Did you know that your couch most likely contains up to a pound of flame retardants? And that these are toxic chemicals that may cause cancer, harm reproduction, or adversely impact brain development?

In a March 6, 2012 talk at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Arlene Blum—a biophysical chemist, visiting scholar in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and founder and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute—described the potential public health dangers of flame retardants and her efforts to keep these substances out of everything from sofas to nursing pillows.

The talk was sponsored by HSPH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center.

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