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.
Read more about Our Science


SF Chronicle: Program seeks to get harmful chemicals out of furnitur…

When Lori Yonelunas decided to detoxify her life, she knew she had to do something about her toxic leather couch but was reluctant to get rid of it.…

18 Jun 2014

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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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Scientific American: Do we need flame retardants in electronics?

Fear of fires, especially from lit cigarettes, helped ignite the decades-long practice of adding fire retardant chemicals to furniture and other house…

28 Jan 2014

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USA Today: Many couches contain potentially toxic flame retardants

From USA Today More than half of U.S. couches contain potentially toxic flame retardants that pose risks to humans as the chemicals migrate from furniture f…

28 Nov 2012

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Science Insider: Scientists call for limits on emerging class of com…

More than 200 scientists from 38 countries spoke with one voice today, calling for curbs on the global production and use of a class of chemicals found in …

01 May 2015

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The Doctor Oz Show: The toxic flame retardants in your home right no…

Toxic flame-retardant chemicals can be found in your chairs, sofas – even your baby furniture. Investigative reporter Elisabeth Leamy joins Dr. Oz to sound the alarm on their dangers with the help…

19 Dec 2013

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The Harvard Crimson: Scientist Discusses Health, Campus Sustainabili…

Scientist and public health advocate Arlene D. Blum discussed her research and advocacy work surrounding “harmful” chemicals found in consumer produ…

10 Apr 2015

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SF Chronicle: Law may cut use of flame retardants in buildings

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that may lead to a change in state building standards that would discourage the use of potentially hazardous flame-…

08 Oct 2013

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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: Are you safe on that sofa?

From the New York Times If you want a case study of everything that is wrong with money politics, this is it. Chances are that if you’re sitting…

19 May 2012

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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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Guardian: Flame retardants may be coming off of furniture, but they'…

“When’s the last time you watched TV by candlelight?” asks Arlene Blum, founder of the Green Science Policy Institute. Blum questions the logic of te…

19 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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New York Times: 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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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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CNN: Safety of flame retardants in question

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the possible health risks of flame retardant chemicals Watch on CNN: Safety of flame retardants in question[/uli…

25 Jan 2013

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Science & Policy Blog

Backfire: Unintended Consequences of Flame Retardants

Fun fact. Combustion scientist, Donald Lucas, started his career doing research at temperatures near absolute zero (−430°F) before working in combustion, where temperatur…

11 Nov 2015

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The Nature of the Beast

This article is the second installment of our blog series, “Scientist Spotlight: The Scientists Behind our Consumer Products Petition." [caption id="attachment_7812" a…

09 Sep 2015

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Four times breast cancer risk linked to prenatal DDT exposure

Barking up the wrong branch of the family tree For years scientists studied women who were exposed to DDT as adults. An analysis of existing research found “no signifi…

04 Aug 2015

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The Proof is in the Sewage: Can Harmful Chemicals Move from Sofas to…

  This article is the first installment of our blog series, “Scientist Spotlight: The Scientists Behind our Consumer Products Petition." Rolf Halden: halogenated…

31 Jul 2015

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Introducing Our Blog Series "Scientist Spotlight: The Scientists Beh…

Imagine you are reclining on your couch and turning on a horror movie. Did you know that the flame retardants in your couch may be scarier than the monster on the screen?…

30 Jul 2015

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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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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.