Keeping a watchful eye on toxic chemicals and healthy solutions
Welcome to the ToxicsWAtch Blog! Here you'll find everything you ever wanted to know about the latest science on toxic chemicals, tips for finding safer products, and what you can do to help win policies to protect health and environment from harmful chemicals.
When Hazel Salazar moved to Seattle from El Salvador to join her husband 20 years ago cleaning houses was the only job she could get. Her first client handed Salazar a bucket and a jug of pine-scented cleaner. Within hours the skin on Salazar’s hands had blistered. Over the course of the next three days it peeled away in sheets.
Join us on. Thursday, November 21 from 12-2pm on the North Capitol steps in Olympia. Speak out for healthy families by calling on our legislators to pass the Toxic-free Kids and Families Act next session. November 21st is the first day legislators will be in Olympia preparing for the session and we need them to know that banning toxic-flame retardants is a priority.
When autumn cools the nights, bugs and critters seek warmth inside. Using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pests without exposure to harmful chemicals is an effective approach that is healthier for your children, pets and the environment too.
Are you a parent? A grandparent? An aunt? An uncle? A pet owner? Washington Toxics Coalition is connecting people throughout the state who want to live in a healthy, toxic free community. Join us! We are organizing teams of Healthy Family Squads with people just like you - interested in staying up-to-speed on what is happening in Olympia as we work to pass the Toxic-free Kids and Families Act next year.
New research from the Great Lakes area is indicating that organophosphate flame retardants—including the chlorinated Tris compounds—have become significant air pollutants. When these chemicals are used in foam and other types of products, they can escape into indoor air and build up in house dust. Now, scientists from Indiana University have discovered them in outdoor air at unexpectedly high levels.
A recent study by the Washington Toxics Coalition found alarmingly high lead content in jewelry distributed by Walmart. Lead is highly toxic to the developing brain. Adverse effects can include decreased IQ levels, increased ADHD and increased hearing impairment as blood lead levels increase. WTC found that 8 out of 34 (almost 25%) of Walmart jewelry tested contained levels of lead ranging from 7,748 ppm (parts per million) to 357,790 ppm – over one-third lead. That is 300 times the federal limit of 100ppm for children’s products.
Introducing our new column, the Household Environmentalist, by former Seattle Times columnist, Susan McGrath. You’re surrounded by people with runny noses. Every time you open or close the car door you’re picking up a sinister film of toxic road dust. And you’ve been petting the dog, who has just been, well, never mind. Time to attend to your hands. What do you reach for?
You may have seen our popular report, Chemicals Revealed: Over 5,000 Kids’ Products Contain Toxic Chemicals, and are wondering what in the world are you going to do to protect your family. We know that the information in Chemicals Revealed can be a bit alarming for caring parents. We’re here to let you know what the information in this report actually means and to outline easy steps you can take right now to reduce your family’s exposure.
Chemicals Revealed analyzes reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) by manufacturers in compliance with the states Children's Safe Products Act of 2008.
Getting ready to create a special space for your little ones to play? The Everyday SUPERHERO is back to tell you which paints, flooring, and furniture will ensure hours of happy and healthy playtime!
Seattle Hebrew Academy's Head of School Rivy Poupko Kletenik reflects on how the Jewish High Holidays highlights her belief that the moral imperative to protect our children and grandchildren from toxic pollution is part of being a good citizen and community leader.
We all want to nurture our budding student artists. The Everyday SUPERHERO is back to tell you how to set-up a fun, safe, and toxic-free art studio that will ensure our little Van Goghs, O'Keefes, and Rembrandts can reach their full creative potential.
Are you buying back-to-school clothing to replace the worn out and the outgrown? Under the Children’s Safe Products Act, toxic metals, phthalates and formaldehyde were reported to the Washington State Department of Ecology by makers and retailers of children’s clothing.
The Everyday Superhero is Here to Show You How to Keep Your School Clean and Toxin-Free.
Time for another installment of our Everyday Superhero video series. Introducing Dr. Plastics Expert!
It’s not all bad news when it comes to Congress. Tomorrow the Senate committee on Environment and Public Works, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) will spend a full day in a hearing entitled, “Strengthening Public Health Protections by Addressing Toxic Chemical Threats.”
When I was 8 years old, my mother was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and given less than a year to live. By some miracle she survived, but some years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She survived this too, but then she developed a rare T cell lymphoma. She died in 2007, after fighting three different types of cancer.
Do you think the only way you can get your home clean is using chemicals whose names you can’t pronounce and cleaning products that come with warning labels? Do you worry about what all of these chemicals are doing to our environment? Are you ready to find a better way and even save a little money? Watch this fun video and learn how you can become an Everyday Superhero! Cape not required.
Art materials are so ubiquitous in our homes and schools that we take for granted they are safe. Yet they may contain dangerous chemicals such as solvents, heavy metals, phthalates and preservatives like formaldehyde and parabens. Exposure can occur by ingestion, inhalation or absorption through skin. Follow these guidelines to keep art projects safe and fun.
Years ago, I found myself with an empty spot in my living room. I had recently purchased a couch, yet my nose knew as soon as the new sofa was delivered that it would not make its home with me. Why had the recently purchased sofa not worked out? Could I find one I would be happy to bring home? So began the quest for a healthy couch.