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2nd Annual Toxies: Putting Toxic Chemicals on the Red Carpet and in the Limelight

By Ana Mascareñas, Policy and Communications Coordinator, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

2nd annual Toxies: Bisphenol-A While red carpet events are common in Tinsel Town, none are quite “The Toxies.” On June 16th, 2011 at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, ten “bad actor chemicals” strutted their toxic way down the red carpet at this 2nd annual event! Using humor and satire, environmental health advocates have created The Toxies to take on the serious topic of toxic chemicals. By educating the public on the hazards of specific chemicals – referred to by scientists for years as “bad actors” – The Toxies demonstrates how we can pull together as neighborhoods, workers, businesses and consumers to eliminate these bad actors from our lives.

Thousands of viewers from around the country (Canada and Australia, too!) tuned in to watch the Toxies’ live webstream. They opened up their viewing party kits which included bad actor chemicals’ headshots and biographies, played bad actor trivia Bingo, and enjoyed the awards ceremony from the comfort of their living rooms and local business with their families, friends and community members! Healthy Legacy, based in Minnesota, featured The Toxies with their own satellite event at the Intermedia Arts Center in Minneapolis and brought supporters and local talent to the scene!

The Toxies is led by Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles (PSR-LA) and Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy with groups across the country who make up the hard-working Toxies Host Committee. They provide a short and informative guide to give context to the event: “It’s time for a fundamental change in the way we make and regulate these and other chemicals. Some of these bad actors are household names and some are less familiar. What they have in common is that they affect the health of those exposed to them – whether the exposures take place in the workplace, in the home, or in the general environment – and that we can make safer products without the use of these chemicals.” Read the full guide: The Case for Retiring “Bad Actor” Chemicals — And Why We Need to Fundamentally Change the Way We Make and Regulate Chemicals (pdf).

Wondering who exactly took home Toxies this year? Look no further!

(Click through to see bad actor chemical headshots and resumes [fact sheets])

New to this year’s event was the People’s Choice Award, selected by a national online poll — Halogenated Flame Retardant took this one home! “With various forms of HFRs showing up in 80% of foam baby products, not to mention furniture and electronics, it’s no surprise people are fed up with HFR’s antics,” said Kathy Curtis, Policy Director for Clean New York, on hearing about HFR’s big award.

Read more about the bad actor chemicals and their awards at! Make sure to stop by Toxies Action Center to find out how you can help retire these bad actor chemicals, including asking your Senator to co-sponsor the SafeChemicals Act of 2011.