News & Events

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...

Pregnant women, fetuses exposed to antibacterial compounds face potential health risks

August 11, 2014

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mulls over whether to rein in the use of common antibacterial compounds that are causing growing concern among environmental health experts, a team of scientists led by Arizona State University Biodesign Institute researchers are now reporting that many pregnant women and their fetuses are being exposed to these substances. "We looked at the exposure of pregnant women and their fetuses to triclosan and triclocarban, two of the most commonly used...

Scientific evidence shows need to regulate antimicrobial ingredients in consumer products

April 1, 2014

  Does the widespread and still proliferating use of antimicrobial household products cause more harm than good to consumers and the environment? Evidence compiled in a new feature article published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology by Arizona State University professor Rolf Halden shows that decades of widespread use of antimicrobials has left consumers with no measurable benefits. Worse yet, lax regulation has caused widespread contamination of the...

Sludge as new sentinel for human health risks

January 16, 2014

Thousands of chemicals serving a variety of human needs flood into sewage treatment plants once their use life has ended. Many belong to a class of chemicals known as CECs (for chemicals of emerging concern), which may pose risks to both human and environmental health.  Arjun Venkatesan, a recent doctorate and Rolf Halden, professor and director of the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, have carried out meticulous tracking of many of...