Research Colloquium: Arlene Blum

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



Arlene Blum
Visiting Scholar
Department of Chemistry, UC Berkeley


Executive Director

Green Science Policy Institute

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010
Bren Hall 1414

"Flame Retardants and Health: A Global Concern"

Hosted by Professor Patricia Holden



Arlene Blum carried out research in the 1970s that contributed to removing cancer-causing tris flame retardants from children's sleepwear. Such chemicals can cause neurological and reproductive impairments, thyroid abnormalities, endocrine disruption, and/or cancer. They can bio-accumulate up the food chain and persist in humans, wild animals, and the environment. Blum will describe her research and policy work to protect health and the environment while maintaining fire safety. Currently, Blum is working with a global team of scientists, industry, and NGOs to prevent unneeded toxic fire-retardant chemicals from being added to consumer products worldwide.


Arlene Blum, PhD, is a biophysical chemist, author, mountaineer, and visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Department of Chemistry. She is also executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute and serves on the advisory board for Environmental Building News. Her past research contributed to the regulation of cancer-causing chemicals that were used as flame retardants on children's sleepwear. Blum has taught at Stanford University, Wellesley College, and UC Berkeley. The Green Science Policy Institute (GSP) brings government, industry, scientists and citizens groups together to support policies to protect our health and the environment.


NOTE: Research colloquia are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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