As 2018 draws to a close, I am reflecting on the year and all that we accomplished together. The Toxic-Free Future team is also getting ready for the 2019 state legislative session and the chance to win more protections for our health and the environment.

Our biggest accomplishment in 2018 was, of course, winning not one but two groundbreaking laws protecting our food and drinking water from toxic nonstick PFAS.

This upcoming legislative session we can build on our success by championing the Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act. This legislation will reduce the use of harmful classes of chemicals in consumer products that are of particular concern to vulnerable populations like kids, pregnant women, and vulnerable species like orcas.

The recent focus on the decline of Puget Sound’s orcas and the recognition that toxic chemicals are one of the main threats to their survival is a wake-up call that our current way of regulating chemicals is failing. It is no coincidence that the same chemicals showing up in our breastmilk, food, and house dust, and harming human health, are also in stormwater, waterways, and wildlife, threatening the health of these majestic animals. It’s time to turn off the sources of these chemicals and protect our future.

When we decided to take on PFAS a few years ago, none of us ever imagined that the scope of the problem would be as big as it is today. Widespread PFAS contamination touches the entire country, including here in Washington, and is the perfect example of the injustice that can occur when chemicals are put in products without being tested for safety. The chemicals’ extensive use mean they are in our food, bodies, drinking water, and environment, and that we will be dealing with them for decades to come.

We need to prevent the use of harmful chemicals BEFORE they become the next PFAS or PCBs. The Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act provides the bold action that is needed to prevent pollution and not only help protect orcas, but future generations too.

Stay tuned for more details on the legislation and on how you can help us in the campaign. Together, I know we can win!

By Laurie Valeriano, Toxic-Free Future, and Mike Schade, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

Yesterday, our new report revealed that toxic PFAS chemicals are hiding in common takeout packaging and other food contact materials at some of the nation’s largest and most popular grocery stores. 

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Takeout food packaging from several leading U.S. grocery stores is likely treated with harmful PFAS chemicals, according to a new study released today by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future. PFAS are highly persistent and toxic chemicals whose widespread use has contaminated drinking water across the country. When used in food packaging, the chemicals can leach out of the packaging and get into the food, people, compost, and the environment. Continue reading 

Conference participants watch testing of PFAS-free firefighting foams

Toxic-Free Future’s Science Director, Erika Schreder, recently traveled to a conference in Dallas to gain more expertise on firefighting foams. She wanted to find out how well PFAS-free foams perform as we work with airports and refineries to stop the use of PFAS-containing foams. This research is critical as states and the Federal Aviation Administration consider restrictions on PFAS containing foams. Continue reading 

Seattle – Today, Governor Inslee’s Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force released its recommendations for protecting the endangered southern resident orca population, including recommendations for reducing threats posed by toxic contaminants. Toxic pollution is one of the major threats to orcas, not only affecting orca health but also the availability of their favored food source, Chinook salmon.  Continue reading 

Shopping at a store shouldn’t involve guesswork about whether a TV contains toxic flame retardants or a shampoo is made with hormone-disrupting chemicals. But the reality is that consumers are hard-put to make healthy decisions for their families because there are few restrictions on the toxic chemicals used in consumer products. Continue reading 

A company as big as Amazon has tremendous power to change the marketplace with any move it makes. So its silence on reducing toxic chemicals in its products has been troubling. But that changed recently with a new announcement that the company has adopted a new chemicals policy to reduce harmful chemicals in some of its products and provide consumers with better information on chemical ingredients.  Continue reading 

Fireman uses PFAS-containing firefighting foam.

(Seattle, WA) – Today Congress directed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow airports to use firefighting foam free of highly fluorinated chemicals or PFAS. PFAS-containing firefighting foam is responsible for the contamination of drinking water of millions of Americans across the country, including in the Washington state communities of Issaquah, Whidbey Island, and Airway Heights. Continue reading 

We have an exciting few months ahead of us at Toxic-Free Future. There are a number of campaigns around the corner, including protecting our kids and Puget Sound from toxic chemicals in consumer products, and calling on chemical makers to clean up communities polluted with nonstick PFAS chemicals. But to achieve these goals, we need YOUR help. Continue reading