Environmental and public health groups that get it.

Some are on this list are famous. Others, not so much.
All are worth a visit.
  •  The Breast Cancer Fund offers a legislative tool kit with many ideas for local organizations. The site also provides links to information about eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer See: www.breastcancerfund.org

  • The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics aims to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems, and replace them with safer alternatives. www.safecosmetics.org.

  • The Center for Environmental Health works to eliminate toxics, support communities, strengthen laws and make industries green. This small non-profit was onto lead in children’s toys long before the rest of the world figured it out. See: www.cehca.org/.

  • Center for International Environmental Law aims to solve environmental problems and promote sustainability through the use of international laws and institutions. See: www.ciel.org.

  • Clean Production Action helps businesses develop strategies that are good for human and health and the environment. See www.cleanproduction.org.

  • The Collaborative on Health and the Environment is a diverse network of 2900 individual and organizational Partners in 45 countries working collectively to advance knowledge and effective action to address growing concerns about the links between human health and environmental factors. Part of its efforts include a biomonitoring resource center.
    See: www.healthandenvironment.org

  • Environment California Research & Policy Center is a statewide advocacy organization that investigates environmental and public health problems, offers solutions and helps educate the public and decision makers. It was a leading proponent of California’s 2007 law banning phthalates from toys and other products for children. www.environmentcalifornia.org.

  • Environmental Defense works directly with businesses, governments and communities to find the best solutions to environmental problems. See: www.environmentaldefense.org.

  • Environmental Health News aggregates daily links to articles in the international press about environmental health. A fabulous resource at: www.environmentalhealthnews.org/.

  •  Environmental Health Strategy Center focuses on protecting human health by reducing exposure to toxic chemicals and promoting safer alternatives. See: www.preventharm.org.

  • The Environmental Working Group was among the first advocacy organizations to call attention to the issue of human body burden by sponsoring biomonitoring studies detailing womb-to-tomb exposures. The EWG web site contains a treasure trove of information about toxics commonly found in consumer products. Go to: www.ewg.org.

  • Greenpeace, the granddaddy of environmental watchdog groups, is concerned about pollution in people, too.
    See: www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/toxics.

  • Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of nearly 500 organizations working to transform health care so that it poses no harm to human health or the environment. Because of the organization’s efforts, some of the largest health-care providers in the world no longer use PVC plastics and brominated flame retardants. www.noharm.org.

  • Making Our Milk Safe (MOMS) was founded in 2005 by four nursing mothers with the mission of protecting the health of babies by eliminating the growing threat of toxic chemicals and industrial pollutants in human breast milk. MOMS is building a movement of mothers -- and others -- to speak out against the presence of toxics in our environment, our bodies, and in breast milk. www.safemilk.org

  • The National Environmental Trust runs education campaigns on a variety of subjects, including environmental health. Its Web site contains a primer on why our federal toxics policy needs updating. See: www.net.org.

  • The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of nation’s largest environmental advocacy groups, has an interactive Web site with useful information about toxic chemicals and tool kits that can help you reduce your daily exposures. www.nrdc.org.

  • Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides offers free information sheets on pesticide-free alternatives to pest problems. See: www.pesticide.org/.

  • Pesticide Action Network North America works for socially just and sustainable agricultural practices.
    See: www.panna.org/.

  • Physicians for Social Responsibility has made toxics and health one of its cornerstones. Its Web site offers dozens of information sheets and printable reports on the topic. www.psr.org.

  • Safer States is a coalition of organizations from around the country working to achieve chemical-policy reforms and a cleaner, greener economy. www.saferstates.org.

  • The Science and Environmental Health Network encourages the practice of science in the public interest and advocates for the precautionary principle. See: www.sehn.org/.

  • Sightline Institute, formerly Northwest Environment Watch, is a regional sustainability think tank with a special interest in toxics. See: www.sightline.org/.

  •  Silent Spring Institute researches the links between the environment and women’s health, particularly breast cancer. See the institute’s household exposure study at: www.silentspring.org/.

  • WWF Toxics promotes programs to control toxics globally. The Web site offers many consumer tips:
    See: www.worldwildlife.org/toxics/.

EVERYDAY TOXICS – Some surprising
places you’ll find them . . .

Dental floss: Some manufacturers use a PFOA-related material to give the floss extra strength.

Stain repellents: They keep carpeting and clothing clean, but scientists suspect the fluorotelomers they contain break down in humans and the environment to form PFOA.

Waterproof outerwear: The breathable, waterproof properties of Gore-Tex and similar materials are derived from a polymer that uses PFOA as a manufacturing ingredient. Scientists think PFOA might be leading to a propensity for obesity, among a host of other ill effects.

Microwave popcorn: The grease-resistant coatings used in microwave popcorn bags migrate into popcorn oil when the bag is heated. Scientists theorize that

PFOA Popcorn

this is a common route of exposure to a perfluorinated chemical known as PFOA, which is very slow to break down in humans. Two epidemiological studies suggest that maternal exposure may lower a baby’s birth weight.

Polycarbonate baby bottles and water bottles: These containers leach bisphenol A.

BPA water bottle
PFOA Egg

Teflon and non-stick coatings: These strong, slippery coatings, commonly used on cookware, derive from a polymer known as PTFE that depends on the use of PFOA in the manufacturing process.

Formaldehyde Fuschia Nail Polish

Nail polish: Researchers are studying whether prenatal exposure to phthalates, a chemical used to impart flexibility and prevent chipping in nail polish, is contributing to increases in male reproductive abnormalities.

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