Sound Science, Protective Policy

April 20, 2017

State governments from coast to coast are doubling down on science as a foundation for good governance and health-protective policy.

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Guest Blog: Toxic Paint Strippers And What To Do About Them

April 05, 2017

Naomi of Plaster & Disaster

Thanks to http://www.plasteranddisaster.com for this great blog post discussing the hazardous chemicals and dangers of using paint strippers. The EPA is currently the EPA is considering a rule to ban the two worst of these chemicals, and you can help by sending a note to the EPA voicing your support for the ban.

TOXIC PAINT STRIPPERS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT THEM

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Toxics policies predictions for 2017

February 07, 2017

States are once again asserting their authority to address health hazards from chemicals in everyday products by introducing policies in at least 21 state legislatures.

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2017 Expected Bills Map

EPA announces ten priority chemicals

November 29, 2016

As promised, EPA announced the first ten toxic chemicals that they’ll evaluate in order to protect human health and the environment. It's a great start, and a call for states to act in partnership with the agency.

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Labor Day

September 07, 2016

Until everyone enjoys a safe and healthy workplace, it’s our responsibility to follow in the footsteps of our labor heroes and insist on a better way.

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Walmart: Toxics by the mind-boggling numbers

July 29, 2016

Walmart has the power to influence how 90,000 items are made by 700 manufacturers. So when the world’s largest retailer pledges to remove ten toxics from products on its shelves, it’s no small change.

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Consensus: We must protect kids from lead and also prevent the next lead.

July 01, 2016

In project TENDR, national scientists and health experts are speaking with a single voice: If we are to reduce autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disabilities and other learning and behavioral disabilities, we must address toxic chemical threats. State-level work is essential if we’re to avoid creating the next toxic legacy.

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The President Signs TSCA Bill — And The Real Work Begins for States

June 22, 2016

President Obama signed reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act into law. But it will take time and resources to ensure that gaps, flaws and weaknesses are addressed — along with the work of state-grown experts who have been effectively driving chemical stewardship for decades.

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States and Chemical Policy: Why states must continue to act

May 25, 2016

Even as federal chemical policy reform is enacted, states must do their part as experts in innovative chemical policy.

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It's a big deal: Taking away state rights to protect citizens

May 20, 2016

Safer States

By Memorial Day, our nation could pass a long-awaited overhaul of a bedrock environmental law that will guide the way our nation regulates toxic chemicals. And after 40 years of broken legislation, isn’t it time we got it right? Unfortunately, the proposal that will soon be up for a vote would take away the rights of states to protect their citizens. Safer States joins Congress members and state environmental officials urging lawmakers to fix the problem before a final vote.

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Washington Bans Toxic Flame Retardants — And They're Not The Only Ones!

April 07, 2016

Deena Prichep

Legislation banning toxic flame retardants was signed in Washington — and moving all across the country!

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Toxics Policies Prediction for 2016

February 22, 2016

23 states and the District of Columbia will take on toxic chemicals in everyday products in 2016. Is your state on the list?

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Attorneys General defend states’ role in toxics law

February 01, 2016

It’s the duty of a state Attorney General to counsel government on how the law works best for the nation. So when twelve of them are telling Congress what states need in order to protect people from toxic chemicals, it’s worth a listen. 

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Top 5 Truths About Toxics in 2015

January 05, 2016

From market share to protected citizens to healthier products — we do the numbers for toxics in 2015

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Safer responds to Senate vote on chemical reform

December 18, 2015

On the evening of December 17, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would amend the nation's main chemical policy, the 1976 Toxics Substances Control Act. As lawmakers negotiate a final bill, SAFER states will continue to work hard to ensure that states remain empowered to protect citizens from toxic chemicals.

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The Real Power of States

October 12, 2015

State action is a powerful force that affects change nationwide. And we need that power working in harmony with federal law for the best interest of our health, environment and economy well into the future.

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A healthier, greener back-to-school

August 13, 2015

Today, 11 states have legislation in place requiring “green cleaning” in schools and five more are considering such policies. These policies are delivering better health, attendance and student performance, even as they reduce costs. When will all states adopt 21st century safer cleaning practices?

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Don't shut down state power to protect people from toxic chemicals

June 04, 2015

Things are heating up in the Capitol over reforming our deeply broken chemical regulations. With a Senate bill full of red tape and potential loopholes, it's more important than ever that states retain the right to protect their people from toxic chemicals.

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Thank you for safer floors in our homes!

May 11, 2015

Home Depot and Lowe's have agreed to phase out toxic phthalates from their vinyl flooring by the end of 2015. Why? Because people who vote with their dollars want safer products.

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Chemical safety reform ignites fiery negotiations

May 05, 2015

A bill to reform chemical policy is on its way to the Senate floor, even as fiery debate continues over essential details, including the role of states. Meanwhile, states keep moving on protective chemical policy at home.

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Chemical policy reform: It's ugly, complicated + personal

April 14, 2015

Things can get ugly, complicated and personal when Congress debates reform of the long-broken Toxic Substances Control Act. Safer state experts help keep the mission clear; but we need individual voices to speak up, too. 

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Justice Served: Attorney General Lawyer-Speak on Toxics

March 19, 2015

If someone were threatening to take away your rights, you’d talk to a lawyer. But what if someone were threatening to take away a right from your entire state? That’s when you call on the Attorney General. And the Attorneys General of California, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington all spoke up this week to defend their states—and public health—from a bad proposal.

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State Action on Chemicals: Don't Bench Your Best Players

March 18, 2015

Proposed chemical policy "reform" shuts state governments out of the process. But when you’re up against a really strong opponent, it just doesn’t make sense to keep your best players on the bench.

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Federal reform bill: Don’t call it safety.

March 10, 2015

Call it a gift to the chemical industry. Call it an insult to state health and environmental authorities. But don’t make the mistake of calling it a “chemical safety” bill.

 

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Toxics Policies Prediction for 2015

February 09, 2015

Brace yourselves: Safer States predicts that if you are in one of the 28 states stepping up to propose chemical policy in 2015, you can expect some high-stakes visitors in your state capitol.

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Doing the right thing on flame retardants

January 28, 2015

There’s good news on the cover of a January 2015 Sunday Chicago Tribune. A health hazard hidden in most of our homes may be on its way out. What will it take to end the use of toxic flame retardants in furniture once and for all?

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The Chemical Industry’s Shiny PR Doesn’t Fool Us

December 18, 2014

Shiny spin and slick graphics can't hide the truth — brominated flame retardants are dangerous.

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Will our nation wake from a flame retardant nightmare?

September 24, 2014

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has introduced a bill to ban 10 toxic flame retardants from furniture and children's products. How did our nation wake up to the truth about these toxic chemicals? It took years of efforts from state legislators and hospitals, investigative reporters and furniture manufacturers. 

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Government Scientists Confirm: Phthalates are Dangerous

July 30, 2014

A new government report confirms that phthalates — chemicals in everything from rubber duckies to vindyl flooring — are dangerous. They recommend pulling certain phthalates off the shelf, and call for further study on the hazards of everyday exposure.

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New York State Poised to Protect Kids & Environment through Child Safe Products Act

June 17, 2014

With a few short days of session left, New York State is poised join states around the country protecting children from toxic chemicals. The Child Safe Products Act would require manufacturers to let us know when dangerous chemicals show up in kids’ products, so consumers can make safe, informed choices, and phase out some of the worst-of-the-worst chemicals.

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State Leaders Descend on Walgreens with One Message: Mind the Store!

April 27, 2014

When you go to Walgreens to buy everyday items — shower curtains, hand soap, toothpaste, school supplies — you shouldn't have to worry about toxic chemicals. With this message in mind, consumers around the country came together to return these toxic products to Walgreens, along with a message: get tough on toxic chemicals!

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State Experts Warn: Proposed “Chemicals in Commerce Act” Would Wipe Out Public Health Progress

February 28, 2014

The Chemicals in Commerce Act may look like progress — but we're not fooled. It's a vehicle for more secrets, more safety data loopholes, and faster introduction of untested chemicals—all disguised as “reform” of a badly outdated 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act.

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At Least 33 States to Consider Toxics Policies in 2014

January 28, 2014

This year, at least 33 states—more than half the nation—will step up as defenders of public health. They will take the toxic bull by the horns and consider policies addressing the untested and toxic chemicals in everyday products.

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The Market is Moving!

October 16, 2013

Target joins the list of retailers listening to state policy and addressing toxic chemicals.

 

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Walmart Jewelry Found To Contain High Levels of Lead

October 03, 2013

When you buy your kid a sparkly new necklace, you should only have to worry about whether they'll like the style. But it turns out you need to be worried about something else—toxic metals.

We are disappointed to learn today that a new investigation uncovered nearly 25% of Walmart jewelry tested contained high levels of lead. As we all know, this isn't safe. Lead is a toxin that adversely affects brain development in children and affects the nervous system. It's one of the worst-of-the-worst chemicals: it builds up in humans and the environment, it does great harm, and it stays around for a very long time.

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States Victorious On Chemicals Despite Massive Chemical Industry Opposition

September 26, 2013

Advocating for safer chemicals in the states can be a tough fight. Often states are up against big money, opponents who don't play fair, and messy politics. But we are still winning. In fact, policies that protect communities from toxic chemicals have been enacted in over 34 states. And those wins have led to protections well beyond the borders of those states.

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Wal-Mart Responds to Consumer Demand

September 18, 2013

Walmart announces their new chemical policy — which includes phasing out 10 toxic chemicals from its products, from personal care products to household cleaners.

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Changing the System to Protect Our Health: Prioritizing, Disclosing and Phasing out Toxic Chemicals

August 25, 2013

When policymakers want to get harmful chemicals out of everyday, household products, they often face a choice: They can attack the chemicals one by one with specific bans. But they can also choose take a more comprehensive approach with programs that identify chemicals of high concern, require disclosure of chemicals in products, and find safer alternatives to harmful chemicals.

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Flame Retardant Debates Heat Up in the States

February 21, 2013

As state legislatures start their 2013 legislation session, a major focus is the use of toxic flame retardant chemicals in products we use in our homes. Over the last few years, these chemicals have received increased scrutiny from health advocates, the fire safety community, and policymakers. The time to take action on these chemicals has hopefully arrived.

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Your Children's Health Isn't the Toy Industry Association's Top Priority

November 13, 2012

Behind seemingly friendly, brightly-colored face of the toy industry's trade association lies a more nefarious goal: laser-focused dedication to the bottom line of the companies it represents, at the cost of the health of children.

 

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Are We Extreme?

August 14, 2012

Is it "extreme" to be concerned about toxic chemicals? The American Chemistry Council says yes. But a broad collection of voices says no.

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Stories from the Trenches: Industry Opposition at Every Turn

August 13, 2012

At nearly every turn, the advocacy organizations working for fair laws that protect the most vulnerable are opposed by industry organizations backed by billions of dollars of influence. After talking with experts throughout the country, we've noticed patterns in how the opposition defeats good bills, state by state. 

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The Chemical Industry Can't Be Straight With Us

June 14, 2012

Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), claims that the ACC has not lobbied on behalf of flame retardant chemistries in state legislatures and state agencies. Many of the Safer States organizations have direct evidence refuting this confusing claim.

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Chicago Tribune covers the chemical industry's dirty tricks

May 29, 2012

In May, 2012, the Chicago Tribune wrote an investigative series uncovering dirty tactics by the chemical industry that insiders have known for some time.

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News Around The World

April 26, 2017
New York Newsday
NY wants to require cleaning products to disclose all ingredients.

New York State wants to require manufacturers of cleaning products to disclose all ingredients and trace contaminants added during processing if the compounds are considered threats to public health or the environment.

April 26, 2017
Alaska Dispatch News
Far-north warming and changes are accelerating, say Arctic Council groups.

The Arctic Ocean is now on track to become ice-free in summers as soon as two decades from now, while autumn and winter temperatures in the Arctic, if carbon emissions are not controlled, will be about 22 degrees higher in 2100 than they were at the end of the 20th century.

April 26, 2017
United Press International
Where is the Great Salt Lake's missing mercury?

Several years ago, mercury levels in Utah's Great Salt Lake waterfowl were high enough to warrant a human consumption advisory for ducks -- a rarity. Levels of toxic methylmercury were also high. Today the methylmercury is mostly gone.

April 25, 2017
Kauai Garden Island
Fat rats, slow sperm, and unhealthy bacteria.

Bottom line for all of us: Store your food in glass containers, stop buying water in plastic bottles and eat organic whenever possible.

April 25, 2017
Sacramento Bee
California consumers warned against potential mercury poisoning from Mexico-made skin creams.

After a new batch of mercury-tainted creams was discovered recently in a Ventura County flea market, state Department of Public Health officials are reminding consumers everywhere to avoid them.

April 25, 2017
Los Angeles KCET TV
That perfect, toxic lawn: American suburbs and 2,4-D.

Originally developed as a chemical weapon, this weedkiller can be found in garages across America.

April 25, 2017
Vermont Public Radio
Bennington residents are still waiting for a long-term fix for PFOA contamination.

About 270 private wells are contaminated with the industrial chemical PFOA, and the state installed carbon filters in each home as a stop-gap measure.

April 25, 2017
Everett Herald
Do baby teeth hold clues to mystery of what causes autism?

Researchers at the University of Washington are part of a national study looking at the baby teeth of the siblings of children who have autism.

April 25, 2017
San Francisco KQED Public Radio
Is California’s toxic waste regulator letting oversight slide?

Critics accuse the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control of being indifferent to the public, cozy with polluters and slow in enforcing regulations.

April 25, 2017
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Veolia accuses PWSA of defamation over mismanagement claims.

A contractor accused of mismanaging the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority returned the criticism Monday, charging that PWSA defamed the Boston-based company through “reckless and false statements.”

April 25, 2017
Butte Montana Standard
Threats to nature continue to mount.

We have come too far to let ignorant, twitter-based falsehoods trump this nation’s common sense environmental stewardship of our natural heritage.

April 25, 2017
Tampa Tribune
Catch a Florida python, win a T-shirt.

They tried hiring professionals. They tried training people to compete in a big roundup. They even brought in tribesmen from India.