As flames devour the Malibu Hills, again, ever risk-averse Science editor Donald Kennedy apologizes for " having lost track of the topic." of fire safety by publishing a Letter from :
"Arlene Blum...scientific adviser for a bill.. which would ban the use of...most... fire retardants."
While supporting the ban on ozone-unfriendly halon fire extinguishers aboard new boats and aircraft Kennedy of course applauds the addition of fire retardants to cigarettes:
"After three decades of opposition from tobacco lobbyists, 22 states and Canada finally passed laws requiring that cigarettes be made self-extinguishing. With fewer people smoking and better enforcement of building codes, fire-related deaths are decreasing."
While inhaling their combustion products poses a different category of risk than retardants sitting unburnt in paint or furniture, the former Stanford President also rails at industry for
"claiming that their products have dramatically reduced fire deaths in California, although the rate of decrease is about the same as that in states that do not regulate furniture flammability."
Could this be the same Donald Kennedy who, in 1984, coauthored a Science article equating the nuclear polices of the Reagan administration with the fiery "extinction of homo sapiens ?"
Or is it the warming-averse Donald Kennedy who endorses banning Ecologically Incorrect refrigerants, including ozone friendly HCFCs m in home appliances, and replacing them with with toxic and explosive, but Carbon Neutral gases like ammonia and sulfur dioxide ?