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Pesticide Progress: 2014 Maryland General Assembly Bill Forges the Path

February 20, 2014
As you may remember, Smart on Pesticides Maryland has been trying very hard to advocate for pesticide reporting in Maryland and we’ve made some great progress. Recently, a state legislative workgroup determined that there are data gaps in pesticide use – particularly related to where, when and the amount of specific pesticides being used – and suggested that legislation be enacted to help collect that information. As a result of the workgroup’s diligence, there is now a bill on the table in both the House (HB621) and Senate (SB 700) in the 2014 Maryland General Assembly. HB 621 / SB 700 would...
Ruth Berlin's picture

8 Ways to Raise a Toxin Free Baby

February 14, 2014
What's more important than keeping baby safe? Not much! Last week during our #EcoTipTue Tweet Chat we discussed how to have a toxin free baby with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families; Earth Mama Angel Baby, and many great participants. Here are some of the resources that were shared and discussed 1. Avoid antibacterial soap made with triclosan ), which has been linked to fertility problems and learning disabilities, according to our friends at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Other concerns about these soaps is that they can lead to antibiotic resistance and lower immune system functioning...
Katy Farber's picture

The water will make you sick

February 5, 2014
I’m from West Virginia, and the recent chemical spill breaks my heart, makes me very angry, and makes me scared for my friends and family. Imagine not being able to give your children a glass of water to drink. Imagine not being able to cook for them, or having to tell them that they can't bathe or brush their teeth because the water will make them sick. Imagine being pregnant and told that the water could be harmful to your pregnancy. It's terrifying. That’s what happened to tens of thousands of moms in West Virginia, including many of my friends, because 10,000 US gallons of 4-...
Ruth Martin's picture

4 Lessons From the West Virginia Chemical Spill (and #EcoTipTue)

February 3, 2014
300,000 people without access to water? Tanks that stored chemicals without regulation just upstream from a water treatment facility? Chemicals pouring into the Elk River, with confusing advisories and virtually no safety information on the specific effects of the chemicals? We ask ourselves how this happened-- and the answers are very clear. By not acting to protect one of our most important natural resources: fresh, clean water. We are disturbed by the photos shared online of discolored water and worry about the health impacts on families. We can't let this happen again, anywhere. We must...
Katy Farber's picture

A Step Closer to Pesticides Reporting in 2014

January 29, 2014
What do Maryland’s kids, our declining honeybees and fish have in common – and especially during this Maryland 2014 legislative session? Pesticides! High rates of childhood cancer, autism, ADHD and asthma in Maryland and elsewhere have been linked to pesticide exposures. Pesticides are also implicated in intersex fish found in Maryland’s waterways; the “canaries in the coalmine,” according to USGS scientist Dr. Vicki Blazer. Pesticides are also linked to the startling decline in honeybees, frogs and butterflies. Just this past year Maryland beekeepers lost more than half of their beehives...
Ruth Berlin's picture

7 Facts about Climate Change from #EcoTipTue

January 25, 2014
I love hosting the MomsRising weekly tweet chat called #EcoTipTue. Truly. It is an honor to learn and tweet with people who know what they are talking about and are passionate about improving our world. So I was delighted to have National Geographic Science blogger Greg Laden on our weekly show. He is a bioantropoligist, author and blogger who writes regularly about climate change. Here are some interesting facts about climate change that were shared during the chat. 1. Most climatologists agree that extreme weather is linked to anthropomorphic climate change . Greg shared these tweets about...
Katy Farber's picture

Let's Work for Toxic-Free Kids

January 15, 2014
I can remember vividly the day that I first realized there are toxic chemicals in cosmetic products. I was in shock and quite frankly quite pissed off. It was (and still is) crazy to me that there is very little regulation of the chemicals used in products we use on our skin & hair, let alone the products we give our children (like toys, bubble bath, play furniture and the like). Now that I'm helping with the newly branded CT Campaign for Toxic-Free Kids and am doing a bit of their social media, every time I post a link on our Facebook page about a new study that shows yet again that...
Michelle Noehren's picture

10 Ways to be Healthy, Green and Toxin-Free in 2014

January 11, 2014
How can you make 2014 your family's healthiest yet? That was the topic of this week's MomsRising tweet chat. The guests and participants in #EcoTipTue had lots to share about making 2014 healthy, green and toxin free. It's each week at 9pm ET, and we'd love to have you join us. We discuss all things health, environment, toxics, and climate related. Here are 10 ideas for a healthy, happy new year. Please add yours in the comments. 1. Our special guest Leah Segedie shared several ways to start 2014 off right! "Make 2014 healthier for ur family by shopping organic, BPA free, and buy natural...
Katy Farber's picture

Is the Polar Vortex Another Glimpse of Our Future?

January 9, 2014
Already in these first days of 2014, my spirits are dampened by the vision of a frightening climate future coming at us at warp speed. Like in a science fiction story, Arctic winds have been swooping in from the far north, grabbing regions as far south as the bayous of Louisiana in an icicle grip, and plunging thermometers across the country far into the freezing zone. The phenomenon even has a sinister name, like what you might hear in a sci-fi movie: “ POLAR VORTEX .” In some places, wind chills have dipped to 10… 20… 30… even 6o° F below, just like average temperatures on Mars . This kind...
Gloria Pan's picture

On Pesticides, Soap and Common Sense

January 9, 2014
Scan the ingredient list of many "antibacterial" soaps and body washes, and you'll find triclosan. This pesticide — yes, I said pesticide — is so widely used that it's now found in most of our bodies. And after decades of thinking about it, FDA is finally saying "enough." It turns out some significant risks are linked to triclosan, including altering how hormones work in our bodies, undermining our immune systems and making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Oh, and according to FDA experts, it doesn't seem to get hands or bodies any cleaner than good old soap and water. Two things bubble up...
Kristin Schafer's picture