Arlene Blum, PhD is a biophysical chemist, author, mountaineer, a Visiting Scholar in Chemistry at UC Berkeley and executive director of the Green Science Policy Institute. The Institute brings government, industry, scientists and citizens groups together to support chemical policies to protect human health and the global environment. Blum’s research and policy work has contributed to preventing the use of flame retardants and other harmful chemicals in children’s sleepwear, furniture, electronics, and other products world-wide. Her current “mountain,” which she considers her life’s most challenging and important, is to educate decision makers in industry and government to reduce the use of entire classes of harmful chemicals.
Arlene Blum led the first American—and all-women’s—ascent of Annapurna I, considered one of the world’s most dangerous and difficult mountains, co-led the first women’s team to climb Denali, completed the Great Himalayan Traverse across the mountain regions of Bhutan, Nepal, and India, and hiked the length of the European Alps with her baby daughter on her back.