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Independence from Toxic Chemicals

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 | Comments (0)
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Perchlorate On this Independence Day holiday we are kicking off our Independence from Toxic Chemicals Summer Series. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about all of the exciting things happening in California right now as we strive to create a system that protects the health of our people and environment from toxic chemicals. A lot is in play and this series should provide background and context for these efforts.

Featured right, Bad Actor Chemical Perchlorate from The Toxies, helping us start this Independence Series with a bang.

In the weeks to come you will get a peek

into not only existing laws like the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (better known as Prop 65) and the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005, but current efforts like those to require the disclosure of chemical ingredient information in cleaning products and the much publicized ban on bisphenol-A in children’s food containers. Finally, the series will culminate in a review of California’s, and perhaps the country’s, most ambitious effort to date: the Green Chemistry Initiative and its Safer Product Regulations.

All of these efforts are ones that CHANGE and its members have advocated, researched, and organized towards, and it is these experts that will help you gain a better overall understanding of the movement for chemical policy reform, and inspire you to join our movement!


Why This Issue Is So Important

They are over 80,000 chemicals currently on the U.S. market and it’s estimated that fewer than 10% of these chemicals have undergone testing. Before most people leave their homes in the morning, they have come in to contact with over 500 different chemicals! 

With those types of numbers it’s not surprising the incidence of cancers and chronic diseases has steadily been on the rise since the introduction of multiple new chemicals in our daily lives -- while studies may link individual chemicals to certain diseases, the combined and cumulative health effects of these 80,000 chemicals in our bodies remains relatively unstudied.

CHANGE works to shift the burden of proof. Together, we're making the case for a working system in which chemicals being used are the safest available, and the highly hazardous chemicals stop being used altogether.

Who We Are

CHANGE was founded in 2006 because stakeholders from all over the Golden State realized we couldn't simply shop our way out of chemicals pollution, we need solutions! For more information on CHANGE, read About.

As advocates from and for our communities, we believe you shouldn’t have to be scientist to go shopping and buy safe products for your children. Even more importantly, you shouldn’t have to be exposed to toxics chemicals just by living and working. With a mix of regulation and innovative solutions, we can protect our health and environment while growing our economy too.

Who Should Read This Series

Whether you are a legislator trying to make decisions about upcoming bills, a reporter trying to make sense of all that’s happening, or a consumer trying to make decisions about what products are safe, we hope that this series will give you the answers you seek. Our intent is to provide the background you need to understand and make decisions about chemical policy reform efforts in California and beyond. If you have specific questions you would like us to address, please submit them to changecalifornia@gmail.com or as comments below.

Where We Are Now

As this series will demonstrate, California has taken a leadership role in many important ways. Now we face our biggest opportunity yet, through the Green Chemistry Initiative and its safer product regulation. Our challenge though, is to make sure that the policies we support are bold enough to make real change. From drafting legislation to codifying regulations, we stand to lose a lot by not demanding enough, and by not making the groundswell of support for safer chemicals known to our elected representatives. 

Learn more about Independence from Toxics from other articles in this series:

The Power of Proposition 65: What you don't see

Story of the Safe Cosmetics Act

AB 289: Chemical Testing Requirements

BPA in California's Babies - What's the Hold Up?

California: The Leader in Lead Regulation

Easy as Cupcake: Get Cadmium out of Kids' Jewelry

Phthalates Make Plastic Soft...And Dangerous

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