There was a fire in my neighborhood (in Dorchester, MA) this week. I woke up at about 4:40 to popping sounds – wondered if they were fireworks (annoying at that hour but ok) or maybe gun shots (yikes). It didn’t sound quite like either. But quickly I heard sirens…lots of sirens...converging very nearby.
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.
On August 6th, we co-released a report in conjunction with the Mind the Store campaign titled “Packaged in Pollution.” The report found that PFAS chemicals are used in food packaging and food service ware to repel grease and liquids so food wrappers for burgers, fries, sandwiches and molded fiber plates and bowls are likely culprits.
Mounting evidence shows that pesticide contamination has harmful effects in humans, pets, wildlife, birds, bees, and other beneficial insects. This summer, avoid pesticide use on lawns. Pesticides are not needed for a healthy, attractive lawn. Instead, take an organic approach to lawn care and accept that variety in a lawn is good.
Canvassing on the streets of central Connecticut after the PFAS spills last summer, community members supplied an abundance of energy and motivation that lead to fantastic steps toward protecting our communities from PFAS chemicals.
In our work at Clean Water Action we throw around a lot of statistics and chemical names which, if you’re not used to hearing them, all sound pretty much like “ethyl-methyl-bad-stuff.” Sometimes that’s really all you need to know: “there’s something bad there – stay away.”
But one group of chemicals you really should know about is PFAS, aka “Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances”, aka “the forever chemicals.” To keep it simple, we’ve boiled down the facts for you in this handy infographic. Check it out!
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.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) and other toxic chemicals found in many products, such as clothing, carpets, furniture, firefighting foam, adhesives, and food and beverage containers. PFAS-treated food packaging is a major source of human exposure to PFAS via contaminated food and drinking water.
Our work with Connecticut’s procurement agency is paying off. Connecticut will now restrict the purchasing of many food service ware and food packaging items that contain toxic per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS chemicals) and significantly reduce styrene (Styrofoam) and plastics.
This week, we helped to release the 4th annual Who’s Minding the Store? www.retailerreportcard.org report card grading 43 major retailers on their actions to keep toxic chemicals out of products and packaging.