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Moving to Safety First, for Our Children's Health

March 5, 2013
[Crossposted from the Huffington Post ] When is a flame retardant not a flame retardant? When it is no more effective in retarding flames than, well, nothing. Since fire safety experts and government studies say that chemical flame retardants as they are used in many products are not effective, maybe we should stop calling them flame retardants. Recently nonprofits from seven states announced that nap mats used in daycares nationwide contain harmful flame retardant chemicals, including a flame retardant that has been linked to cancer and others linked to hormone disruption and other serious...
Charles Margulis's picture

The Forward on Climate Rally – a Mother’s Reflection

March 1, 2013
This past President’ Day my oldest child turned 18 and instead of celebrating his young adulthood with him, I was across the country standing on the National Mall with more than 40,000 strangers. While I may sound like an uncaring mom, the opposite is true. I’d gone to Washington DC precisely because I care so much about the world our children will inherit. This sea of people was at the Capitol asking the President to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and address climate change without further delay. Participating in this rally led me to reflect on the freedoms of speech and assembly that I...
Diana Donlon's picture

Is Your Favorite Company Holding Out on You?

February 28, 2013
Same product. Two different labels. An appalling double standard when it comes to our health.
Cassidy Randall's picture

Green Tech Boom in South, Latino Communities

February 28, 2013
Knoxville, Tennessee...McAllen, Texas...Little Rock, Arkansas...Albuquerque, New Mexico...Los Angeles, California. Besides L.A., many of these southern U.S. cities wouldn’t normally be considered the center of a green tech revolution. Yet, they are, and are also employing large numbers of Latinos and other workers disproportionately affected by the recession, according to a recent report by National Council of La Raza. "In the metropolitan areas that we studied there is significant overlap between Latino jobs and green jobs," said the study’s author and NCLR senior policy analyst Catherine...
Elisa Batista's picture

Sequestration Affects Kids and Moms

February 27, 2013
By now you've heard that federal budget cuts will take effect on Friday. And you've heard the strange-sounding name for these cuts: sequestration. Sequestration means across-the-board spending cuts, and this sequester was written into law in August 2011 as a kind of terrible incentive for lawmakers to pass a long-term deficit reduction plan. No one thought the cuts would actually take effect, but now – it is near certain – they will, and the fallout will reach all of us. For instance. Fewer law enforcement officials in your neighborhood, reduced efforts to keep drinking water safe, longer...
Mattea Kramer's picture

Why Use a Bludgeon When a Calculator Will Do?

February 27, 2013
Sequestration is both an ugly word and hard to explain. As a budget wonk, I like to use this metaphor: It’s as if the American people are being squeezed into the back of a dilapidated Chevy pick-up. Careening down a dirt road, we’re headed for a brick wall. Try as we might to wake up from this nightmare we cannot stop the truck. That sounds frightening, and it is. Once sequestration kicks in, we’ll feel the impact of approximately $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts focused almost exclusively on discretionary spending. Designed as the ultimate penalty — a bludgeon...
Jo Comerford's picture

Kids are at risk. What's the hold up?

February 22, 2013
Something's rotten in Denmark. Well, in DC actually. That's where the decision's been made — again and again and again — to keep a nasty insecticide called chlorpyrifos on the market. The result? A generation of kids is sicker and less smart. I'm truly not being melodramatic, though I admit the story of chlorpyrifos does make me hopping mad. I'm particularly riled at the moment because EPA is taking another look at this pesticide, and is once again overlooking known dangers to children's health and developing minds. What's up with that? More than a decade ago, products containing chlorpyrifos...
Kristin Schafer's picture

The perfect goodbye gift for a super hero mom

February 20, 2013
On February 1 4, Lisa P. Jackson stepped down from her post as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She will go down in history as the first African-American leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, but we will also remember her as a mom. With her own experience of spending nights in the emergency room with an asthmatic child, she understands from the bottom of her heart the importance of clean air for kids. As EPA administrator, she did for families across the country what we couldn't for ourselves: Lisa Jackson made the air we all breathe a little cleaner. Moms...
Gloria Pan's picture

Sensitive to Fragrance? You're Not the Only One

February 20, 2013
A new report from Women's Voices for the Earth, Secret Scents: How Hidden Fragrance Allergens Harm Public Health , finds that millions of people are affected by skin allergies caused by chemicals in fragrance. In fact, allergic reactions to fragrance chemicals are common, and have increased significantly among children in the past few decades. Women are also more impacted by fragrance allergy; women are exposed to more perfumed personal care products and cleaners, and are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from fragrance allergies than men. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible for consumers to...
Cassidy Randall's picture

Passing Pesticide Reporting in Maryland – Is the Fourth Time the Charm?

February 14, 2013
The Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition recently commissioned a poll to learn what Maryland voters’ attitudes towards pesticides are. Guess what? It found that a whopping eight out of 10 voters said they are concerned about the risk of pesticides to their families’ health. (I want to meet the two out of 10 who are not concerned!) When informed about the links to chronic illnesses and environmental problems, that number rose to 92 percent.
Ruth Berlin's picture