A Nontoxic New York and the Women Behind It

Clean and Healthy New York honors allies and celebrates 13 years of environmental health advocacy

(Albany, NY - September 13, 2019) Clean and Healthy New York (CHNY) is New York’s lead advocate for environmental health, and the if-not-for group that protects New Yorkers from toxic chemicals. Founders and experienced environmental health advocates Kathy Curtis and Bobbi Wilding commemorated 13 years of policy wins and market shifts they share with the in-state collaborative, the JustGreen Partnership; now a bigger, more formidable and ever-evolving voice on environmental health across New York. 


Policy Champion, Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Steve Englebright was honored alongside Science Champion, Philip J Landrigan, MD, MSC, and Advocacy Champion, Earthjustice Senior Staff Attorney Eve Gartner for their dedication to a healthier New York. 


Assemblyman Steve Englebright said, “Clean and Healthy New York has been a steadfast partner in our collective efforts to protect the people of New York from the proliferation of toxic chemicals in our everyday lives.  Our groundbreaking work over the last number of years would not have been possible without our coordinated efforts. I am honored to be recognized with Dr. Landrigan and Eve Gartner and look towards the future and the continuation of our important environmental health work.”


The celebration was Friday, September 13 at sunset in the Helderberg Room of the John Boyd Thacher State Park, where guests enjoyed fossil-rich cliffs with mountain & valley views. The evening affair included a tasty menu from HealthyCafe and a variety of donated craft beer, wine, champagne, and sangria. From dishware to centerpieces, this was an elegantly designed zero-waste event. The Honorary Hosts provided a curated playlist and a silent auction table that included diamonds, a Grow Your Own lamp made of mushroom technology, a reusable diapering system, nontoxic personal care products, and other items exceeding $3,500 in total value. The proceeds support CHNY’s overall expansion of their work to remove toxic chemicals from daily life by changing laws, shifting the marketplace, and empowering people to make changes where they live, learn, work, worship and play.


“I am deeply honored to be named Clean and Healthy New York's Science Champion,” said Dr. Phil Landrigan. “CHNY is an incredible organization whose dedicated work has improved the health of thousands of New Yorkers and especially New York's children,” he added. 


Clean and Healthy New York leads the national Getting Ready for Baby coalition, aimed at pressing leading baby product retailers Babies"R"Us and BuyBuyBaby to set limits on toxic chemicals in the products they sell. They celebrated their success when they got BuyBuy Baby and parent company Bed Bath & Beyond to issue a "Restricted  Substances List" and prompt vendors to remove those chemicals, while ensuring alternatives are less toxic. 


“Clean and Healthy New York provides indispensable policy expertise and high-level advocacy to protect New York’s residents from toxic chemical exposures. I am thrilled to be recognized by CHNY as this year’s Advocacy Champion and look forward to continuing to work with the CHNY team to ensure the health and well-being of our families.” said Eve Gartner, Senior Staff Attorney at Earthjustice.


Because of CHNY’s policy advocacy efforts, New York:

  • Is the first state to restrict Tris - a carcinogenic flame retardant chemical

  • Banned BPA in children's reusable drink containers

  • Banned another carcinogenic chlorinated Tris - TDCPP - in children's products.

  • Created the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

  • Requires electronics manufacturers to take back and responsibly recycle computers and other devices for free 

  • Enacted a Mercury Thermostat Collection law to keep mercury out of landfills and waterways - and therefore fish, wildlife, and us

  • Increased hazardous waste generation fees to strengthen market pressure for toxics reduction efforts

  • Restricted pesticide use on playgrounds

  • Requires nail salon workers access to protective gear including masks and gloves to protect them from toxic chemicals on the job


In addition, they:

  • Passed Toxic-Free Toys laws in Albany, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, prompting Rockland county to follow suit

  • Secured two-house passage of the Child Safe Products Act as part of a bicameral Earth Day package

  • Achieved two-house passage of menstrual product ingredient disclosure, and bans on PFAS in fire fighting foam, chlorpyrifos and 1,4 dioxane

  • Trained over 1,000 Child Care Providers to detoxify their child care settings


"In looking back on our first 13 years, it's remarkable how much there is to celebrate. We applaud the contributions of our awardees, who are with us each step of the way," said CHNY Executive Director Kathy Curtis. 


The CHNY team wants to acknowledge their Board of Directors, Honorary Hosts and event sponsors; State Senator Phil Boyle, Coming Clean, EarthJustice, Ecovative Design, Niagara Share, Safer States, Seventh Generation, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Tidy Tots,and WE ACT for Environmental Justice for their continuous support of Clean and Healthy New York’s mission.

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