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Birnbaum To Give Distinguished Lecture September 8

By Eddy Ball
September 2009

Birnbaum, Linda
NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum
(Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS opens its 2009-2010 Distinguish Lecture Series on September 8 with a talk on "Halogenated Flame Retardants: Does the Benefit Justify the Risks?" by NIEHS and National Toxicology Program (NTP) Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.( The lecture will begin at 11:00 in Rodbell Auditorium, hosted by the NIEHS Women's Science Assembly and NTP Toxicologist Michelle Hooth, Ph.D.(

Birnbaum is a recognized leader in research on halogenated flame retardants. She delivered a plenary lecture at the 11th Annual Workshop on Brominated Flame Retardants (BFR2009) held May 19-20 at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa. In August, she taught a course on the topic in China. She has authored more than 300 papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

Her talk will explore innovative research on various aspects of exposure to the various synthetic compounds used as flame retardants. Her talk will balance the benefits and health risks of these ubiquitous and persistent chemicals, especially in terms of early exposures leading to later diseases, present an update on measures to ban compounds by governments worldwide, and offer a critical look at the alternatives now in use or proposed for future applications to inhibit the spread of fire.

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