From before we are born until the time we die, we are repeatedly and regularly exposed to toxic chemicals with the potential to seriously harm our health. Toxic chemicals can be found in our homes, schools and workplaces – in products we use on a daily basis. Due to loopholes in our national chemical policies, a range of products-from personal care products to cleaning products, toys to pet products, furniture to clothing and more – can all contain dangerous chemicals. Thanks to advances in modern science, evidence continues to mount linking asthma, cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive damage, and a host of other diseases and disorders to toxic chemicals in our everyday products. This is more than an environmental issue- it is a health and justice issue as well. Read more.
With our allies in the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, Clean Water Action is holding large retailers accountable for carrying products made with toxic chemicals. We recently succeeded in getting Lowes, Home Deport and Menards to all phase out toxic phthalates in their vinyl flooring.
Clean Water Action is partnering with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Keep a Breast Foundation to survey young people (ages 14-24) about what cosmetics and personal care products they use. Compiling this information is critical towards understanding exposure to toxic chemicals that are found in these products. Take the survey- or pass it on to someone you know in that age range - today!
A Voice for Minnesota Kids: Protecting children from harm is a responsibility shared by all adults. This year, a group of Minnesota parents and grandparents are doing all they can to protect children’s health from toxic chemicals. As part of the Voices for Kids Teams, members serve as the voice for Minnesota’s children at the state capitol and within their communities, advocating for state policies that protect kids. Whether meeting with lawmakers, testifying before legislative committees or writing letters to the editor, the Voices for Kids Teams are playing a critical role. Contact Kim LaBo at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about joining the team.
Green Procurement in Connecticut: Clean Water Action is working in Connecticut is to get Governor Malloy to sign an executive order mandating procurement of green materials, including furniture that is free of carcinogenic flame retardants. Anne Hulick and Susan Eastwood, from Clean Water Action in Hartford, have met with the Commissioner of Administrative Services and the Governor’s staff to open a dialogue and discuss next steps. The Yale Student Environmental Coalition presented the film “Toxic Hot Seat” to help raise awareness of issues of toxic chemicals in products on their campus. Partner groups across the state are planning additional showings to educate the public as well as the fire fighters, and to build momentum for a green procurement executive order.
For more information on how you can get involved, contact Clean Water Action’s Hartford office at 860-232-6232
The Fight Against Flame Retardants in Massachusetts: We are exposed to toxic flame retardants on a daily basis. These chemicals — often added to upholstered furniture, car seats, toys, and many more household products — are linked to cancer, birth defects, decreased fertility, nervous system damage, and other health problems. They migrate out of products and wind up in dust, then in our bodies, and even in breast milk. Tragically, fire fighters have higher rates of cancer than others because burning furniture, products and building materials release high levels of flame retardants and other toxic chemicals.
What’s worse, flame retardants often do little to stop the spread of fires in our homes. There are nontoxic options, but they’ve been off the table for decades because fire codes have necessitated the use of flame retardants, despite the fact that in many cases they were causing cancer but not stopping fires. A 2013 change in California’s fire code has made it possible for consumers nationwide to purchase flame retardant free furniture. Massachusetts’ fire code for public spaces (except for Boston) was updated in 2014 and now places like universities and hospitals have the option of purchasing flame retardant free furniture.
Clean Water Action is looking to take this a step further. Senator Cynthia Creem and Representative Marjorie Decker have introduced bills that would prohibit the sale of children’s products and household furniture that contain toxic flame retardants.
TAKE ACTION and ask your State Senator and Representative to support S. 1132 and H. 2119 to phase out harmful flame retardants.