Little kid in a raincoat and boots walking outside

It’s crystal clear now that PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) are bad-actor chemicals that need to be eliminated. But with federal action slow and inadequate, it’s up to states like Washington to step out and show how we can turn off the tap, stopping PFAS at the source and cleaning up contamination. The Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) current draft chemical action plan (CAP) to address PFAS falls short by taking too long to take action on important PFAS sources and it is not comprehensive enough to end the PFAS contamination crisis. But we have a chance to improve it now with strong public support.

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Firefighters spraying water on a fire

With fires raging all along the west coast this season, the importance of firefighters’ work has never been more clear. But beyond the obvious dangers are the toxic hazards they face at work. For many, one of their greatest concerns is the chemical exposures they get on the job and the potential for those exposures to lead to cancer. Cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters, and they have higher rates of cancer than the general population. 

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In 2017, Toxic-Free Future and a coalition of partners petitioned the state Board of Health to create a drinking water standard for PFAS. The standard would provide much-needed public health protections and accountability for chemical companies that have been contaminating Washingtonians’ water and leaving communities on the hook for the costly clean-up.

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The following letters were sent to the Senate Commerce Committee’s Chairman Roger Wicker and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell, opposing the nomination of Nancy Beck to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The Washington Department of Ecology has recently taken bold new steps to regulate toxic chemicals in products. The action comes as the agency implements its groundbreaking Safer Products for Washington law, adopted in 2019 to protect the health of the most vulnerable, including pregnant women, children, highly impacted communities, and marine life including salmon and orcas. The law directs Ecology to identify priority products that are a significant source of or use of PFAS, toxic flame retardants, industrial phenolic compounds, phthalates, and PCBs.  

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In Seattle, we are proud to be the home of Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day and current President and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation. Denis recognized decades ago how critically important it is to end the unnecessary use of dangerous chemicals that contribute to chronic disease. Now more than ever, this must be a public health priority because people with chronic diseases are at increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

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