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.
If you’re reading this post while at work, the chance that the chair you’re sitting on could soon be made without toxic flame retardants is getting better. That’s because more workplaces are choosing to protect their workers’ health by buying furniture without toxic flame retardants and more furniture companies are recognizing safer products are good for business.
Karen Bowman has spent almost a decade working with us to pass laws that stop millions of pounds of brain harming lead, mercury, and PBDE flame retardants from being used in our homes and getting into our bodies.
There are days in the advocacy profession that leave some of us shaking our head and asking “When is it enough?” Last week was one of those days. News broke that one of Puget Sound’s endangered orcas was found dead on a British Columbia beach. If that isn’t sad enough, yesterday we learned she was pregnant too. Now there are only 77 orcas left in Puget Sound. Scientists point to toxic chemicals as one of the culprits.
This holiday season I have a lot for which I am thankful. The big stuff: family, health, security, friends. And the small stuff: my coffee mug fits perfectly in the cup holder in my car and today my son woke up on time so I didn't need to drag him out of bed. And in my job and life, I'm thankful for people who are taking action to make the world a better place. People taking steps to make everything better for my family's and community’s future.
Toxic Hot Seat Margarita
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Join our effort to gather personal stories about why it is so important to pass the Toxic Free Kids and Families Act in 2015
The holidays can be a time to slow down, take stock of what’s important and share a special feast for our special friends and family. But while you’re setting your plans for the big day, you may also want to think about how you’re setting your table.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration has unveiled a draft outline of legislation this week that could bring regulating toxic chemicals in Washington state under the umbrella of the Department of Ecology — away from the Legislature’s purview — and could spell far-reaching implications for manufacturers and industries.
Growing up in rural Louisiana in the middle of a cotton field, I used to love to watch the crop-dusting aerobatics of the small planes as they sprayed pesticides mere feet from my backyard fence. As a child, it never dawned on me that my health and safety were being compromised by the very government I thought was in place to protect me.
When San Francisco firefighters rush out the firehouse doors, sirens screeching on the way to fight fires, they put their lives on the line in more ways than one. In responding to roughly 28,000 fire calls a year, members of the San Francisco Fire Department are routinely exposed to flame retardants, diesel exhaust and other toxic chemicals that seep out of raging infernos and work their way into the air.
A chemical flame retardant, banned in certain products in Washington state, is showing up in the environment, years later, in alarming levels. Scientists studied the livers of 21 bald and golden eagles collected from Washington and Idaho and found polybrominated diphenyl ethers, known as PBDEs. Higher levels of the toxic compound were found in samples of eagles from urban areas.
Tis the season, but not what you’re thinking. It’s Election Day and we have all experienced the non-stop political ads, candidate info stuffing our mailboxes and those phone calls from numbers we don’t recognize, reminding us to vote and telling us for whom to vote for many weeks now. Regardless of what happens in this mid-term election we know a couple of things -- Latinos, while the fastest growing minority group in our state, should expect to be heavily courted by office-seekers, but more often than not are overlooked. And while candidates try to court the female vote, they are often one-note singers.
If there is one thing no one wants with their Halloween costume, it’s toxic chemicals. But that may very well be the case according to the results of our new HealthyStuff.org study of 106 common Halloween related products purchased from retailers including CVS, Kroger, Party City, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens. The products were tested for chemicals based on their toxicity or tendency to build up in people and the environment. These chemicals include lead, bromine (brominated flame retardants), chlorine (vinyl/PVC plastic), phthalates, cadmium, arsenic, tin (organotins), and mercury.
Election season can be overwhelming -- lots of phone calls, slick mail pieces and those television commercials. How's a voter supposed to sift through all of the noise to make an informed choice? Seattle CityClub has developed a tool for voters looking for information to find it from other voters -- and add their own opinions as well.
We talk a lot about toxic flame retardants at Washington Toxics Coalition. A lot. But that’s because there’s alot to say about the harm they pose to our health. Today, we released a first-of-its kind, peer-reviewed study that brings a whole new meaning to “dirty laundry.” Flame retardants that cause cancer, learning disabilities and other problems literally attach to our clothing and wind up going down the drain when we do the wash.
Choosing safer school supplies is as easy as 1-2-3! First, reuse what you can from last year. Next, read on for healthier alternatives. Last, work with your school to develop safer options for next year, especially for items such as markers that require collaboration with the school.
Usually we’re frustrated with what seems like persistent inaction in Congress, but this time we’re feeling encouraged
Remember this spring when we were raising a ruckus about the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA), a draft bill that was before the House Energy & Commerce Committee? Well it’s dead. For Now. And we have you to thank! Because of your emails, ultrasound photos, family pictures and calls we helped stop this bad bill in its tracks. D.C. insiders told us this was impossible. We proved them wrong.
Imagine a group of chemicals so toxic, so detrimental to human health they could be linked to cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive issues, and endocrine disruption. Not only that, but the chemicals in question build up in the body and can be passed on to developing embryos. And if that weren’t bad enough, they stick around in the environment, effecting wildlife and water, which then impacts our food supply.
This week Washington Toxics Coalition joins concerned parents and health advocates from around the U.S. to ask Walgreens to take strong steps toward selling safer products. Together we are holding a "Week of Action." and ask you to call on Walgreens to be a leader in getting toxics out of personal care products