Dear BizNGO Community,
Here at BizNGO we’re launching a pilot project called “Trending Topics,” where we identify 3 must read news items that touch upon our work on Chemicals & Health, Safer Alternatives, and Policy (see below).
Trending Topics is a quick means to stay abreast of breaking news related to our work. Think of it as a high level “week in review” news update.
Looking for something to talk about at this weekend’s party, well how about, “did you hear about the cell phone cases made from dairy waste?” Or, “how about that new Vermont chemicals bill?” Each week we’ll have it for you here on Trending Topics. And we’ll toss in a little snark analysis to keep it fun.
Let us know what you think of Trending Topics. And send along news items that should have made the top 3. We are also posting daily news highlights on Twitter @BizNGO.
Chemicals & Health
Frogs exposed to PBDE flame retardants during early life developed weakened systems, a condition that could leave them vulnerable to disease, say University of Wisconsin scientists. Their study – the first of its kind – suggests that pollutants, at levels present in the environment, may be contributing to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. These same chemicals that were used for years in upholstery foam, plastics and electronics, have also weakened immune systems of mice, mink and possibly humans.
Sprint has announced it will soon begin selling iPhone cases made from a methane-based plastic known as AirCarbon™. Manufactured by Newlight Technologies, the plastic is made with methane captured from dairy farms and touted as “carbon-negative.” The technology seems to be more sustainable, but the lack of chemical ingredient disclosure leaves unanswered the questions remain as to of whether chemicals of high concern are used in manufacturing or are contained in the final product.
Vermont is poised to join California, Maine, and Washington State with more comprehensive chemicals policy legislation. The Vermont legislature passed a bill giving the state Health Department authority to require disclosure of “chemicals of concern” used in children’s products. The legislation, while less stringent than what environmental health advocates hoped for, also establishes rule-making enabling the department to recommend specific chemical restrictions. Governor Shumlin is expected to sign the bill.