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Toxics-Free Environments and Environmental Health

Creating a Safer and Healthier World for Our Families

As parents, we want to make sure our children grow up in safe and healthy environments. That's why MomsRising is part of a growing movement of workers, scientists, health experts, and advocates working to clean up the world our kids are growing up in. We're calling for updated chemical regulations so that chemicals are proven to be safe before they are out on the market and in items our families are exposed to daily. We’re calling for cleaner air to reduce the epidemic of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and to help resist the advancement of climate change.

 

Restrict Use of Toxic Chemicals

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) grandfathered in 62,000 chemicals. Since then, the EPA has required testing of less than one percent of the chemicals in commerce. Today, more than 80,000 chemicals are on the market, with only five ever having been restricted due to safety concerns. Our broken regulatory system leaves families exposed to countless toxic chemicals every day, chemicals that may put us and our families at risk for cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and more. MomsRising is raising the voices of mothers who are calling for meaningful reform of federal toxics legislation, calling on manufacturers to stop putting dangerous chemicals in the production of consumer goods, and urging retailers to remove toxic consumer goods from store shelves.
 
Protect Clean Air and Fight Climate Change

Contaminated air impacts our children’s health today and threatens their future. Pollutants, like nitrogen dioxide, acid vapors and particulate matter (soot), from a variety of sources ranging from cars and boilers to power plant, can stunt growing lungs, and mercury has been found to impair neurological development in children. The accumulation of man-made greenhouse gases like carbon and methane are the underlying cause of climate change, which is changing life patterns on earth and giving rise to extreme weather events like Hurricane Katrina. MomsRising urges regulation of air pollutants as mandated by the 1972 Clean Air Act to improve public health effects as well as to resist the progress of climate change.

Environmental Justice
 
All families deserve toxics-free, healthful surroundings, but the reality is that families of color are at much greater risk of harm from environmental pollutants. Waste sites and contaminated water, as well as power plants, highways and other sources of high pollution, are more often found near African-American, Latino, and other working-class neighborhoods. That’s why these communities disproportionately suffer negative health impacts from exposure to contaminated environments. For example, dirty air contributes to the growing epidemic of childhood asthma, but African-American children are 20% more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic Whites, while one in five Puerto Rican children under age 18 have asthma, compared to nearly one in ten (9%) Hispanic children overall and one in 13 (7.9%) White children. MomsRising works to build awareness of environmental injustice and fights for clean environments for all.


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Moms Blogging on Toxics and Environmental Health

Little Honesty on Chemical Safety

Posted May 15, 2015 by Christopher Gavigan

As parents, we spend a lot of time shopping for family essentials and a lot of time doing research to make sure the products we buy are the best for our kids. One key factor we all consider is safety – how does a car seat rank, is the SPF of this sunscreen high enough, [...]

Posted Under: environmental health

Helen Chavez remembers women farm workers on Mother’s Day

Posted May 8, 2015 by Helen F. Chavez

When my husband, Cesar Chavez, and I helped begin the United Farm Workers in 1962, it was clear that the union was equally for women and men. So what better time than Mother’s Day to remember the women and mothers the UFW is still fighting for. Nowhere do women farm workers need more protection than [...]

Trading Health for Small Conveniences?

Posted May 1, 2015 by Arlene Blum

“Stain-resistant, Nonstick, Waterproof and Lethal” is how journalist Callie Lyons describes a highly fluorinated chemical called C8. When C8 was released into the air and water supply near processing plants in the mid-Ohio Valley, tens of thousands of people became seriously ill, with a range of health problems including cancer, liver malfunction, thyroid disruption, obesity, [...]

Posted Under: environmental health

Blue Bell Recalls are a Public Health Wake-Up Call

Posted April 21, 2015 by Anya Vanecek

Blue Bell creamery has suffered a series of brain freeze-level headaches this spring. For the first time ever, the Texas-based company is voluntarily recalling all of its ice cream products from the market after being linked to three food-illness-related deaths. Lysteria bacteria contaminated ice cream products from Blue Bell’s Texas and Oklahoma plants. So far, these products [...]

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