Join our study to learn if there are HFRs in your home

This summer GSP will be doing several survey studies for HFRs– screening foam in additional couches, sleeper sofas, mattresses pads, insulation, and other products for halogens which would indicate the presence of flame retardants. An enthusiastic group of 18 U.C. Berkeley students are getting chemistry credit participating in our summer research program on the science and policy of flame retardants and hope to collect many samples, and use the results to impact policy.
If you would like to send  foam sample from products in your home for screening, please contact for instructions.  This screeing by a new technique called PIXIE will just tell you whether or not your products contain bromine or chlorine or do not.  Some may later be studied by GC/MS.

The baby product paper,finding 80% of baby products tested contained potentially toxic flame retardants received an unprecedented flood of press coverage in the past week . There have been over 150 news stories covering the study in print, television, and on-line sources including the front page of the SF Chronicle, the front page of the NY Times Business Section, and CBS evening news.  You can view a selection of the press coverage here:
The article is: “Identification of Flame Retardants in Polyurethane Foam Collected from Baby Products”

Stephenie Hendricks, Ana Mascareñas, Kathy Curtis, Judy Levin, Jeff Gearhart and many others working with NGOs across the country  did outstanding work communicating the results. This research was done with Heather Stapleton of Duke University, Susan Klosterhaus, and Tom Webster

A series of such collaborations should help pass Senate Bill 147 next year. for fire safety without toxicity

For suggestions on how to demand toxic-free products for your family, go to and scroll down to  “How to Protect Your Family”

Kind regards,

Arlene Blum PhD
Visiting Scholar, Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
Telephone: 510 644-3164           Mobile: 510 919-6363
Web: www,


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