It’s been a while since I actively checked in with some of my resource and advocacy sources. They send me information (which I appreciate) but sometimes (a lot of the time) it builds up til I choose to really focus on it in hopes that I will also then DO something about it. This time I signed a few petitions, sent some letters and now I’m sharing the highlights with you.
Two good news pieces from Safer Chemicals Healthy Families…
“In April, we released a report by HealthyStuff.org that showed other big retailers like Lowe’s were lagging behind Home Depot and selling vinyl flooring laden with phthalates. We called on #2 and #3 home improvement chains Lowe’s and Menards to also ban phthalates in flooring, and we won in April and July with both retailers committing to eliminate phthalates by the end of 2015!”
“The Mind the Store campaign first wrote to Walgreens in April 2013 encouraging them to take action on the Hazardous 100+ chemicals. After a year of no response, in April 2014 a broad coalition of health and environmental organizations held a national day of action at Walgreens stores in over 20 states, followed by a week of action in July. Read all about it over at GreenBiz….These actions played a big role in Walgreens coming to the table to meet with us, and in December they publicly shared for the first time to prioritizing this issue and developing a Sustainable Chemistry Program.”
At Campaign for Healthier Solutions…
I signed a petition and sent an edited version of my consumer letter to some of the retailers. This group fights for environmental justice and has launched the campaign to challenge “Walmart, Target, Staples, and other retailers by adopting corporate policies to identify and remove harmful chemicals from their stores.” The main point of using my consumer letter is that our purchasing power has as much leverage as regulation. But there are so many communities whose only access to products are the smaller dollar store or discount retailers where the threat of alternate sources is pointless. Regardless, a more affordable price tag should not equate to a more toxic product and we have to speak up for those who don’t even realize there are other options.
Some interesting articles from Environmental Working Group…
California Moves To Protect Citizens From Monsanto’s GMO Weed Killer . Earlier this year WHO declared glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient in Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen. California wants to put it on their official list of known carcinogens and require a warning label on the product. I love it when states push regulations quicker than the federal government can gets its act together.
Tiny Concentrations of Teflon Chemical Harmful to Public Health. A recently published review of research on the Teflon chemical PFOA “shows that federal guidance on safe levels for PFOA is hundreds, even thousands of times too weak.” Yikes.
Big Food Companies Spend Millions to Defeat GMO Labeling, More than $51 Million in First Two Quarters of 2015 Alone.
I think the GMO issue is more complicated than the black or white presentation it is frequently given in the media but I am always in favor of labeling and transparency so I did sign some petitions. If you are interested in some other perspectives on GMOs check out a (relatively) balanced article from National Geographic.
From Linda at Seriously Sensitive to Pollution, who scours more online information than I can even imagine, comes my first knowledge of the Paris Appeal…
Scientists to WHO: Recognize MCS and EHS
In 2004, at UNESCO, a meeting between scientists and non-governmental organizations resulted in the Paris Appeal, a “historical declaration regarding the dangers of chemical pollution for the health.”
“The Paris Appeal is a reference document for European authorities. Today, several hundreds of international scientists, close to 100 NGOs and approximately 200,000 citizens have signed the Appeal. It has also been signed by the French Medical Board, as well as by all national medical Boards and unions across the 25 Member States of the European Union, gathered in the Standing Committee of European Doctors, which represents two million European doctors.”
At their latest congress of the Paris Appeal they created a working group that declared “In view of our present scientific knowledge, we thereby stress all national and international bodies and institutions, more particularly the World Health Organization (WHO), to recognize EHS and MCS as true medical conditions which acting as sentinel diseases may create a major public health concern in years to come worldwide i.e. in all the countries implementing unrestricted use of electromagnetic field-based wireless technologies and marketed chemical substances.”
Hopeful news, indeed.