News & Events

Innovative device traces chemicals affecting human and environmental health

February 23, 2016

Every hour, a multitude of chemicals complete their use life in homes, agricultural fields and industries and flood into the environment. The ultimate fate of these compounds is often poorly understood, as are the risks they may pose to humans and the ecosystems that are essential for our survival as a species. In a new study, a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional team of researchers headed by Rolf Halden, director of the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University’s...

Are Antibacterial Soaps Safe?

February 17, 2016

An article in The Wall Street Journal asked: "Is the quest for clean doing more harm than good?” “That’s the question at the heart of a debate between cleaning-products makers, researchers and environmental advocates. The outcome could affect millions of Americans who use antibacterial soaps, body washes and shower gels to fight germs—as well as the companies that supply the $5.5 billion market for soap, bath and shower products.” “In September, the Food and Drug...

Everyday Hazards: How to make healthy and green purchases

January 20, 2016

Buyer beware, some of the products we use every day to keep us clean and healthy, might contain ingredients that are really causing us and the environment harm.  Whether it’s cosmetics to look our best, shampoos, or antibacterial soaps to rid our homes from germs, how do we know which ones are safest and most effective? And how can we make better and more informed decisions when purchasing these products? “There are a few tips consumers can follow, e.g., read the labels and avoid...

Pregnant Women in Brooklyn Have Highest Levels of Certain Preservatives Used in Cosmetics

October 26, 2015

Brooklyn, NY - Researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Arizona State University have published the first study of levels of parabens - antibacterial substances commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and other products - in human cord blood samples. The researchers found that a cohort of pregnant women in Brooklyn predominantly of Caribbean- and African-American descent had the highest level worldwide of methyl paraben and propyl paraben. The results were published online in the...

Webinar: Active, Time-integrated Average Sampling with In Situ Solid Phase Extraction

October 14, 2015

Presented by Rolf Halden, Ph.D., P.E., Director, Biodesign Center for Environmental Security and Isaac Roll, Graduate Student, Biodesign Center for Environmental Security Understanding the occurrence and concentration of aquatic contaminants in impacted drinking water resources is key to environmental and human health protection. This webinar introduces participants to the use of active sampling equipment for determining time-averaged pollutant concentrations in environmental waters in an...

Can marine plastic pollution end up on our dinner plate?

February 3, 2015

When you hear the phrase, 'What's for dinner?,' the furthest answer from anyone's mind would be toxic plastics. Yet investigators are researching whether consumption of plastic debris by marine organisms translates back into our food chain as toxic exposures for people who eat seafood.   In a feature article in the NIEHS' flagship publication, Environmental Health Perspectives, Nate Seltenrich examined the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean, tracing the path from plastic pollution,...

ASU research finds gold in sewage sludge

January 20, 2015

Mining for gold---in sewers? In turns out a group of ASU researchers has found there's literally million of dollars worth of gold, silver and other precious metals found in sewage sludge, the gooey stuff left behind from treating sewage.  Freelance journalist Warren Cornwall, in a feature article in Science magazine, explores new ASU research led by Paul Westerhoff, Rolf Halden and others, that looked at the monetary haul from society's detritus.  "The upshot: There's as much as...

Halden NY Times op-ed addresses making chemistry green

November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 In an op-ed published in the New York Times, ASU professor Rolf Halden addressed a critical societal issue affecting our soils, water and food—the active ingredients of antimicrobial products such as soaps and toothpaste. The key question for society is, in our zest to rid itself of pesky germs, are we trading off our long-term health and the health of our planet? The active ingredients in more than 2,500 consumer products, representing a multi-billion dollar...

New study charts the fate of chemicals affecting health and the environment

October 20, 2014

Looking forward in science often requires looking back, evaluating trends to extrapolate future outcomes. A classic case is Moore’s Law, which predicts that the density of components on an integrated circuit will double every 24 months. The estimate has helped guide many developments in the computer industry.  In a new study, Rolf Halden, PhD, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, examines the trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human...

Fish tale: new study evaluates antibiotic content in farm-raised fish

October 20, 2014

Antibiotics—one of modernity’s great success stories—are charms that come with a curse. Their overuse in human and animal populations can lead to the development of resistant microbial strains, posing a dire threat to global health.  In a new study, Hansa Done, PhD candidate, and Rolf Halden, PhD, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, examine antibiotic use in the rapidly expanding world of global aquaculture. Done and Halden measured the presence of...