Green Science Policy Institute
  • provides unbiased scientific data to government, industry, NGOs and consumers
  • informs decision-making about chemicals
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Who We Are

Our mission is to facilitate responsible use of chemicals to protect human and ecological health. We educate and build partnerships among scientists, regulators, businesses, and public interest groups to develop innovative solutions for reducing harmful chemicals in products.

To achieve this, we:
• Provide unbiased scientific data for informed decision-making.
• Motivate and participate in scientific research that serves the public interest.
• Act as a watchdog for regulations that could lead to increased use of toxics.
• Promote policy and purchasing decisions to reduce the use of classes of harmful chemicals.

About GSP Read our FAQ

Our Science

The Institute is made up primarily of Ph.D. scientists who specialize in the publication and communication of peer-reviewed research. We collaborate with leading scientists on policy-relevant research projects and translate scientific information to educate key decision makers, the press, and the public.

Our paper on flame retardant chemicals in baby products was ES&T's top science paper of 2011.
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Press

The Sacramento Bee: Concern grows in firefighters, others after canc…

A growing body of evidence found an array of flame-retardant chemicals – many which are carcinogenic – in test participants, a potential health concern f…

30 Nov 2014

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Chicago Tribune: Toxic flame retardants may be on way out

For decades, U.S. manufacturers have filled upholstered furniture with pounds of toxic chemicals to comply with a flammability standard …

22 Nov 2013

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Quest to eliminate chemical flame retardants from Californian homes …

A California regulation effectively eliminated the need for chemical flame retardants in furniture in November 2013. Two years later, though, experts s…

15 May 2015

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CBS5 ConsumerWatch: Chemical-free couch foam now available

Couch owners who want to limit their exposure to flame retardant chemicals now have a new option. The Safer Sofa Foam Exchange is a new program that helps consumers replace the old foam in thei…

22 Apr 2014

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National Geographic: These Chemicals in Pizza Boxes and Carpeting La…

Bottlenose dolphins swimming in a South Carolina harbor, polar bears lumbering across Greenland’s ice sheets, and families inhabiting Ohio River Valley…

01 May 2015

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Wall Street Journal: Taking on mountains – and toxic chemicals

From the Wall Street Journal Three decades after leading a charge against the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products, Arlene Blum is back in the fight. In the…

14 Nov 2009

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Chicago Tribune: Furniture firms shun flame retardants but some toxi…

New safety regulations allow upholstered furniture to be made without flame retardants, but consumers may find it difficult to tell whether a retail…

23 Jan 2015

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San Jose Mercury News: Berkeley scientist battles toxic sofas to pro…

The banner that Arlene Blum unfurled in 1976 on the 24,500-foot mark of the world's highest mountain had an image of two petri dishes and an obscure mess…

18 Mar 2014

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Scientists Issue Warning Over Chemicals Common In Carpets, Coats, Co…

In 1961, a DuPont toxicologist warned colleagues that exposure to their company's increasingly popular Teflon chemicals enlarged the livers of rats and …

01 May 2015

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Chicago Tribune: Playing with fire investigative series

In May of 2012, The Chicago Tribune published a riveting four-part exposé of the flame retardant industry and its influence on public policy. Since then, the Tribune has continued to draw attentio…

12 May 2012

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New York Times and Retro Report: A Flame Retardant That Came With It…

This New York Times article, featuring a video by Retro Report, concisely recounts the flame retardant saga. If you closely examine your living room cou…

03 May 2015

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New York Times: Danger lurks in that Mickey Mouse couch

Researchers this summer purchased 42 children’s chairs, sofas and other furniture from major retailers and tested them for toxic flame retardants …

24 Nov 2013

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Environmental Science & Technology: My New Sofa

After a long wait, my new sofa has finally arrived. Some visitors to our home might have mistakenly thought that we were holding onto our comfortable …

23 Apr 2015

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LA Times: How I Made It: Arlene Blum

The Gig: Arlene Blum is a California scientist, educator, author and an international mountain climber. Her work has helped eliminate dangerous fire reta…

07 Dec 2014

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Huffington Post: Would you like flame retardants with that couch?

Most of Aimee Robinson's customers are moms. And more of them are starting to ask questions about the contents of the couches and chairs she constructs.…

21 Jul 2014

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Commonly Used Chemicals Come Under New Scrutiny

A top federal health official and hundreds of environmental scientists on Friday voiced new health concerns about a common class of chemic…

01 May 2015

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Science & Policy Blog

What’s in your house dust? Study Participants Wanted

Do you live in Northern California? Are you planning to buy a new couch or swap out your old foam cushions for new, flame retardant-free furnishings within the next ye…

07 Jul 2015

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Flame Retardants in Car Seats—Do We Need Them?

Car seats are essential to protecting children in cars. Due to a federal motor vehicle flammability standard, many materials in automobiles, including car seats, contain …

24 Jun 2015

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Pop Stop: Denmark retailer stops sale of microwave popcorn amid heal…

Some love it, some hate it: that overwhelming buttery, salty smell that fills the house every time you throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. However, larger concerns h…

03 Jun 2015

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Chemical Industry Insider Comes Clean

“Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” “False in one, false in all” is the legal principle that says a witness who willfully falsifies one matter is not credible on any ma…

02 Jun 2015

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Goliath, meet David – The 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize

We got the Golden Ticket! Technically, it was the Goldman ticket but just as good. At GSP, Simona and I were the lucky ones who got to attend this year’s Goldman Envir…

12 May 2015

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Trading Health for Small Conveniences?

“Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal” is how journalist Callie Lyons describes a highly fluorinated chemical called C8. When C8 was released into the air a…

01 May 2015

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Phthoughts on phthalates: odd spelling, clear problem

Have you ever heard of phthalates or DEHP? I hadn’t either, until I read a recent US study that monitored nearly 800 pregnant women and found that exposure to a common ho…

18 Mar 2015

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To be, or not to be, BPA-free

When consumer outcry got loud enough and states started their own bans, manufacturers stopped using bisphenol-A (BPA) in some baby products. In 2012, the FDA took limited…

19 Feb 2015

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Phosphate flame retardants: Bad to the bone?

If you go to the CDC’s ToxGuide it will tell you that data suggest Phosphate Ester Flame Retardants are widely distributed throughout the human body. You’ll also find thi…

04 Dec 2014

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HBCD is on the way out – but use of questionable alternatives will p…

This week, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving. But internationally, countries that have signed the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants have a dif…

26 Nov 2014

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It all comes out in the wash

Flame retardant chemicals don’t stay put in products. A study published in Environmental Science & Technology reveals they are hitching a ride on our clothes and taki…

22 Oct 2014

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Killer whales and the scientists working to save them

There is no documented case of a wild orca killing a human. It’s time we returned the favor by protecting the health, habitat, and viability of this highly intelligent, v…

12 Aug 2014

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My foam exchange story: How I saved big bucks without passing the bu…

I bought my sofa in California, “home” of the TB117 standard. I know 75-94% of sofas tested contain flame retardants. And clear as day, sewn onto my couch was a TB117 lab…

28 Jul 2014

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Bacteria get an image makeover

In the 1963 animated film The Sword in the Stone, two wizards face off in a climactic duel, transforming themselves into an increasingly fearsome series of creatures …

29 May 2014

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Textbook of Children’s Environmental Health brings issue into clear …

Children’s environmental health is my passion and the reason I work at the Green Science Policy Institute. Much of the Institute’s work is aimed at protecting childre…

16 Apr 2014

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A broken fluorescent bulb? What now?

Energy analyst John Rogers of the Union of Concerned Scientists put it best, “don’t panic” but do clean it up safely. When a fluorescent bulb, or CFL, breaks, a small am…

17 Mar 2014

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Please help support our work

The Green Science Policy Institute has prevented the addition of millions of pounds of unneeded chemicals to furniture, bed coverings, computers, and other products in our homes. Please donate so that we can continue to stop toxics and protect the health of our children, wildlife, and the planet.

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