Our work is helping create a toxic-free future.
Tackling toxic chemicals involves complex science and systems. Our scientists bring the science of environmental health issues to the forefront to help policymakers, health advocates, and non-scientists make an impact.
We strive to make complicated issues easy to understand for everyone. Making the science come alive for people provides them with the information they need to protect their families, and is critical to move them to act.
Our original research fills in the gaps of scientific understanding behind the problem. Our experts sift through existing research to provide policymakers with the best possible information so they can make the best decisions to protect public health. For example, TFF’s peer-reviewed study, Something’s in the Air, helped convince policymakers to pass a ban on a new generation of toxic flame retardants. The study showed that our exposure to these chemicals through the air we breathe is more significant than previously thought.
Our research solves real world problems. In 2014 we worked collaboratively with Seattle Gymnastics Academy (SGA) to test for toxic flame retardants in SGA air and dust that originated in the facilities’ large amount of foam equipment. The results prompted the owner of SGA to switch out all uncovered foam in all SGA facilities to foam free of toxic flame retardants.
TFF lobbies lawmakers, organizes communities, and meets with corporate decision makers to win stronger protections from toxic chemicals at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as in the marketplace. Working with partner organizations, this strategic, smart, sophisticated approach has been successful in achieving first-in-the-nation policies on toxic chemicals.
Toxic-Free Future empowers over 300,000 people a year to get involved in the fight for a healthier tomorrow. By making it easy to speak with legislators, understand how toxic chemicals affect our lives, and demand safer products, we inspire and engage thousands of people to spread the message that we need stronger policies to ensure our children will inherit a planet that will be healthier tomorrow than it is today.
Read about the key issues we are working on.
For the past 35 years, we have been making a difference in the lives of families in Washington state and beyond. The unique combination of science and multi-faceted advocacy campaigns has established TFF as a state and national leader in protecting public health and environment from harmful chemicals.
The impact of our work in Washington state ripples across the country and influences both state and federal laws. Below are a few of our most recent victories that have contributed to a safer, healthier environment for all. Our work is far from done, but we are proud of our results.
Protecting communities from toxic drinking water and firefighters from toxic exposures. Working with firefighters, Toxic-Free Future won passage of a first-in-the-nation ban on toxic PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam. Cancer-causing PFAS chemicals from firefighting foam contaminate drinking water of thousands of Washington residents and threaten firefighter health. This ban is a big win for families and firefighters, and it provides a model and the momentum for other states to pass their own protections.
Making food safer for kids and families. Toxic-Free Future advocated for and won passage of a groundbreaking law to keep toxic nonstick chemicals (PFASs) out of paper food packaging. Keeping these highly persistent chemicals away from our food, compost, and landfills protects our health and environment.
Safeguarding kids from toxic flame retardants in childcares. Toxic-Free Future’s latest peer-reviewed study shows that it’s possible to significantly reduce kids’ exposures to toxic flame retardants in childcares by getting rid of one product that contains flame retardants – foam nap mats. This groundbreaking study provides critical evidence for policymakers to ensure all childcares have access to flame retardant-free nap mats and to ban the use of toxic flame retardants in consumer products like electronics.
We helped expand Washington state’s groundbreaking chemical reporting law for children’s products so that consumers and policymakers have better information on chemicals in toys and other products for kids. We also convinced Washington state to move forward with drinking water standards for toxic nonstick chemicals. Our advocacy and organizing helped convince Costco to adopt a chemical policy and to evaluate the chemicals in the products it sells and consider restrictions on their use. And our latest study uncovered high levels of toxic flame retardants in TVs, and helped convince the nation’s top consumer watchdog agency, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, to ban certain flame retardants in TVs and other consumer products. You can read more about our victories in 2017 here.
We successfully championed the Toxic-Free Kids and Families Act, a ban on new generation toxic flame retardants. The new Washington state law phases out five toxic flame retardants —TDCPP, TCEP, HBCD, TBBPA, and deca-BDE—in furniture and children’s products. It also creates a process for the state to take additional action on six more flame retardants.
In 2014 we worked collaboratively with Seattle Gymnastics Academy (SGA) to test for toxic flame retardants in SGA air and dust that originated in the facilities’ large amount of foam equipment. The results prompted the owner of SGA to switch out all uncovered foam in all SGA facilities to foam free of toxic flame retardants.
Manufacturers of children’s products began reporting the presence of toxic chemicals in their products in Washington state thanks to the passage of the Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008. This disclosure has given consumers and policymakers critical information about chemicals used in products for children. It has also driven many companies to adopt Washington’s reporting list in their chemical policies, including Apple, Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, Triboro Quilt Co, and PVH Corporation (brands include Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, IZOD, ARROW, Speedo).
We advocated for and won a ban on the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA). Now baby bottles, children’s food and beverage containers and sports bottles are free of this dangerous industrial compound.
We helped establish the strongest standards in the nation for lead, cadmium, and phthalates in kids’ products through passage of the Children’s Safe Products Act. This law also put in place strong new requirements for makers of children’s products to disclose harmful chemicals in their products that range from pacifiers and toys to cribs, car seats and shampoos. Passage of that law led Congress to adopt national standards.
Standing up to the chemical industry lobbying efforts, we played a pivotal role in banning PBDE toxic flame retardants in televisions, mattresses, and home furniture, including the first-ever ban on deca-BDE.
We helped establish the nation’s first program to phase out some of the worst toxic chemicals called persistent toxic chemicals (PBTs). As a result of that program, we advanced legislation to phase out mercury in 2003 and led to state action plans on lead, PCBs, and PBDE flame retardants.