By Colin Hartke
Community members living in affordable housing and construction workers building affordable housing in Washington State are left vulnerable to toxic chemicals under a recently updated regulation. The Department of Commerce (DOC) has released an update to the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS). It’s the state-wide regulation that must be followed for construction and remodeling of affordable housing that gets state funding, and the updated version lacks important protections from dangerous toxics. Continue reading
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
Lead hazards are alive and well in King County, Washington, especially those due to household paint in homes built before 1978. Though a lot of progress has been made in the US bringing down blood lead levels in children through policy solutions including removal of lead from gasoline, household paint, and many consumer products, lead’s lasting impact lives on. And, lead hazards impact communities of color and low income communities in a disproportionate way.1,2,3,4 For example, a higher percentage of black children have concerning blood lead levels than white children, as do children living in lower income families vs. higher income families.3 Continue reading
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Seattle, WA – In a study released today, environmental health advocacy group Toxic-Free Future found lead in house dust, soil, and drinking water in and around Puget Sound area homes. The report Hidden Danger: Lead in Puget Sound Homes assesses key sources of children’s exposure to lead in the home environment. Continue reading
Editor’s Note: this post was written by Laurie Valeriano, the Executive Director of Toxic-Free Future, and Mike Schade, the Mind the Store campaign director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.
Yesterday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Amazon announced an important enforcement action that will keep brain-damaging lead and cancer-causing cadmium out of the hands and mouths of children. This follows an investigation that revealed consumers in Washington and across the country made at least 15,188 purchases of products with illegal levels of lead and cadmium from amazon.com.
It’s not new news that lead exposure at a young age can harm kids’ ability to learn. But what may be surprising is how many Washington and King County residents aren’t tested for lead or suffer from the harmful effects of lead. Continue reading
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
Lead can be found in paint, water, soil, dust, and other materials. Exposure to lead can cause lifelong effects in children, including brain damage and developmental delays. The good news is that we can help prevent lead poisoning with early detection of lead in homes. Continue reading
We’re excited to announce a victory for kids’ health and consumers’ peace of mind!
Last month, in response to a letter we sent them, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced it will finally begin enforcing state standards for lead, cadmium, and phthalates for certain kids’ products, including clothing, jewelry, car seats, and cosmetics. Today, the agency took action to get kids’ jewelry high in lead and cadmium off store shelves. Continue reading
Revving up for a home remodel? Build a better home while protecting your family’s health by choosing less-toxic building materials and taking extra care during construction. Follow these tips for safer remodeling from start to finish. Continue reading