• Press Release

February 22, 2022

Chemical Insights Research Institute Confirms Commitment to Studying Human Health Risks from Chemical Exposure

Underwriters Laboratories $1.8 billion pledge furthers mission

ATLANTA – Feb. 22, 2022 – Chemical Insights Research Institute (CIRI), a nonprofit organization of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., confirms its deep commitment to identifying human health threats and delivering the highest quality chemical, and other pollutant exposure, research for insights to improve people’s lives.

CIRI leads innovative research on emerging technologies such as 3D printing emissions and flame retardant usage in consumer products, studies how these exposures create threats to human health, and evaluates strategies for reducing risks. “CIRI is on the frontlines of researching these developing threats and uses rigorous laboratory testing to provide actionable data to help manufacturers, educators, healthcare providers, and consumers respond for protecting health,” says Dr. Marilyn Black, vice president and senior technical advisor for CIRI.

As a research institute of Underwriters Laboratories and part of a 128-year legacy of trusted science, CIRI benefits from the recently announced $1.8 billion commitment to global safety science research. With this investment, CIRI, in collaboration with other research institutes of Underwriters Laboratories, will expand its focus on discovery across a broad range of critical fields – from understanding the community health implications of wildfire events to assessing health outcomes of young children in daycare centers exposed to daily urban air pollution.

“We are pleased to support CIRI’s human health research,” says Terrence Brady, president and CEO of Underwriters Laboratories, “as it addresses rapidly emerging chemical and environmental safety threats facing societies today.”

CIRI 2022 research initiatives include:

  • 3D Printing: Evaluating current additive manufacturing technologies and the effects of their pollutant releases on human health;
  • Flame Retardants and Furniture Flammability: Assessing flame retardant usage in consumer products, their exposure levels, routes of human exposure, and evaluation of flammability control processes without the use of flame retardants;
  • Global Air Pollution: Identifying chemical and particle sources of indoor and outdoor air pollution, its sources and impact on human health, and evaluating processes for reducing exposures to improve health outcomes;
  • Chemical Exposure: Using innovative measurement tools, determining consumer exposure to chemicals, and evaluating biological responses of toddlers in daycare settings from air pollution exposure;
  • E-Cigarette and Vaping: Evaluating human intake of chemicals and particulate aerosols using a range of generation models and e-liquids, and measuring human toxicity; and
  • Wildfires: Evaluating community health risks of wildfires by measuring chemical and PM2.5 emissions in wildfire smoke and resulting human health outcomes.

To support this research, CIRI is expanding its pollutant exposure laboratory and growing its toxicology health sciences program. The team will focus on how biological factors may increase susceptibility to environmental disease.

“The world-class team we have assembled, the scientific studies we develop, the rigorous laboratory testing we conduct, and the published materials we produce are all united toward furthering our critical mission of protecting human health,” says Dr. Black.

About Chemical Insights Research Institute

Chemical Insights Research Institute (CIRI) of Underwriters Laboratories Inc., a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to scientific research, publication, education, and communication on environmental exposures resulting from technologies and practices, their impact on human health and processes for reducing risks. CIRI provides actionable data to help manufacturers, educators, healthcare providers, and consumers make informed environmental health decisions.

Our work lets people around the world know what chemicals are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we interact with every day. Our leadership role is to provide science or knowledge to implement improved practices, alternative product design, and changes that enable safer products and healthier environments.

To learn more, please visit chemicalinsights.org.

About the Underwriters Laboratories Research Institutes

The research institutes of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. are nonprofit organizations dedicated to advancing the Underwriters Laboratories’ public safety mission through scientific discovery. With best-in-class experts, we are the world’s premier institutes conducting scientific research and exploring the edges of technology to be the first to uncover and act on emerging risks to human safety.


Denise Rushing
Director of Communications and Outreach