By Jen Dickman, Senior Program Associate at Safer Chemicals Healthy Families

Seattle is known for innovation, big ideas, and bold solutions. The use of harmful chemicals in products that cause pollution of our homes, communities, drinking water, and wildlife is one problem some Seattle-area retailers are tackling head on, while others are lagging behind. Continue reading 

Dr. Shanna Swan

Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, by Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., peels back the curtain on a hidden danger all around us: toxic chemicals that are wreaking havoc on our reproductive health. Continue reading 

A family sits on their couch eating pizza

The Department of Ecology (Ecology) recently took a first step in implementing the state’s PFAS ban in food packaging by issuing an alternatives assessment that identifies safer alternatives for some important applications, including wraps and liners, plates, food boats, and pizza boxes. Because of this assessment, a statewide ban on PFAS in these four food packaging categories will now go into effect in early 2023. Continue reading 

Gabe Andres came to Toxic-Free Future in the fall of 2019 as a placement for the Field Studies class he was completing at the University of Washington Bothell. We recruited Gabe to help pull together the information we obtained from participants in our breastmilk study. He did the initial work so fast that he was able to really dig in and help us with the data analysis on the project, all while learning a new statistical program from scratch! Gabe continued with us in independent study and as a volunteer long after his initial placement was over, and we are so grateful for all of his hard work.

Gabe graduated in June 2020 and recently sent us this update:

“As a Clinical Research Assistant, I work alongside research coordinators, doctors, regulatory bodies, and research sponsors in recruiting and conducting cancer research at Virginia Mason. In research, the list of responsibilities are non-exhaustive but include taking vitals, pharmacokinetics, bio-banking, consenting patients, and checking in with patients along their treatment journey and beyond. Becoming a Clinical Research Assistant not only exposes me to the intricacies of research, but it provides me more opportunities to make a positive impact on cancer patients and solutions in the future.”

By Colin Hartke

Update: Read the comments that Toxic-Free Future, Healthy Building Network, and Natural Resources Defense Council submitted to the Department of Commerce Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard Team.

From
PFAS to toxic flame retardants, dangerous chemicals harmful to health are in the materials used to build housing, including affordable housing. These chemicals don’t stay put in flooring, insulation, and other materials; they get into indoor air and dust. This means that families and communities are exposed to toxic chemicals even at home. Continue reading 

Update on Washington State’s Chemical Action Plan on PFAS

Last December Toxic-Free Future called for action, asking you to join us in submitting comments advocating for a stronger, swifter chemical action plan (CAP) on PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoralkyl substances) from Washington State’s Department of Ecology (Ecology). Along with our allies, we also just submitted comments directly to the Department of Ecology this month on their draft CAP, which can be found here. Continue reading 

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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