Online Program

Toxic Hot Seat

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:27 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, San Marcos, TX
Excerpt from promotional material about the film:

"Chemical flame retardants are everywhere. Our furniture. Our homes. Our bodies. But do they work as promised? And are they making us sick? The three chemical companies producing flame retardants would prefer that we not ask these questions, and they've spent millions of dollars on lobbyists, publicists and influencers to ensure that we don't. It might remind you of the Big Tobacco cover-up. Which makes sense, since Big Tobacco has had a hand in this, too.  Set against the backdrop of the award-winning 2012 Chicago Tribune investigative series "Playing With Fire," this film threads together an intricate story of manipulation that details how Big Tobacco skillfully convinced fire safety officials to back a standard that, in effect, requires all furniture to be filled with toxic flame retardants. The film continues to untangle how the chemical companies obscure the risks to public health and misrepresent chemical safety data by paying "experts" to alarm legislators and the public about the deadly risk of removing chemical flame retardants from our homes.  Through the personal stories of a cancer-surviving firefighter, a renowned chemist whose work helped remove fire retardants from kid's pajamas in the 1970s, and a brave and determined young Maine legislator and mom, the film reveals the courage of brave citizens willing to fight for the truth against a shadowy nexus of money and politics."

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
List at least two adverse health effects related to commonly used flame retardants; Describe at least one activity the public health community is (or has) engaged in to reduce the public's exposure to the toxic chemicals used in flame retardants.

Keyword(s): Environmental health sciences, Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidel

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the program planning co-chair for the Occupational Health & Safety Section. We are recommending this film for the Global Health Film Festival.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.