CONTACT:  Laurie Valeriano, lvaleriano@toxicfreefuture.org; 206-200-2824 (cell) or Erika Schreder, eschreder@toxicfreefuture.org; 206-595-6062 (cell)

(Olympia, WA) — The Washington state Department of Ecology (Ecology) has announced products and chemicals it is targeting under the state’s precedent-setting law, the Safer Products for Washington Act. The Act—the nation’s strongest—directs Ecology to regulate harmful chemicals in a wide range of products, from plastics to personal care products.

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CONTACT: Liz Hitchcock, 202-277-5678, lizhitchcock@saferchemicals.org, or 
Laurie Valeriano, 206-200-2824, lvaleriano@toxicfreefuture.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with measures that begin to take action on the PFAS contamination crisis. This action by the House follows the Senate’s vote on its version of the NDAA that also included provisions to address PFAS pollution. Both bills included important provisions to phase out the military’s use of firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals, which has led to contamination of water supplies for millions of Americans. Continue reading 

UPDATE: Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed versions of the military spending bill including provisions to phase out PFAS-containing firefighting foam, but with different timelines. The bill now heads to a conference committee. 

The use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam is a major source of drinking water contamination, with PFAS chemicals contaminating the water of at least 1 in 20 Americans. A large amount of this contamination comes from military bases across the country.

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Compost is a sustainable resource, it keeps waste from going into landfills, and it is nutrient dense, meaning it’s great for growing food and reduces dependence on potentially toxic inputs like fertilizers. But a new study finds that the safety of commercial composts that accept takeout containers is threatened by the presence of toxic PFAS chemicals.

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The dangerous class of nonstick chemicals called “PFAS” contaminates drinking water, communities, and people across the United States. One of the culprits: PFAS put into firefighting foams used at airports as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA requirement means that these foams remain a big concern when it comes to PFAS pollution, unnecessarily exposing communities and firefighters to the dangerous chemicals.

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As consumers increasingly demand less toxic products and laws require the use of safer chemicals, retailers are requiring suppliers to stop using harmful chemicals in consumer products.

Chemicals included in these voluntary phaseouts include four classes of chemicals that have emerged as a particular concern for the health of both humans and wildlife: PFAS, toxic flame retardants, phthalates, and APEs.

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Harmful toxic chemicals added to consumer products, like TVs or carpeting, can escape the product and contaminate our homes, food, breastmilk, and bodies. The same toxic chemicals, including toxic flame retardants, phthalates, and nonstick PFAS, are making their way into the environment and affecting the health of orcas, their young, and their food sources too. Continue reading