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Arlene Blum was inducted into the Science, Engineering & Technology category in 2014.

My Story

Arlene Blum of Berkeley is a chemist whose work to prevent the use of toxic chemical flame retardants in furniture and other household products has had a national impact. In the 1970s, her pioneering research about the dangers of cancer-causing flame retardants led federal regulators to stop the use of these chemicals in children's sleepwear. Her research continues to have an impact, contributing to Governor Jerry Brown's 2013 revision of a law he signed in the 1970s leading to the use of flame retardants in all upholstered furniture sold across the U.S. Arlene is also a renowned mountaineer who has scaled some of the world's tallest peaks. She led the first ascents of Mount McKinley in Alaska and Annapurna in Nepal by all-women teams.