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Creating Healthier Communities: My Time in San Antonio and the Salud America! Summit

May 21, 2013
Photos from left to right: From rolling out bike stations to increasing the number of salad bars in schools, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro's Administration has made public health a top priority; a photo of a bike station in San Antonio -- something I have never seen anywhere else. SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- I just got back from the 4th annual Salud America! Latino health summit. Researchers, policy analysts, public health advocates and elected leaders gathered to discuss the most pressing health concerns facing the U.S. Latino community. Once under the auspice of "childhood obesity", grassroots...
Elisa Batista's picture

Glade Air Freshener: Poster Child for Toxic Secrets

May 20, 2013
Women's Voices for the Earth recently launched our Glade: Stop Keeping Toxic Secrets Campaign. Learn more here. Join us to ask Glade to stop keeping their fragrance ingredients a secret! Air freshener seems to be more and more prevalent in our society these days. One market analysis forecast that home fragrance sales would reach $6 billion by 2012. I was unable to find an exact sales number for last year, but I have no doubt that it’s a shockingly high number, given the staggering array of air freshening devices available in the supermarket aisle. Aerosols, sprays, candles, plug-ins, oils,...
Cassidy Randall's picture

Protecting kids? Moms are on the job.

May 11, 2013
I'm looking forward to Sunday morning. Breakfast in bed, flowers and chocolate — plus sweet, handmade cards from kids who often don't take the time to say thanks. What's not to like? But I also like the fact that Mother's Day was actually founded to celebrate moms taking action to protect their children and communities. And it's in that spirit that I'd like to honor all the moms working to keep kids safe from harmful pesticides — from my colleagues here in the PAN office to the thousands of supporters and partners taking action in the U.S. and around the world. You are amazing. Years ago, I...
Kristin Schafer's picture

Remember, Gina: It's about the kids.

May 8, 2013
We hear the Senate may consider confirming EPA's new leader this week. As we wait on the final vote, I've been thinking about what I'd say to Administrator-to-be Gina McCarthy if I had a chance to take her out for coffee and a chat, as she gets ready to step into her new role. Three things come to mind. First, I'd urge her to have the agency do a much, much better job following the science. Second, when that science points to human health or environmental harms, she needs to move fast — no dawdling allowed. And third, I'd remind her just exactly who she'll be working for. Because even though...
Kristin Schafer's picture

Got Kids? Skip the Pesticides. Doctors’ orders!

April 30, 2013
If your pediatrician recommends eating more fruits and vegetables, what they really mean is to eat organic fruits and vegetables. Last fall the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report on pesticides that can be summed up in just one sentence: “Children’s exposures to pesticides should be limited as much as possible.” The report, Pesticide Exposure in Children , was published by the country’s most renowned group of children’s doctors, and the Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign is in complete agreement with its no-nonsense recommendation. Choosing foods that are...
Diana Donlon's picture

Useless Baggage

April 28, 2013
They’ve hit a new low. Citing significant concerns about long lines at airports and flight delays caused by the furlough of air-traffic controllers, Congress is allowing the Federal Aviation Administration to override strict sequestration rules and re-direct funds within its budget. And they did so with lightning speed. With their big fuss over aviation punctuality, lawmakers make it clear that they're not feeling the pain felt by the majority of Americans. Their message: In the United States it’s fine to wait — and face a steep climb — for housing, health care, cancer treatment, a pre-school...
Jo Comerford's picture

Tell Retailers: No More Hazardous 100+ Chemicals!

April 25, 2013
Does this supermarket scene sound familiar? I’ve got a shopping list in my hand, an empty fridge back home, and a wailing toddler at my side whose having a full blown supermarket meltdown. I don’t have time to meander in the aisles: I have dinner to make, a toddler to soothe, and five minutes before this tantrum reaches a whole new volume. My grocery list isn’t the only list that shows up in store aisles. There’s also a list of 100 extremely toxic chemicals called the Hazardous 100+ and because of faulty legislation, they’re allowed to legally appear in consumer goods that we purchase...
Sarah Francis's picture

ADHD & autism rates up, again. Prevention anyone?

April 17, 2013
Experts at CDC recently released another round of data on how many kids in the U.S. are affected by autism and ADHD . The numbers are, once again, dramatically up. One in five boys are now diagnosed with ADHD by the time they reach high school. And one in 50 kids are on the autism spectrum, up from 1 in 88 just last spring. Interestingly, some of the news stories on these latest trends are — finally — noting the science linking pesticides and other chemicals with derailed brain development. This is exactly where the conversation needs to go. While there's still some simmering debate about...
Kristin Schafer's picture

Thanks for Helping Pass A Preliminary MD Pesticide Reporting & Information Law!

April 9, 2013
Recent editorials in the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun underscored what YOU have been telling our Maryland legislators the past few months- we need a pesticide use reporting data base! It takes a village to pass a good bill and you all are important members of our village. Thank you for your calls and e-mails - they made a difference! Despite significant opposition from the Farm Bureau, the Agribusiness Industry and the Lawn Care and Pest Control Industry, with your help and the help of so many Maryland moms, they were not able to undermine our efforts. Instead, an amended Maryland...
Ruth Berlin's picture

Healthy environment for healthy children

March 28, 2013
Recently I and other land advocates from all over the country had the pleasure and honor of meeting with congress, senators and house or representatives from around the country to discuss and lobby for land laws that would affect urban agriculture, community gardens and the usage of green open spaces. I was there representing my beloved Brooklyn, NY and was asked to share the connections I've witnessed in education between environment, access and health. The links between the three are incredibly strong and profound. My Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood has managed to find itself with many...
Ola Ronke's picture