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!