Is Your Couch Toxic? Interview with Arlene Blum
They're in just about all our homes -- couches and chairs containing polyurethane foam -- which contain large quantities of chemical flame retardants, mandated by California law. But flame retardants have been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, learning problems and infertility, and state lawmakers are now considering whether to overhaul the law. The debate was started by Berkeley scientist Arlene Blum, who pioneered research showing the dangers of Chlorinated Tris in children's pajamas. She succeeded in getting it removed from clothing, in 1977. Now, decades later, she's back on the front lines battling flame retardants, this time, in our furniture.
Also on KQED.org this week ...
Drought Watch 2015: Record-Low Sierra Snowpack
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically supplies nearly a third of California's water, is showing the lowest water content on record: 6 percent of the long-term average for April 1. That shatters last year's low-water mark of 25 percent (tied with 1977).
"Boomtown" History of the San Francisco Bay Area
KQED's "Boomtown" series will seek to identify what is happening in real time in the current boom, and also draw out the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts and pressures between the old and the new.