big victory for human health, the environment, and a reward for our hard work. Last year’s draft standard would have led to even higher levels of chemicals in the entire country’s furniture than are found in California, the only state with a current standard for furniture flammability.

The new draft also states that the chemicals currently being used to fire retard California furniture are either toxic or have unknown health effects. This is a strong argument in support of AB706 and our efforts to stop the use of toxic FRs in California furniture and bed clothing.

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BAD NEWS RE FIRE RETARDANTS IN THE WORLDS ELECTRONICS
A new worldwide electronics industry flammability standard, IEC 62368, would require all plastic enclosures for electronic products such as printers, faxes, plasma TVs to be flame retarded to a very high standard, starting in 2008. Metal housings for electronics will no longer pass fire safety tests, only plastic with FRs. Finding a way to include human health and environmental impacts in this standard is a new and very important challenge. Get in touch if you want to help.

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Policy Recommendations
•        All fire retardant chemicals must be shown to be safe for human health and environment before being used in consumer products.
•        R&D investment is needed to design and produce non-toxic fire retardants using green chemistry.
•        There should be a moratorium on new regulations that would be met by the use of additional fire retardant chemicals until new green fire retardants have been developed or current chemicals have been show to be safe.

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NEW TREKKING TRIPS BEING PLANNED

Summer of 2008
A Nepal trek to upper Mustang to explore ancient Buddhist caves

Autumn of 2008
Annapurna 30th anniversary trek to Annapurna north basecamp

Please let me know if you might like to receive information on either or both of these relatively challenging treks.

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LOOKING FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKER
The goal is find a film maker work with us to make an “Inconvenient Truth” type-or-movie about the health impacts of toxic chemicals and our team’s effort to reduce them.

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THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER Book Party

Sunday December 2, 2006,
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
1838 San Juan in North Berkeley, (West of the Arlington, South of Kensington )

Hilary and Danny Goldstine , Joan Blades (Moms Rising, MoveOn.org), Charlotte Brody (Commonweal), and Arlene Blum invite you to a book signing to celebrate Devra Davis and her new book,

THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER

“In her devastating, 20-years-in-the-making expose Devra Davis shows how cancer researchers, bankrolled by petrochemical and pharmaceutical companies, among others, collude in the science of doubt promotion. Davis diagnoses two of the most lethal diseases of modern society: secrecy and self-interest. This book is a dramatic plea for a cure.” O Magazine

See Devra Davis’ op-ed piece at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201648.html

RSVP: Heidi at helper@arleneblum.com
Questions: Hilary at 510 527-2190 or Arlene 510 644 3164

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December 3, 2007
2040 Valley Life Sciences Building, University of California, Berkeley
“THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER”
Devra Davis Lecture at 6:00 pm; Book signing at 7:00 pm
Questions: tyrone@berkeley.edu

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THE FIRE RETARDANT DILEMMA SYMPOSIUM

Save the Date: January 25, 2008

You are invited to The Fire Retardant Dilemma: Session IV
(8:30am – 1:00pm, 150 University Hall, UC Berkeley, Oxford/Addison Streets, Berkeley, CA)

Topic: How can we achieve fire and environmental safety as well as protect public health?
What to Expect: This symposium series brings together contributors from industry, government, academia, and citizen groups to share information and research results on the impacts of new fire retardant technologies, materials, and policies and discuss solutions to the fire retardant dilemma.

Speakers:

David Epel, Ph.D,. Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor of Marine and Biological Sciences, Stanford University
“Embryo Stability: Ancient Cellular Toxic Defense Meets A New World Of Chemicals”

Myrto Petreas, Ph.D., MPH, Chief, Environmental Chemistry Branch, DTSC
“Where have all PBDEs gone? To people, wildlife, and waste streams everywhere. (When will we ever learn?)”

Debbie Raphael, Toxics/Green Program Manager, Department of the Environment City & County of San Francisco
“Making Decisions in the Face of Scientific Uncertainty: San Francisco and the Precautionary Principle”

Heather Stapleton, Ph.D, Department of Environmental Chemistry, Duke University
“Human Exposure To Brominated Fire Retardants In Indoor Environments via Inhalation, Dust Exposure And Hand To Mouth Contact”

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of California, Berkeley, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy and Management & School of Public Health
“Regional variation in levels of indoor PBDEs may reflect differences in fire safety regulations for consumer products”

Arlene Blum, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley
“Review of The Fire Retardant Dilemma Parts I-III”

For questions or to RSVP with your contact information:
FRDilemma@gmail.com 510 644 3164

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LEADERSHIP & CROSS-CULTURAL WORKSHOPS
During our leadership skills and team-building workshops, participants use hands-on activities, case studies, and their own experiences to define their values and vision for the future. The outdoor and group problem-solving activities lead to the formation of a united team. Participants develop a personal vision statement and an action plan to use their new skills to implement their vision.

Our multicultural workshops help organizations bridge cultural differences, so that employees of a company or members of an organization from a variety of cultures can work together effectively. A series of entertaining, educational, and creative activities prepare participants to communicate clearly and behave in a culturally sensitive manner.

Workshops can be customized to meet organizations needs, whether they are designed to foster leadership or team development, increase multicultural understanding, or instill clear communication and smoother working relationships within organizations.

If you know of an organization that might like more information about Arlene Blum’s
multicultural and leadership workshops or keynote speeches, please contact us.

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Please contact us if you would like your name to be taken off this e-mail list or would like more information about Arlene Blum’s lectures, leadership or intercultural classes.
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You can view photos and text from Arlene’s new book Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life at http://www.arleneblum.com/photo_album.html.

Phone: 510-644-3164                     Fax  510 644-2164
E-mail: arlene@arleneblum.com           Web: www.arleneblum.com