NYC SPARK Event: Toxic Chemicals in my Couch?

Come celebrate Mother Earth and your favorite environmental health group (that’s CEH!) and join us for wine, light hors d’oeuvres, and vibrant conversation at the SPARK speaker series where we’ll talk about the incendiary topic:

What Are Pounds of Toxic Flame-Retardants Doing in my Furniture?


Michael Green, Executive Director, CEH

and Robin Guenther, Principal, Perkins+Will

Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Tucker Robbins Showroom

New York Design Center

200 Lexington Ave – btwn 32nd and 33rd

Suite 504 (5th Floor)

(212) 355-3383

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door

Today’s industries use over 80,000 chemicals and release thousands more into the world each year without being required to prove their safety. Instead, we all wait to find out if these chemicals make us sick. One of the more well-known of these chemicals is bisphenol A (BPA), which has hormone-like properties and is linked to cancer and reproductive disorders. Seemingly overnight, baby bottles, sippy cups and hiker’s nalgene bottle were labeled BPA-free. But what are companies replacing it with?

A recent study showed that many “BPA-Free” products have the same hormone-mimicking properties that they had when made with BPA. In other words, it appears that industry has simply replaced BPA with other unregulated chemicals that may have the same harmful impacts on our children’s health. This same “toxic shell game” is being played out with the use of chemicals marketed as “flame retardants.”  When regulators banned one toxic “flame retardant” chemical that was linked to decreased fertility, lower IQ and endocrine disruption– the chemical industry simply replaced it with a new chemical linked to cancer and other health hazards.

BPA and flame retardants are just two examples of this toxic shell game, the chemical sleight-of-hand that puts our families at risk from thousands of potentially hazardous and almost completely unregulated substances.

Come find out more about who’s playing the toxic shell game and how you can avoid it.

Wine and light snacks are on Green Drinks! RSVP early as space is very limited for this event. See you there!


Michael Green founded CEH in 1996. He has been a leader in national efforts to protect children and families from lead and other toxic chemicals in consumer products and from illnesses related to pollution in our air, water, and food. Michael has done two stints in Washington, D.C. at the US Department of Energy and US Environmental Protection Agency and two in India where he designed a solid waste management plan for the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in Dharamsala and cared for the sick at Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta. He is a recipient of The California Wellness Foundation’s Leadership Award as well as the Compassion in Action Award presented jointly by the Dalai Lama Foundation and the Committee of 100 for Tibet.

Robin Guenther is a principal and an expert in green healthcare design, and a strong advocate for linking public health, regenerative design, and sustainability. Her work has helped shape healthier, more welcoming facilities for nearly every major medical institution in New York City. Robin was named the #1 Most Influential Person in 2009 by Healthcare Design magazine and was the first architect to receive the Changemaker Award from The Center for Health Design for her efforts in improving and supporting the environment. She was also named by Interiors & Sources magazine as a “Champion of the Environment” and works with a range of non-profit organizations focused on sustainable design practices in healthcare. Since 2002, she has served as a co-coordinator for the Green Guide for Health Care, the first and most commonly used tool for tracking sustainability in healthcare spaces today. Her book, Sustainable Healthcare Architecture, was released in 2008.