News & Events

Chemicals used to fight pests may be affecting human development

August 3, 2011

An arsenal of chemicals are used to effectively battle noxious pests. The costs to human health from pesticide exposure however, have not received adequate scientific attention.  Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, joined forces with with key collaborators from other major research institutions, to study two particularly pervasive pesticides, examining their levels in utero and the effects of these chemicals on newborns. The group’s...

ASU experts discuss the safety of ‘antibacterial’ products at the Arizona Science Center

May 19, 2011

Chemicals to make us germ-free may be more dangerous than the germs themselves Killing germs has become a national obsession. But are these chemicals really safe for human health and the environment? Can we really be germ-free? ASU experts Rolf Halden and Ben Hurlbut will co-present “Germ-free and Other Myths: Examining Antimicrobial Products” at the Arizona Science Center on Friday, May 20, at 5:30 p.m. Recent research has raised concerns about a pair of antimicrobial compounds that...

Monitoring waste in groundwater (without all the waste)

March 7, 2011

The U.S. spends around 2 billion dollars a year on remediation at hazardous waste sites, with a large portion of this used for groundwater monitoring. Yet according to Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, the information gathered is often of limited value. Under a new three-year, $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Halden, assistant director at the Institute’s Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, is pursuing a novel...

ASU researcher to present at Congressional briefing on the dangers of a chemical in ‘antibacterial’ products

February 14, 2011

Rolf Halden, Ph.D., P.E., an environmental engineering expert from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, will participate on a Congressional briefing panel in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 17, about the public health dangers of triclosan – a common antimicrobial ingredient that has raised health and environmental concerns. Triclosan is a common additive found in antibacterial soaps and personal care products. Antimicrobials made their first appearance in commercial hand soaps in...

New book examines health and environmental impacts of common (and not-so-common) chemicals

November 9, 2010

Chemicals pervade our lives. While the benefits to society from the development of these chemicals have been impressive, enabling safer, more efficient and more convenient consumer products and life-saving pharmaceuticals, many chemicals also have a dark side. Today, a growing awareness of the risks posed to humans and the environment from harmful chemicals has stimulated intensive investigations into their lifecycle and the unintended consequence of their use. The topic is vast, though much...

Myth of a germ-free world: a closer look at antimicrobial products

November 9, 2010

Killing microorganisms has become a national obsession. A pair of antimicrobial compounds known as triclosan and triclocarban are lately the weapons of choice in our war of attrition against the microbial world. Both chemicals are found in an array of personal care products like antimicrobial soaps, and triclosan also is formulated into everyday items ranging from plastics and toys to articles of clothing. But are these antimicrobial chemicals, as commonly used by people across the nation,...

Cutting the cord to determine babies’ health risk from toxic exposure

December 3, 2008

Despite the well-known dangers of first- and secondhand smoke, an estimated ten percent of pregnant women in the U.S. are smokers. Exposure of a developing baby to harmful cigarette byproducts from mothers who smoke affects an estimated 420,000 newborns each year and poses a significant health care burden.Now, in the first study of its kind, a team of researchers has completed a global assessment of newborns’ umbilical cord blood to better understand the fetal health risks from smoking...

Biodesign Institute recruits environmental expert

June 5, 2008

To help advance one of the Biodesign Institute’s core research themes of improving the environmental health of the planet, the institute’s Center for Environmental Biotechnology counts among its faculty newly appointed associate professor, Rolf Halden. Halden plans to further his already extensive research on the environmental fate of mass-produced chemicals, associated health risks, toxic body burdens effects in humans, and biotechnologies helpful in reclaiming contaminated drinking...