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Jennifer Sass, Senior Scientist, Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Sass

I grew up in the Canadian prairies where I learned to love open spaces, wild places, big skies, long summer nights, cozy cold winters, and the comfort of good friends. I came to the US as a post-doctoral student of toxicology and environmental health. After about a dozen successful years as a bench scientist conducting basic medical research, I wanted to transition into policy work. I joined NRDC in 2001 to work towards strengthening the regulation of toxic chemicals. When not in the office I like to hike, bike, white water kayak, and walk my dog.

Recent Posts

Carbon nanotube flame retardants - two wrongs don't make a right

Posted February 24, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Carbon nanotubes are wee little microscopic-sized tubes made of  sheets of carbon atoms, rolled up into a tube like a paper towel roll. One roll is a single walled carbon nanotube, and a few rolls will make a multiwalled carbon nanotube...continued

WV Chemical Spill of MCHM - doing the math on drinking water safety

Posted January 19, 2014 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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The chemical spill of unknown amounts of crude MCHM, of unknown toxicity, and for an unknown amount of time has left a bad taste in my mouth. The whole thing stinks of too many unknowns. Over 300,000 people across nine...continued

Bee-killing neonic pesticides may also be bad for baby brains

Posted December 17, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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"Two neonicotinoid insecticides - acetamiprid and imidacloprid - may affect the developing human nervous system, said the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)." That was the recent press release from EFSA, reported in The Guardian here. In making its statement, EFSA...continued

Scientific Evidence to Support 'Seven Generations' future thinking; our toxic chemical exposures may harm our great-grandchildren

Posted November 28, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably

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Native American tribes hold dear the concept of seven generations planning, that the impact of decisions should be considered out seven generations into the future, about 150 years. The idea is that our decisions today should consider the potential benefits...continued

Court Rules in NRDC's Favor to Limit Nanosilver in Clothing

Posted November 19, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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Last week we won a lawsuit we’d filed this past January to block a potent antimicrobial nano-pesticide, from market access.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conditionally registered nanosilver under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use as...continued

More research shows neonic pesticides compromise bee immunity

Posted November 8, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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Our Nation’s bees are in a tail spin, and victims include commercial honey bees, wild bumble bees, and other native bee species.  This isn’t just a bee problem – it’s our problem too because we rely on the pollination services...continued

Defenseless bees

Posted November 7, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment

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Our Nation’s bees are in a tail spin, and victims include commercial honey bees, wild bumble bees, and other native bee species.  This isn’t just a bee problem – it’s our problem too because we rely on the pollination services...continued

The Human Being as Unwitting Research Object for Industrial Chemistry

Posted October 17, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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There are a few excellent movies that are well-worth viewing if you are interested in the connection between environmental pollution and human health. I’ve written a blog about Unacceptable Levels highlighting its excellent use of scientific experts and knowledgeable professionals...continued

Air pollution linked to deadly lung cancer

Posted October 17, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Air pollution is a killer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization- has classified outdoor air pollution  as "known" to cause cancer in humans (Group 1). Particulate matter -...continued

Crunching the numbers - Atrazine just isn't worth the risk

Posted October 8, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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A rigorous economic report has found Syngenta – the maker of the toxic herbicide atrazine – greatly exaggerated the costs of eliminating the weed-killing chemical. It turns out that when independent experts (not paid by Syngenta) crunch the numbers, a...continued

USFDA Allows Chemicals in Food Despite Lack of Toxicity Testing

Posted August 14, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Chemicals are added to food to preserve, flavor, thicken, or otherwise alter it in some desirable way. Used this way, the chemicals are called ‘food additives’. In other contexts the same chemicals may be considered industrial chemicals or pesticides. For...continued

48217 - a Toxic Tour of Southwest Detroit

Posted July 28, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Some mornings I wake up and have no idea that before the sun sets I’ll have seen, heard, and smelled things that change my world view. That’s what happened to me when I bounced cheerfully up the steps and into...continued

Unacceptable Levels - Pollution just got personal: a new movie

Posted June 18, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Curbing Pollution, Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, Living Sustainably, U.S. Law and Policy

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Pollution isn’t just what you can see littered in the ditches by the side of the road. It’s also the hazardous chemicals you can’t see in the air we breathe, the water we drink and wash in, the food we...continued

GreenScreen™ hazard assessment of silver and nanosilver demonstrates what we know, what we don't, and what we'd like to know before we get too cozy with nanomaterials

Posted June 11, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment, U.S. Law and Policy

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Although there have been numerous published reports and reviews of the hazards of nanosilver and other nanomaterials, the results of this project, using GreenScreen™ established methods, are to our knowledge the most comprehensive systematic hazard screen of nanomaterials to date....continued

The "New Bioeconomy": Synthetic Biology's Implications for the Environment, Health and Justice

Posted June 5, 2013 by Jennifer Sass in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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For this blog, I’m highlighting two expert colleagues with presentations on the applications and implications of synthetic biology. The following comes from their presentations: Synthetic biology, or “extreme genetic engineering”, is being marketed as the next industrial revolution to sustainably...continued

About

Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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