Green Chemistry and Safer Alternatives to Toxic Flame Retardants

March 16, 2011
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

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Toxic flame retardant chemicals known as PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) are widely used in home furniture, electronics and other everyday products. Mounting research suggests that these chemicals may cause neurological and reproductive harm, thyroid disruption and cancer.

CHE-Alaska hosted this call focused on safer alternatives to PBDEs and how green chemistry—a philosophy of chemical engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances—can help shape protective public policies. Participants found out about the Green Screen project to identify safer alternatives to toxic flame retardants and learn how to support legislation in Alaska (Senate Bill 27 and House Bill 63) to phase out PBDEs.

Featured Presenters

Dr. Lauren Heine, Principal for the Lauren Heine Group, and Senior Science Advisor with Clean Production Action. Dr. Heine advises organizations seeking to integrate green chemistry and green engineering into product and process design and development activities - eliminating toxics and the concept of waste, and moving toward economic, environmental and community sustainability.

Samantha Englishoe, Environmental Health and Justice Organizer, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, is Gwich'in Athabascan, Kaagwaantaan Tlingit, and a lifelong Anchorage resident. She graduated in 2008 from Seattle University where she majored in political science and pre-law. After graduation, Sam worked as a Public Policy Fellow in the Office of Representative Beth Kerttula and as a Rural Affairs Intern for Senator Mark Begich. She came to ACAT in January 2011 to work on policy and environmental justice issues.