Watch videos of our workshop presentations:
Watch videos of our workshop presentations:
Following last week’s implosion of the chemical industry front group “Citizens for Fire Safety,” the American Chemistry Council (ACC) made its public debut representing the only opposition to banning a cancer-causing chemical in children’s products. ACC’s Stephen Rosario and North American Flame Retardant Alliance’s Jackson Morrill were the first speakers at yesterday’s Assembly hearing on flame retardant chemicals in children’s products. Not only were they the only speakers present to fail to submit written testimony, they appeared to be profoundly unprepared.
They opened their statement by disavowing Citizens for Fire Safety (CFFS), even though the CEO of Albemarle (one of the three CFFS co-founding chemical makers) is on ACC’s board of directors. They also said they would not talk about the recent Chicago Tribune series that exposed CFFS as an industry front group that distorted science, gave misleading testimony, and exaggerated the effectiveness of their products.
Parents, Advocates Tell the NYS Senate: Don't Duck Toxics Reform!
"Betty the Be Safe Duck" Tour of New York State comes to Rochester's Public Market
Parents, health advocates and allies are invited to join a Stroller Brigade to call for Child-Safe Products, urging the Senate to introduce and pass a strong new law to require children's product makers to disclose use of dangerous chemicals and ultimately phase them out. The Assembly has already passed such legislation. Attendees will be signing oversized cards to area Senators urging them to protect children's health.
Where: Rochester Public Market, 280 North Union Street
When: Saturday, June 9th, 2012
Duck will be set up 11 am - 1 pm
Media availability at noon
Photo opportunities: Giant "Betty the BeSafe Duck," parents and children, signs.
We will be there rain or shine!
In the wake of the May 22nd National Stroller Brigade for Safe Chemicals, parents, toddlers, and advocates gathered in front of a 25' Rubber Ducky and urged the New York State Senate to protect children from toxic chemicals. They called on the Senate to introduce and pass legislation that would identify chemicals of high concern, select priority chemicals from the high concern list, require children's product makers to report their use, and ultimately phase them out.
Concerns have been raised within the scientific community about the role of synthetic chemicals in the rise of many common diseases and illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, learning disabilities, inability to have children (including both female infertility and damage to sperm), hormone disruption, obesity and diabetes, to name a few. A number of these chemicals are used in products children touch every day. Yet product makers don't disclose the chemicals in their products, and the scientific information is complex.
“As the mom of an adult with autism and developmental disabilities, I can’t help but wonder what she was exposed to in her crib and what toxic toys we might have bought her,” said Julia Walter, who is trained as a special education teacher. “People think of children with autism – they forget this is a lifelong condition.”
“At this point, I feel like I would have to be a toxicologist with a full chemistry lab in my basement just to understand what's in my children's toys, furniture and car seats,” said Sarah Howard, mother of two. “Parents have enough on their plates – they shouldn't have to worry about whether their baby's nursing pillow is leaching dangerous chemicals.”
The last few weeks have seen startling revelations about the tactics some chemical companies have used to keep toxic chemicals in common children's products and other household furnishings. The Chicago Tribune revealed in a four-day, front-page series that makers of “flame retardants” - including those used in nursing pillows, car seats, strollers, changing pads, couches and more – have used “Big Tobacco” tactics to keep their chemicals in use. The series documents the failure of these chemicals in household products to prevent fires, and illuminated the health problems posed by many of them. The three chemical makers – Albemarle, Chemtura, and ICL – have used a front-group called Citizens for Fire Safety Institute to distort both fire science and toxicological studies.
On December 6th & 7th the Legislative Office Building was abuzz with talk of building New York's Healthy Economy and Environment. Led by Clean and Healthy New York, this two-day conference highlighted successes in making financial sound, and environmentally- and health- protective changes in academia, schools, businesses and the public sector. The 8th annual NYS Environmental Excellence Awards were presented as part of the conference.
The Keynote address was given by David Calligeros, Founder of Remains Lighting, which has developed an innovative factory in Brooklyn, NY. A former Environmental Excellence Award winner, David focused on the simple decisions his company made that saved money from the start - shades and fans instead of an HVAC system for a company that uses heat-producing machinery.
He highlighted some choices that have longer-term payoffs: A roof that's green - both because of the plants that reduce storm water run-off and because of the solar panels that provide the factory's electricity needs. Though the pay-off term was fairly long, David said, "I basically paid for nine years of electricity up front." After that, the system will provide electricity with minimal cost.