Protecting Our Health from Toxic Chemicals

Toxic chemicals surround us—in our air, water, homes, and workplaces. Many chemicals used in everyday products, like plastics, cosmetics, toys,  and furniture, increase the risk of serious illnesses. Clean Water Action is working to reduce toxic chemicals in our homes, workplaces and communities. This year, we are asking Massachusetts authorities to:

  • Ban toxic PFAS chemicals from consumer products;
  • Support Massachusetts communities that have been impacted by elevated rates of PFAS in their drinking water
  • Requiring companies that manufacture, sell or distribute children’s products to disclose whether those products include toxic chemicals.  Require manufacturers to eliminate the most toxic chemicals from children’s productsl
  • Press supermarkets and big box retailers to get toxic products off their store shelves.
  • Ensure that Massachusetts addresses the risks associated with the emerging nanotechnology sector.

Last year, we won a big victory when the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law banning 11 dangerous flame retardants and giving the state the authority to restrict the use of additional flame retardants. This year, we are monitoring the law’s implementation, with a goal of adding additional flame retardants to the restricted list over the next several years.

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Toxic Flame Retardants

Learn about flame retardants, chemicals that are added to everyday products such as highchairs, car seats, nursing pads, upholstered furniture, carpet pads, nap mats, strollers, electronics (including toys) and many more common household products. Many flame retardants are hazardous to our health. Over time flame retardants escape from the products they are used in and get into the air and dust around us. 

How do your favorite retailers rate on toxic chemicals?

Tell retailers to take action on toxics!

Because of demand from consumers like you, retailers are taking unprecedented action to protect customers from toxic chemicals.

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PFAS: The Forever Chemicals

Learn more about PFAS, a class of chemicals that are used to make products grease proof, waterproof and stain resistant. PFAS chemicals have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because they and their breakdown products are extremely persistent, lasting thousands of years or more. Unfortunately, they are also linked to a wide array of serious health problems.

Green Cleaning Supplies

Safer Cleaning and Disinfecting in the age of COVID 19

Recommended Practices and Products to Minimize Exposure to Harmful Chemicals  

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From We All Live Downstream

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February 1, 2021

Last month, TJX—the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Home Goods, and Sierra Trading Post—announced on its website it is developing an expanded “Chemical Management” strategy

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September 15, 2020

Introducing carbon nanotubes, a scientific wonder substance.  You may not have heard of carbon nanotubes (or CNTs), but they are probably already part of your life.  They may be in your cell phone or computer, where they are used as semiconductors, or part of your bike frame, where they provide strength without weight.  They could even be in your tires, helping improve handling on slick roadways.

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June 11, 2020

At this point many people are aware of the dangers of the toxic flame-retardant chemicals that are applied to household products.  Now, widespread concern is turning into real action. Motivated by consumer interest, many manufacturers and retailers have been phasing out these chemicals and using safer, fire resistant materials. Thirteen states have already restricted the use of one or more flame-retardant chemicals.