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Maryland Moms: Lets Celebrate!

June 21, 2010
Maryland parents, advocates, and businesses worked hard this year to protect children from Bisphenol-A (BPA), and that hard work paid off! The BPA-Free Babies and Children Act passed, and we couldn’t have done it without Senator Brian Frosh and Delegate James Hubbard, who led the successful effort in the Maryland General Assembly to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. Maryland PIRG, Maryland Nurses Association, and MomsRising are throwing a party to thank Senator Brian Frosh and Delegate James Hubbard, and we want to see you there! Come for the award presentation, then join us on the...
Claire Moshenberg's picture

Cancer: When the Personal is National

June 11, 2010
There are two pictures from my childhood that I think of often, the classic kind that live for years on family refrigerators and mantels. One shows a little boy and I, very young and impossibly blond, too concentrated on our game to notice the snap of an aunt's camera from across the room. Then one with the same boy, the two of us side by side, toddlers dwarfed by an enormous armchair, baby-faced and grinning. We share the mischievous glee of young friendship, two baby trouble-makers who spent every Rosh Hashanah stealing fistfuls of chocolates from his grandparents candy dishes, running...
Claire Moshenberg's picture

Cancer-free Strawberries Please!

June 9, 2010
My little girl is barely 10-months and I just love to watch her eat a strawberry, leaving her little face and fingers red and sticky! But I only give her organic strawberries, and for good reason. At 10-months, her little brain and body are developing at a fast rate and residues of chemicals found in our food have been found to cause hormonal and neurological disruptions. A new study has linked children's attention-deficit disorder with exposure to common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables. And the growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides can cause lasting...

Food Safety Reform Cannot Wait!

June 4, 2010
Being a grandparent is a joy! You get the perks of bright eyes and giggles, along with the rush of pride to see your own child mature into a parent. In 2001, I was “Grandma” for two absolutely darling children , a girl age 5 and a boy age 2. Then the unthinkable happened – my grandson became sick with what we thought was a minor episode of vomiting and diarrhea, but for Kevin, it became a life-threatening infection when the bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, entered his bloodstream. He developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and within ten days of the diagnosis, he was dead. In the immediate...
Pat Buck's picture

Ensuring new food-safety legislation is effective

June 1, 2010
The laws governing the food - safety functions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not been substantially updated in more than 70 years , but congressional lawmakers will hopefully soon change that fact. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on t he FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) , a bill that would give the agency the powers to help prevent foodborne illness before people get sick instead of just react to outbreaks after they happen . The bipartisan legislation would provide FDA with mandatory recall authority, improve federal inspections of food -...

Kids in the Gulf

May 25, 2010
As the massive oil slicks from the BP Gulf spill advance upon shores and communities, everyone is worried about the effect on wildlife and the natural environment, but strangely silent about another unavoidable danger. Substantial harm to the children of the Gulf Coast is now unavoidable. If you can smell oil in the air, as is now reported, that means the chemicals are in the air, and can be inhaled. Parents who are helping to mop up the oil (often, we’ve heard, without even being given gloves) will bring these chemicals into their homes on their skin and clothing. As the oil hits shore, it...

Secret, troubling chemicals in popular fragrances

May 12, 2010
If someone were to ask you, “What’s that lovely fragrance you’re wearin g? ” would you sa y , “ Oh, that’s hormone disruptors, allergens and chemicals that have never been assessed for safety . It’ s my signature scent. ” Of course you wouldn’t. But th ere is a good chance that reply would be accurate . Not So Sexy: The health risks of secret chemicals in fragrance , a new report by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Environmental Working Group , reveals that t op-selling fragrances contain an average of 14 undisclosed chemicals , many of which are linked to serious health problems. How can...

Corporate Innovation and Eliminating Toxic Chemcials

May 10, 2010
Government is here to do the things we can’t do for ourselves, like provide resources and mechanisms to clean up a gigantic oil spill or maintain traffic lights. In order to continue to flourish as a functional society, we need to prevent economic and environmental disasters from occurring in the first place and not simply continue to spend resources and money mitigating the impacts of their aftermath.
Renee Blanchard's picture


May 9, 2010
In our natural instinct to protect our children, we sometimes (often?) get waylaid by products that end up doing more harm than good, but make a nice profit for the manufacturer. A chemical called triclosan is a case in point. It’s supposed to vanquish “germs,” that is, bacteria or microbes. You’ll find it in liquid soaps, toothpastes, acne creams, and wipes, as well as in surprising places such as cutting boards, bath towels, plastic sandals and children’s toys. Its sibling chemical, triclocarban, is used primarily in deodorant bar soaps and in many cosmetic products. We spend almost $1...

Victory! Marsh Fork Elementary Secures Funding for Relocation

May 2, 2010
On Friday April 30, the Governor of West Virginia held a press conference to announce the secured funding of a new elementary school. Located 300 feet from a coal ash silo due to the practice of mountaintop removal, Marsh Fork Elementary has been the center of a controversial school siting fight for more than 6 years. If you don’t already know, mountaintop removal is a nasty practice of extracting coal by blowing up thousands of years old mountains in communities throughout Appalachia. Corporate greed, lack of precaution, and a disregard for the value of the people that make up these...
Renee Blanchard's picture