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.
Last week, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided compelling evidence that our federal law on toxic chemicals, the 37 year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is in terrible shape and doing a disservice to Americans’ health.
We’re excited to welcome Julie Gonzales-Corbin as our newest WTC board member! A longtime WTC volunteer, Julie is a woman of many talents. In order to introduce her properly, we asked her a few questions:
Elsie Sorgenfrei was one of our longest standing anti-pesticide warriors. She never gave up and was always vigilant and working to improve the world around us. She will be truly missed by those of us who had the joy to know and work with her. Washington Toxics Coalition is honored to receive a bequest to further Elsie’s legacy.
This week we launched a new cable TV ad as part of our last efforts to pass the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act (ESHB 1294). Time is running out and we need to convince the Senate that it’s time to get off the toxic treadmill and protect our families and our environment from toxic Tris flame retardants. Please watch the ad and call Senator Tom at 360-786-7694. Then please share the ad with your friends and families.
With warming soil temperatures and last frost, the month of May shouts garden time! Children can be helpful garden companions and there is much in the garden to delight them and you.
We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act (ESHB 1294) didn’t make it out of the Senate in the final hours of the regular legislative session. The Senate never took up the strong House version of the bill, nor did it accept reasonable compromises offered by the bill sponsors. Massive last-minute lobbying by the American Chemistry Council, the Association of Washington Business and Walmart resulted in the Senate letting the bill die.
Spring is in the air. That means GiveBIG, our community’s biggest giving day of the year, is right around the corner. We know you want to donate where your dollar will do the most good. That’s why we are giving you eight reasons to GiveBIG to Washington Toxics Coalition on May 15th.
Last week, we published an analysis of reports filed by the makers of kids’ products on toxic chemicals in products they make. In those reports, one company stood out, not just because it was among the top five companies reporting the most products, but because it was the most powerful single company that worked to defeat a Washington state bill to ban toxic flame retardants in children's products.
Naps give our little ones much needed time to recharge. As parents and teachers, we want our children to rest without lying in a bed of harmful chemicals. But recently, Washington Toxics Coalition found flame retardants in nap mats sold for use in childcare.
Last Wednesday, the Senate voted on the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act (ESHB 1294). Unfortunately, it passed a completely inadequate version of the bill that will not protect kids, fire fighters or the environment. But in good news, the House refused to accept the Senate’s weak bill and has asked to negotiate with the Senate.
One of the most frustrating things we see when we are investigating the use of harmful chemicals in everyday consumer products is a disturbing trend we call the Toxic Treadmill.
In good news, the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act passed out of the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee on Tuesday shortly before the deadline! This means the bill will continue through the legislative process and now awaits a vote on the Senate floor.
Sometimes our campaigns to protect kids from harmful toxic chemicals feel a lot like the movie Groundhog Day. That’s not to say that the protections we are seeking are old news, because they aren’t. Washington state has put in place groundbreaking laws to change the way toxic chemicals in products are regulated. These policies have not only helped improve our health, but have resulted in changes in the marketplace and provided much needed momentum for federal reform.
Of course, babies shouldn't be exposed to poisonous chemicals, but neither should guys like me. I don’t smoke, work out a lot (I’m part of a medieval combat group), and try to eat healthy. Why should sitting on my family’s furniture be more dangerous than wrestling? Why should consumer products be cancer risks when there are plenty of safer ways to prevent fires?
The toxic treadmill has struck Graco, the manufacturer of car seats and other kids products, who was praised last year for pledging to stop using the toxic flame retardant chlorinated Tris in its products. Now the company has disclosed to Washington state that they are using another harmful chemical flame retardant called TBBPA in their products.
Like most young people during these tough economic times, I have been struggling in the job market and am currently without health insurance. This means I worry about my health more than many people, because an unexpected illness could have huge financial consequences.
Playtime should be carefree, yet gaping holes in laws to protect children from chemicals allow toxics in the toy box. Choose safer toys for kids of all ages with the following tips:
Late last night, the Washington State House of Representatives passed the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act by a vote of 53-44! The bill would ban the use of the harmful flame retardants TCEP and TDCPP in children’s products and home furniture, beginning July 1, 2015, and would get us off the toxic treadmill by ensuring that manufacturers use safer chemicals as replacements.
As a physician and father, the health of my patients, my family and our community is my priority. The health risks from exposure to chemicals like toxic Tris are REAL, and that’s why I support the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act.
Have you ever wondered how an orca and a couch are connected? If you had asked me this bizarre question just a couple of years ago, I too would have scratched my head. I have always taken interest in my health and the health of the environment, but my work as the Citizen Science Coordinator at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) put my learning about harmful chemicals on the fast track. Understanding the connection between orcas and couches is no easy feat but PTMSC’s newest endeavor, The Toxics Project, aims to teach people just that.