Alaska is the only U.S. state in the Arctic, a region that has become a hemispheric sink for persistent chemicals that are carried northward on wind and ocean currents from lower latitudes. These chemicals, including legacy and current-use substances, accumulate in the bodies of fish, wildlife and people. Arctic Indigenous Peoples carry some of the highest body burdens of certain persistent pollutants of any population on earth because of their reliance on traditional diets of fish and marine mammals. Climate change is exacerbating the mobilization and dispersal of chemicals that have been sequestered in sea ice, glaciers, and permafrost. Alaska has the highest rate of birth defects in the nation, as well as high rates of diabetes and cancers.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) is advancing protective policies on organohalogen flame retardant chemicals at the municipal and statewide levels. We also work to ensure effective implementation of the Lautenberg Act at the federal level and to uphold provisions that protect vulnerable populations. ACAT is a leader in international work on the Stockholm Convention to eliminate persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that disproportionately affect Arctic communities
Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy works to serve all Californians by reducing their exposures to chemicals that can impact their health, by improving the enforcement of health-protective laws and regulations and by expanding the California economy through the growth of innovative green chemistry-based jobs and industries. In this effort we follow the Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing, the Louisville Charter, and the following Essential Building Blocks of Green Chemistry.
Clean Water Action is a one million member organization of diverse people and groups joined together to protect our environment, health, economic well-being and community quality of life. Our goals include clean, safe and affordable water; prevention of health threatening pollution; creation of environmentally safe jobs and businesses; and empowerment of people to make democracy work.
Connecticut, with the help of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut, has been a national leader in passing precedent-setting policies that reduce exposure to toxic chemicals, including cadmium in children’s jewelry, BPA in recyclable containers and infant formula containers as well as the only state to ban BPA in thermal receipt paper. The Coalition has also achieved administrative wins with the development of a formal agreement between three state agencies to identify and list chemicals of concern in children’s products and advanced green procurement with state government to incorporate restrictions on flame retardants and certain volatile organic compounds in office furniture and school furniture. Current procurement efforts include restrictions on the purchase of food service ware that contains perflourinated chemicals and plans to leverage our procurement work at the municipal level. Water contamination with perflourinated chemicals is an emerging issue.
We are active participants in national market campaigns that target the largest retailers, urging the adoption of comprehensive, transparent chemical policies. Coalition members organize days of action, on-line action alerts and social media pushes to expand the capacity of this very successful campaign.
Maine has been a national leader in protecting kids and families from toxic chemicals: Maine passed the Kid Safe Products Act in 2008, requiring the identification and substitution of dangerous chemicals in children’s products, and in 2017 passed a first-in-the-nation ban on toxic flame retardants in upholstered household furniture. Among Maine's unique challenges is the fact that over 50 percent of residents rely on wells for drinking water, meaning more Mainers are drinking untested, untreated, and unregulated water, raising the stakes for water contamination. While we have passed legislation to expand outreach and education about the importance of water testing and created a fund for access to treatment, much more needs to be done to prevent toxic chemicals from ending up in our water—as well as in our food and everyday products—in the first place.
Maryland has a strong history as a national leader on toxic chemical reform. The Maryland General Assembly was the first state legislature to ban bisphenol-A in baby bottles and infant formula containers and to restrict the toxic flame retardant decaBDE. But there’s a lot more to be done to protect Maryland families from the dangers of toxic chemicals. With chronic diseases rising and asthma rates well above the national average, we have no time to waste.
Maryland is especially important in national efforts because of its proximity to Washington D.C. One of the “hometown papers” is the Washington Post, the daily newspaper most commonly read by Washington insiders. In Maryland, we are working to keep the worst toxic chemicals off of store shelves and out of our bodies through policy change in city halls, Annapolis, Washington D.C. and corporate board rooms.
Massachusetts has historically been a leader in environmental health protection; adoption of the innovative Toxics Use Reduction Act in 1989 has helped manufacturers and businesses reduce their use and release of toxic chemicals, thereby protecting the environment and health of workers and neighbors. On the mercury front, pollution and emission efforts over the past 20 years have seen a steady drop in mercury levels in freshwater fish. Massachusetts has acted as an “incubator state” for the green chemistry movement,and State government has been a leader in requiring environmentally preferable products in state contracts. Still, health data indicate room for improvement. From 2011- 2015, Massachusetts has the third highest incidence rate in the country, just behind the adjacent states of New Hampshire and Connecticut and the District of Columbia. Pediatric health is also of concern, as 2015 data indicate that Massachusetts has asthma rates that are greater than the national average.
The Ecology Center is a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production, healthy communities, environmental justice, and a sustainable future.
Healthy Legacy promotes healthy lives by supporting the production and use of everyday products without toxic chemicals. We advocate for consumer education, business leadership, and protective policies to advance safe alternatives in Minnesota.
Women’s Voices for the Earth amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm our health and communities.
Clean and Healthy New York, Inc. (CHNY) conducts crucial research, education and advocacy in service of chemical policy and market reform. Our mission is to promote safer chemicals, a sustainable economy, and a healthier world.
We protect the health of every Oregonian and the place we call home by working for clean air and water, a healthy climate, an unpolluted landscape and sustainable food and farms.
Vermont has been a leader in enacting policies to protect its citizens from exposure to toxic chemicals. Over the past decade, the state has restricted the use of harmful flame retardants, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), lead, and mercury in children's and other consumer products. In 2014, Vermont created a program at the Department of Health which established a list of Chemicals of High Concern to Children, requires manufacturers to report to the state the specific children's products they sell in Vermont that contain those chemicals, and sets up a process to restrict harmful chemicals in children’s products. The state continues to look at policies to reduce toxic chemical exposures, while also working to hold polluters accountable and give new legal tools to help Vermonters impacted by toxic contamination, such as those harmed by PFAS-contaminated drinking water.
Toxic-Free Future advocates for the use of safer products, chemicals, and practices through advanced research, advocacy, grassroots organizing, and consumer engagement to ensure a healthier tomorrow. After 35 years, the Washington Toxics Coalition became Toxic-Free Future to better represent the organization’s hopeful vision for how the world should be for our families and environment.
For over 40 years Clean Water Action has succeeded in winning some of the nation's most important environmental protections through grassroots organizing, expert policy research and political advocacy focused on holding elected officials accountable to the public. In Rhode Island we have passed the strongest in the nation bill to ban toxic flame retardants from furniture and children's products. Now, we are fighting to ban PFAS in food packaging as well as identify and clean up PFAS water contamination in the state.
The North Carolina Conservation Network is a statewide network of nearly 100 environmental, community and environmental justice organizations focused on protecting North Carolina’s environment and public health. The NC Conservation Network supports, trains, and coordinates diverse groups and directly advocates to achieve equitable and sustainable solutions for our environment.
Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law organization dedicated to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.We stand with communities to ensure that our laws support their right to live, work and raise families in a toxic-free environment; and to safeguard their right to drink untainted water, eat safe foods, and breathe clean air. With over 120 attorney advocates, we use the legal system to fight for a just and sustainable world.
Five years ago, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and its coalition partners launched the Mind the Store campaign to challenge the nation’s largest retailers to eliminate toxic chemicals in their products and packaging. SAFER is a key partner and leader in the campaign. Over the years, the campaign has moved the nation’s biggest retailers to adopt comprehensive safer chemicals policies to phase out and ban toxic chemicals like BPA, phthalates, PFAS, and flame retardants.
Sierra Club’s Gender Equity & Environment Program understands that no matter one's gender, we all deserve access to a safe and healthy environment. Too often the burden of toxic chemicals falls most heavily on women, children and communities of color. We prioritize actions that reduce this inequity and protect those most vulnerable to harm. As the nation's largest and oldest grassroots environmental group, we organize at the local, state, and national level to strengthen environmental safeguards and protect public health.