Liz ZimmerlyEditor’s Note: This post was written by Liz Zimmerly, Seattle mom and participant in our recent study on toxic flame retardants, Something’s In The Air

Breathing. It’s something we do on average between 17,000 and 23,000 times a day. I used to not even think about breathing. But I’ve been thinking about this life necessity a lot lately now I know each breath I take is contaminated with toxic flame retardants from foam items in my home. Continue reading 

Just as many parents have long mused, Swedish researchers have confirmed that the sludge toddlers expel into their diapers IS, in fact, full of toxic waste.

We wish this was something from “The Onion”, but unfortunately it is real science, which should cause parents and lawmakers real concerns. Continue reading 

by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families Deputy Director, Lindsey Dahl

It feels good to be a part of something big. And that is exactly what happened yesterday as people like you and I visited Walgreens stores asking them to get serious about toxic chemicals. Yesterday in partnership with our members, we organized nearly 50 events all across the country.

As you may remember, Walgreens has become one of the “laggards” in our Mind the Store campaign. A year ago we asked the nation’s ten largest retailers to create and action plan on the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals. We’ve sent them letter from public health groups, over 60,000 grassroots emails, called and emailed them directly.

Some of the retailers have taken first steps to reduce and eliminate hazardous chemicals including Target and Walmart. Some are working with us on crafting a plan of action on the Hazardous 100+. And a few other retailers, like Walgreens, have felt they don’t need to respond.

In response we organized friendly events all across the country to let the nation’s largest drugstore that we want their leadership on toxic chemicals!

Highlights from our Walgreens Day of Action:

  • 49 events took place in cities all across the country.
  • Participants returned products that were recently tested by Healthy Stuff to have toxic chemicals.
  • The meetings with store managers were friendly and they were receptive to our message.
  • The participants asked the store managers to report their meeting to the corporate sustainability team in the hopes that they’ll sit down and talk with us about how to eliminate and reduce the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals.
  • Actor and producer Jennifer Beals tweeted about the day, activating thousands to take action – Thank You!
  • Our friends at Moms Rising delivered over 8,000 signatures to the corporate headquarters asking Walgreens to Mind the Store for safer chemicals.
  • Events varied in size, some were led by bloggers and others by large groups of concerned citizens.
  • Thousands of people signed our petition to Walgreens (you can too!).

In the memory of John Roberts, a pioneer in this field

Vacuuming is not just for keeping up appearances!  It’s actually an easy way to reduce unnecessary chemical exposure and common allergens in your home. Household dust contains many ingredients – some you’d expect, like pet dander, tracked-in soil, and dust mites. However, industrial chemicals like flame retardants, pesticides and heavy metals are also lurking in dust bunnies. The most efficient way to reduce these contaminants is with a well-maintained HEPA filter vacuum.  A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter makes sure the tiniest particles get caught and don’t flow out of the vacuum’s exhaust system back into your indoor air. Continue reading 

Finally the sun is shining in our Pacific Northwest, tempting us outside to soak in its warmth.  Before running outdoors you apply a little sunscreen with a high SPF to protect from sunburn and skin cancer.  You’re good to go, right?  Read on . . . Continue reading 

To paraphrase a popular song, mold is in the air. It is a living organism, requiring food and water and releasing thousands of tiny mold spores into the air to reproduce. All good and part of the natural order of life until those microscopic spores enter our homes and grow indoors. Continue reading 

New parents get advice on all sorts of topics, including cleaning: Use disinfecting wipes on every surface your baby touches and she’ll never get sick! Your kid’s hands aren’t washed clean until the soap smell proves it! In the media and at the store we’re deluged with messages on the best way for busy moms and dads to clean homes so that our kids are safe and healthy. Continue reading 

Editors note: This post was written by Michelle Gaither, Environmental Engineer at the Pollution Prevention Resource Center. Michelle is a West Seattle mom, and an ardent environmentalist who works to learn about, implement, and educate others on ways to reduce chemical exposures at homes and school(s).

This past school year, while my kids were learning, several parents and teachers also learned a lesson about healthy classrooms and clean air.  At my kid’s elementary school, many teachers endeavor to save paper and efficiently teach a lesson via personal white board/slates and dry-erase markers. So, daily, in up to 15 classrooms, 24 or more students each open up a dry-erase marker, for 10 to 30 minutes, to complete a lesson on their own slate. Continue reading