You make your shopping list. Maybe you’re expecting a new baby, so you’ll need a carseat for sure. Kids grow fast and you need clothes and footwear. And rather than serve meals on boring grown-up plates, what could me more fun than tableware made just for kids with their favorite characters on them? And every child should have a lovey – a soft toy they can sleep with and carry everywhere. Oh – and don’t forget all of the toy cars and dolls kids can’t seem to do without. Continue reading 

When Hazel Salazar moved to Seattle from El Salvador to join her husband 20 years ago cleaning houses was the only job she could get. Her first client handed Salazar a bucket and a jug of pine-scented cleaner. Within hours the skin on Salazar’s hands had blistered. Over the course of the next three days it peeled away in sheets.

Welcome to mainstream American cleaning products. Continue reading 

Choosing a Pest Management Professional

When autumn cools the nights, bugs and critters seek warmth inside. Using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pests without exposure to harmful chemicals is an effective approach that is healthier for your children, pets and the environment too. Continue reading 

Introducing our new column, the Household Environmentalist, by former Seattle Times columnist, Susan McGrath. McGrath has contributed her insights on science, natural history, and the environment to our work over the years and we are thrilled to have her back on the Washington Toxics Coalition team.

You’re surrounded by people with runny noses. Every time you open or close the car door you’re picking up a sinister film of toxic road dust. And you’ve been petting the dog, who has just been, well, never mind. Time to attend to your hands. What do you reach for? Continue reading 

Seattle, WA – Over 5000 children’s products contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and reproductive problems according to reports filed with the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology).  An analysis of the reports by the Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States found that makers of kids’ products reported using a total of 41 chemicals identified by Ecology as a concern for children’s health, including toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury, and antimony, and organic compounds such as phthalates.  Major manufacturers who reported using the chemicals in their products include Walmart, Gap, Gymboree, Hallmark, and H & M. Continue reading 

After 40 years of absence, bed bugs are biting again across the country, with infestations so bad the NY Times refers to them as “The Bug That Ate New York!” Scientists are unsure of the cause of this resurgence, but they do know the best way of getting rid of a bed bug infestation is to catch it early or stop it before it happens.  This doesn’t mean pouring pesticides all over your house—which the bugs may be resistant to anyway— but taking preventive measures and learning to recognize the signs of bed bugs so you can stop them in their tracks. Continue reading 

The following blog post was written by Rachel Koller, a long-time WTC TFF volunteer, on her experiences while shopping for a new mattress for her daughter.  

When my daughter turned 3 we knew it was time to get her into a twin bed.  This was a challenge not because we worried about her wandering around in the middle of the night without the confines of a crib, but because it involved buying a new mattress, and we are picky consumers.  We have “lofty” goals when buying furniture: avoid chemical flame retardants, and protect indoor air quality.  We also believe that a mattress should be comfortable, durable, and affordable.  Would this be too much to ask? Continue reading 

All those products we use to make our clothes clean might take care of the dirt and grease, but they can leave nasty chemicals behind!  Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get your laundry squeaky clean without the toxic chemicals. Continue reading