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How BP avatars show up in your life (Part 2)

August 6, 2010
Part 2 Privatizing profits and socializing costs. Businesses are adept at passing along the true costs of their pollution onto the rest of us. Parents and the health care system pick up a tab of $54.9 billion a year for four childhood disorders: lead poisoning, cancer, asthma, learning and behavioral disorders. Special ed (half the most-used chemicals harm the immature brain and nervous system) costs us $77.3 every year. Care for premature babies, another casualty of toxic harm, adds anther $26 billion to the annual national budget. The $20 billion that BP, under pressure from the White House...

How BP avatars show up in your life (Part 1)

August 6, 2010
Part 1 The BP Gulf oil catastrophe is not the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, contrary to news headlines. The hugeness of the blow-out captures our attention, but the worst pollution actually takes place here in our ordinary lives, in hardly noticed events that add up day after day. Of course BP gets a lot of credit for making that daily pollution possible. It is the nature of BP’s business, which relies on polluting manufacturing and toxic chemicals, two of the four sources responsible for the toxic assault in our daily lives (the other two sources are heavy metals and nuclear...

The Climb Against Coal

July 22, 2010
We were moms on a mission. We woke up at midnight Saturday morning to attempt the 14,411 ft summit of Mount Rainier. We had a message for Governor Gregoire: close Washington’s largest toxic polluter and point source of deadly carbon — the TransAlta coal-fired power plant in Centralia.
Genevieve Raymond's picture

Toxic Personal Care Products Beware: Here comes The Story of Cosmetics, and the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

July 21, 2010
The launch of the Story of Cosmetics, and a chance for real regulatory action- what a day! Sometimes everything just comes together, you know? The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has been around since 2004, but it is safe to say that today is the most exciting day our coalition has known. Today the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is launching The Story of Cosmetics, a 7-minute film we created with our friends at Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff Project and Free Range Studios. The new video is hard-hitting, honest and fun: It explains the problems with our current system, which allows toxic...

Kvetching About Sick Children

July 21, 2010
Why do we write about, talk about, meet about and in general complain about children’s chronic illnesses in the U.S. when statistics show that, year by year, we Americans are living to an ever riper old age? That’s a favorite gotcha question, intended to squash or at least minimize the impact of the damage we describe, usually employed by defenders of the right to pollute. Sometimes, though, it can be an honest question posed by someone really wanting to learn. So it’s worth thinking about. Mostly, the steady increase in age expectancy results from modern hygiene that prevents the terrible...

Scandal, Intrigue, and a Scheming Baby Bottle

July 16, 2010
The beaches are crowded. The fireworks have come and gone. And everywhere I go, the smell of grills, chlorine, and perpetual sunscreen follows me. It’s summer time; Sweltering, smack-in-the-middle of the season summer time. The summer holidays aren’t the only things to have come and gone. Summer movie season has more or less wrapped up, with all of the explosive popcorn flicks and wildly anticipated sequels rapidly aging out of a year’s worth of promotional hype. And with most of this years summer fare clocking in around the two hour plus mark, it might surprise you that my favorite summer...
Claire Moshenberg's picture

This sucks: Breast pumping at work

July 14, 2010
Many of our employers and coworkers remain woefully ignorant about breastfeeding; without realizing it, they put us in situations that can be thoroughly humiliating.
Katrina Alcorn's picture

Toxic Chemicals Lobby - Exclusive Leaked Footage!

July 9, 2010
The secret is out: the toxic chemicals industry is designing a PR campaign for survival! Bisphenol A in baby bottles, water bottles, and food cans. Formaldehyde in furniture. Phthalates in air fresheners, soft plastics, and fragrances. The manufacturers of these chemicals are not taking the push for regulation lying down (despite their public claims of support for safety). Don’t be duped! View the spoof video the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition created to galvanize public support for Congressional action, and have fun with a pretty serious issue. The characters you will meet in...

To Vaccinate Your Teenage Daughter, Teenage Son, Yourself, Or Your Baby ...Or Not?

July 3, 2010
Part 1 As soon as a teenage girl walks into her pediatrician’s office, he will suggest another vaccination, to be delivered through a series of shots spaced out over six months. This time the vaccine is Gardasil, intended to protect her from being infected by the human papilloma virus, HPV, which might cause cervical cancer later in life. On balance, is this series of vaccinations a good idea? Is it safe; is it worth the possible side effects? This article is part 1 of a two-part series. How about the vaccinations recommended for infants and young babies?—that’s Part 2 (to be posted shortly...

Color Me Skeptical: Toward Tartrazine-Free Macaroni and Cheese

June 29, 2010
Would you like some disodium 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-2-naphthalene-sulfonate in your yogurt? Well, you won’t find that mouthful of mumbo-jumbo on food labels. But you will find it listed with the friendlier name of Red 40. You might pass up a macaroni and cheese that contains the slightly foreboding-sounding tartrazine. But if it (I’m looking at you, Kraft) has Yellow 5—with its reassuring official government number—surely all of us can be sure that these colorings have been exhaustively tested by the government and have been found to be safe. Right? Wrong. It’s...
Mike Jacobson's picture