Editor’s Note: This post was written by Toxic-Free Future’s Science Intern Colin Hartke. Colin, along with three other interns Erik Hanley, Sara Petruska, and Jane Nguyen, worked on Toxic-Free Future’s Lead Awareness Project to identify community partners and study participants, as well as assist participants to reduce sources of lead in their homes.
A job posting from Toxic-Free Future immediately caught my attention and piqued my interest. The advertisement called for a School of Public Health graduate student at the University of Washington to collaborate on a project focused on understanding and reducing levels of lead in Puget Sound area homes. Within weeks of first seeing the posting, I found myself diving deep into the project alongside the Toxic-Free Future team. Continue reading →
The legislative session has ended and I am excited to report that the legislature passed not one, but TWO bipartisan bills to protect our water, food, firefighters, health, and environment from harmful nonstick PFAS chemicals!Continue reading →
An important new article from Sharon Lerner in The Intercept highlights the health and environmental problems of newer generation PFAS chemicals used in certain firefighting foams. It uncovers the chemical industry’s dubious claims of safety and efficacy of these foams and why PFAS-free foams could be the better choice. Continue reading →
Every day, Americans buy and consume food packaged in material that contains cancer-causing nonstick “PFAS” chemicals. Found in everything from microwave popcorn bags to muffin cups to sandwich wrappers, these nonstick chemicals don’t stay in the packaging, but get into our food. We’re exposed with every bite. Continue reading →
Extremely persistent and cancer-causing chemicals called PFAS chemicals are used in firefighting foam and gear. They are contaminating drinking water and threatening firefighter health. Continue reading →
We have the opportunity to make real change in 2018 by banning the use of toxic nonstick chemicals (PFAS chemicals) in food packaging, but we need help from health care professionals! When it comes to health issues like toxic chemicals in food, legislators listen to health care professionals– experts who are dedicated to keeping us all healthy. Continue reading →
People often ask me and my staff why we do what we do. That’s easy to answer. I strongly believe that it’s unacceptable that chemical companies can put chemicals into the world without making sure the chemicals won’t harm our health. I also know we can do something about it. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, a new report on children’s environmental health crossed my desk. The findings show that kids’ in the United States are at high risk for chronic diseases like cancer and asthma, some of which can be attributed to increasing exposures to toxic chemicals like toxic flame retardants, lead, and phthalates.
Earlier this year with your help, we convinced the State Board of Health to develop drinking water standards for the extremely persistent and toxic nonstick chemicals called “PFAS” chemicals. Now we need to tackle the sources of these chemicals to prevent future contamination of our water, food, and environment.Continue reading →
Recent reports of high levels of lead in fidget spinners are a good reminder that toxic chemicals remain in kids’ items. Fortunately in Washington state, companies that make toys and other kids’ products have to tell us what chemicals they use in their products by filing reports with the Washington State Department of Ecology. Continue reading →
We’re pleased to report that Costco has announced that it is committing to reducing harmful chemicals in the products it sells by adopting a new Chemicals Management Policy! Fewer hazardous chemicals on Costco’s shelves mean fewer hazardous chemicals in our homes, our bodies, and our environment.
Good news! The Washington State Board of Health is moving forward to establish drinking water standards for cancer-causing PFAS chemicals. This is an important step to protect the health of residents from these toxic chemicals. Thank you to everyone who raised their voice to ask for strong standards! You were heard! Continue reading →
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning consumers, especially pregnant women and young children, to avoid kids’ products, electronics, mattresses, and home furniture that contain certain toxic flame retardants, known as organohalogens. Continue reading →
I have good news! Last week the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted to start the process to ban, not just ONE, but an entire class of toxic flame retardants (organohalogens) in electronics, furniture, and kids’ products.
Drinking water should not make us sick. Yet thousands of Washingtonians’ drinking water is contaminated with toxic non-stick PFAS chemicals, and many residents have been forced to drink bottled water. Continue reading →
Mac n’ cheese is a simple dish, inexpensive, and most importantly, a kid-pleaser. It’s saved me many a lunch, and the occasional dinner, when my husband and I are too busy or exhausted to fix an elaborate meal for the family. But now I’ve learned that the powdered cheese can contain industrial toxic chemicals called phthalates that experts say could be harmful to young kids and developing fetuses. Knowing this, I’m rethinking my dinner choices until food companies clean up their act.
I just spent the weekend with my family shrimping on Puget Sound. It was fantastic! We caught lots of shrimp to eat (yum!) and saw plenty of wildlife, including orcas. It was particularly special that I was able to share this with my family visiting from Florida.
Ever wonder what taxi drivers and pregnant women have in common? Both were the subjects of fascinating research discussed at the Brominated Flame Retardant (BFR) conference in York, England last month, where I had the good fortune to be present. Disturbingly, new research is showing that increased use of a new generation of flame retardants is serious cause for concern.
Current research shows it’s more important than ever to choose foods wisely for your family to reduce exposure to pesticides, chemicals found in food processing, and industrial pollutants that end up in the food chain. Follow these tips for dishing up and eating healthy food at your table.
Costco members got some welcome news this month about its “Smart Screening” program to address toxic chemicals in some of the products the company sells. According to new updates to Costco’s website, the company is now testing products such as clothing, furniture, personal care products, cleaning products, and others for certain toxic chemicals of “regulatory and social concern,” and keeping products containing other harmful chemicals off its shelves entirely.
I learned a devastating fact this month: rates of thyroid cancer have tripled in the last 30 years and researchers have linked the increase to high levels of toxic flame retardants in house dust. Continue reading →
They are chemicals that are hard to avoid – found in everything from TVs to toys to food, and contaminate homes, offices, and dorm rooms. Scientists keep uncovering new evidence that toxic flame retardants aren’t good for our health, even as companies continue to use them. Cats, thyroid cancer, dorm rooms, and toys are just the latest examples that these chemicals threaten our health and shouldn’t be allowed in products in our homes.
Those of us lucky enough to consider ourselves residents of the Puget Sound region rely on the Sound for its exceptional beauty, for recreation of many kinds, and for our economy. But besides the human residents, the fish and wildlife that call Puget Sound home rely on it for clean water and safe food.
It’s no accident that our new tagline “Science – Advocacy – Results” puts science first. Science is the cornerstone of everything we do at Toxic-Free Future. So I am very concerned about recent attacks on science by those who want to undermine protections for our health and environment.
At Toxic-Free Future, we couldn’t do our science and advocacy work without the generous support of our donors. As we gear up for the spring fund drive, we asked donors why they give to TFF. Here’s what just a few had to say.
Are there toxic chemicals in children’s products? The simple answer is “YES.” But the truth is that for most products and chemicals, it’s impossible to know because companies can keep the ingredients a secret. Continue reading →