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.

The report confirms one of the reasons my staff and I do this work – to improve the health of kids, families, and our communities by reducing the devastating health impacts of toxic chemicals.

As a mother and an advocate, I am acutely aware of the impact toxic chemicals can have on children’s health. So do my kids, even if they get annoyed with me as teenagers do with their parents, when I tell them not to use certain products. I think all three of them knew how to pronounce the chemicals “phthalates” and “bisphenol A” before they reached the age of 5!

Of course my kids would learn this information growing up in my house. I’m an expert. But not everyone is. But not being an expert shouldn’t mean families get exposed to toxic chemicals. And, even as an expert, companies don’t tell us what is in their products so it’s impossible to know. Like many of you, I don’t always have the time to look for or can afford the safer alternative. This is what is so appalling. We ALL have a right to be safe, and to have laws in place that protect our families and environment from harmful chemicals.

At Toxic-Free Future, we’re gearing up for the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January. Our number one priority is tackling extremely persistent toxic nonstick chemicals in food packaging. These “PFAS chemicals” are used in everything from convenience food wrappers to microwave popcorn. The chemicals don’t stay in the packages, but get into the food, increasing in concentration when the packaging is heated.

We will also be supporting legislative action to address PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam, which is the most likely source of the chemicals in drinking water for thousands of residents in Washington.

Finally, we will continue our efforts to require electronic manufacturers to come clean on the chemicals they use in their products because we have a right to know the chemicals in the products our kids use every day.

Of course, we can’t win these priorities without support from you! Stay tuned for how you can help us win these campaigns and put us all one step closer to a toxic-free future.

Laurie Valeriano
Executive Director

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