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april 15 2014 walgreensNEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/16/14

Anchorage consumers return products containing toxic chemicals to Walgreens stores

 Customers across the nation demand Walgreens “Gets Tough on Toxics” 

Anchorage, AK (April 16, 2014) – Concerned parents and consumers converged on an Anchorage Walgreens today saying that the company has failed to take action to reduce the sale of products containing toxic chemicals. The shoppers pointed to a new study showing that some Walgreens products contain harmful chemicals linked to cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other serious health conditions. The event was part of a national “Mind the Store” day of action to raise awareness of toxic chemicals in consumer products. Similar events took place at over 45 Walgreens stores nationwide.

Today’s actions were in response to a new study by (a project of the Ecology Center), which found that many Walgreens products contained hazardous chemicals. The actions included the return of products containing toxic chemicals, and the delivering of postcards to the store manager signed by concerned customers. Returned products also included cosmetics identified as “toxic” by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, including baby shampoo with the preservative quaternium-15—which eventually releases the cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde.

Since April 2013, over 60,000 customers have sent Walgreens letters urging the company to create an action plan on the “Hazardous 100+” toxic chemicals. To date the company has not responded to the Mind the Store campaign’s letters or requests to meet. The Mind the Store Campaign has been encouraging Walgreens to adopt a comprehensive chemicals policy. Read more.

News story on CBS Channel 11 KTVA Alaska


News release March 24th, 2014: Generations at Risk Lecture Series in Alaska with Preeminent Scientist Dr. Tracey Woodruff

Preeminent Scientist Dr. Tracey Woodruff Addresses Alaskans—Generations at Risk and the Vulnerabilities of Children, Women, and Future Generations 

WHAT: A public lecture series Generations at RiskToxic Chemicals and Effects on Children, 


Reproductive Health, and Future Generations- March 25 (Anchorage) – March 26 (Juneau), 2014. The lecture series focuses on the latest scientific evidence about health effects of chemical exposures and policy changes that are needed to protect vulnerable populations. Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) and the University of Alaska are sponsoring a series of free public lectures with Dr. Tracey Woodruff, Director of the University of California at San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.  Dr. Woodruff is a pre-eminent scientist and speaker with expertise concerning reproductive health and the environment, especially reproductive and endocrine effects of chemical exposures. She is a professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences/School of Medicine and Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at the University of CA at San Francisco. ( 

WHEN & WHERE: Tuesday, March 25, 7-9 pm at the University of Alaska (UAA) in Fine ARTS 150, Anchorage. Read more.

Support Alaska’s Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151)

This Spiderman chair was purchased at an Anchorage Walmart. Testing found it contains the harmful flame retardant firemaster 550.

Please support the Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151). This legislation will put in place a workable system to reduce our children’s exposure to toxic chemicals in baby and children’s products.

We want to be confident that the products we buy at the store do not contain toxics that were removed years ago. Under our current laws, this is impossible. Of the more than 84,000 registered chemicals in the U.S., less that 200 hundred have been evaluated for their safety before ending up in our shelves. Rates of childhood and other cancers, asthma, infertility, learning disabilities and more are on the rise. Scientific evidence links exposure to toxic chemicals to these negative health trends. Our families and health care system are already paying the costs of this broken system. We need a better approach to deal with this public health threat.

Ask the Judiciary Committee to Pass SB 151, the Toxic-Free Children’s Act

News Release February 19th, 2014: SB 151 HSS hearing for Toxic-Free Children’s Act

Alaskan moms, nurses, fire fighters testify to the Health and Social Services Committee hearing supporting the Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151): to protect children from toxic flame retardant chemicals found in children’s products in Alaska.

February 19th, 2014 – Juneau, AK Legislators will hear strong support from Alaskan mothers, nurses, and firefighters at the legislative hearing of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee for Senator Donny Olson’s Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151). SB 151 will protect children from exposure to toxic flame retardant chemicals in products. This bill focuses on phasing out carcinogenic and neurotoxic flame retardants in children’s products and requires the state to create a list of chemicals of concern to children’s health.

Toxic flame retardants are found in baby and children’s products including foam-filled furniture, nap mats, nursing pillows, car seats, and play tents. The bill addresses a class of chemicals known as tris flame retardants which are known to cause cancer, as well as neurological and reproductive harm. In the 1970’s, chlorinated tris was discontinued for use in baby sleepwear due to its mutagenicity. Read more.

News Release | Track HB 201


House Fisheries Committee Holds Hearing on Bill

to Protect Salmon Streams and Water Sources from Toxic Pesticides

House Bill 201 Establishes Buffer Zones and Restores Public Participation


Juneau, AK – The House Special Committee on Fisheries will hold a hearing on Thursday February 13 at 10 am concerning a bill designed to protect salmon streams and drinking water sources from toxic pesticides by establishing buffer zones. This bill, (HB 201) sponsored by Representative Les Gara, is receiving support from local governments, fishermen, scientists, and parents. HB 201 would establish important buffer zones to prevent the application of herbicides and pesticides within 150 feet of salmon streams and 600 feet of drinking water sources. HB 201 would also restore requirements for public notification and opportunities for public participation in the pesticide permitting process.


House Bill 201 is “An Act relating to the application of non-aerial pesticides and broadcast chemicals near fish habitat or water for human consumption, and in public places.” Representative Gara stated, “If Alaskans’ drinking water, children or fishing streams are at risk, Alaskans should have a say.” Read more.

News Release February 4th, 2014

Fairbanks Residents Notify EPA of Intent to Sue for Turning Blind Eye to Dirty Air
Community groups frustrated with failure to address dirty air, some of the worst in the nationFairbanksValleySmokeInversion2014-01-15-Patrice-Lee web

Fairbanks, AK — The Fairbanks North Star Borough has some of the worst and most dangerous air quality in the nation. Today, Alaska community groups joined together to demand that responsible officials address the problems that Borough residents and their families face when simply breathing in Fairbanks.

Citizens for Clean Air, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, and the Sierra Club sent a letter calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to compel the State of Alaska to produce a long-overdue and legally mandated plan to address air pollution in Fairbanks. The State was required under the Clean Air Act to develop a plan by June of 2011 to combat the unhealthy air, a deadline the State has failed to meet. Rather than require Alaska to submit its late plan, EPA irresponsibly has proposed to extend the deadline. The letter, submitted by environmental law firm Earthjustice’s Alaska office, notified EPA of the community groups’ intent to sue if EPA does not correct its course and comply with the law in 60 days. Read more.

News Release  | 60 Day Notice Letter

News Release February 3rd, 2014

Alaskan Senator Donny Olson introduces Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151): moms, nurses, fire fighters all support state action to protect children from toxic flame retardants found in children’s products in Alaska.

Toxic-Free-Children's-ActFebruary 3rd, 2014 – Juneau, AK  On Friday, Senator Donny Olson, representing the Bering Straits/Interior villages, introduced the Toxic-Free Children’s Act (SB 151) to protect children from toxic flame retardants in products. Toxic flame retardants are found in baby and children’s products including foam- filled furniture, nap mats, nursing pillows, car seats, and play tents. The bill focuses on a class of chemicals known as tris flame retardants which are known to cause cancer, as well as neurological and reproductive harm. In the 1970’s, chlorinated tris was discontinued for use in baby sleepwear due to its carcinogenicity. Read more.

News release Dec 11 2013

Vi Waghiyi and Shelley Klein Apatiki - the persistent organic pollutants from pesticides and other toxics travel from around the world to the Arctic where they bioaccumulate in the traditional foods of the Yupik peoples of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. This contamination is a violation of human rights.

In honor of International Human Rights Day, groups around the country call upon the U. S. State Department to address human rights violations of the “Big 6” Multi-National pesticide industry corporations 

Groups urge immediate action to address human rights violations perpetrated by the six largest pesticide and agricultural biotechnology corporations at home and abroad 

December 11, 2013, Washington, DC—In recognition of International Human Rights Day yesterday, a coalition of farmworker, food, public health, Indigenous Peoples, and environmental health and justice advocates delivered a unique photo-petition with over fifty “photostatements” to top officials at the U.S. State Department and White House urging them to hold the world’s six largest pesticide multi-national corporations accountable for human rights abuses. During the first week in December — in remembrance of the worst pesticide disaster in world history at Bhopal, India on December 3, 1984 and culminating on December 10, International Human Rights Day — the groups collected widespread support and pictorial testimonies from people demanding an end to human rights violations by multi-national pesticide companies. The petition — addressed to Jason Pielemeier of the Business and Human Rights Section at the U.S. Department of State, and Susan Rice, the President’s National Security Advisor — calls upon the US Government to fulfill its obligations to protect human rights from corporate abuse, particularly by the pesticide industry, under the provisions of ‘The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’, an international framework that U.S. officials helped draft. Read more.

View the Tumblr Photo Petition


Playing on Poisons - Harmful Flame Retardants in Children's Furniture

News Release 11/20/13

Children’s Furniture Contains Harmful Flame Retardant Chemicals

Popular characters hide toxic chemicals in foam in kids’ furniture –exposure may cause health problems for our children

November 20, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Independent testing found flame retardants in foam furniture for children purchased in 13 states and in Canada, including Alaska. Fire safety scientists are concerned because flame retardant chemicals do not provide fire safety benefits in furniture, yet exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer, hormone disruption, infertility and other serious health problems.
This Spiderman chair was purchased at an Anchorage Walmart. Testing found it contains the harmful flame retardant firemaster 550.

“A Spiderman chair that we purchased at a Walmart in Anchorage was tested and it has a harmful flame retardant called Firemaster 550 in it,” says Maricarmen Cruz-Guilloty, Environmental Health and Justice Coordinator from Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Arctic Indigenous peoples already carry a high burden of many of the other toxic flame retardants in their bodies. Exposure to these chemicals is linked with thyroid disease, learning and developmental disorders, reproductive problems, and certain cancers. Alaska also has the highest rates of birth defects in the nation. Our children should not be exposed to these chemicals. Kids are especially vulnerable to these chemicals.” These persistent chemicals are carried via wind and ocean currents and concentrate in Arctic wildlife and people. People living in the north are also exposed through indoor air and dust and may have higher exposures because homes are closed in a for a greater part of the year. Read more.

ReportPlaying on Poisons-Harmful Flame Retardants in Children’s Furniture released by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH)

ACAT News ReleaseACAT Publications | More information |National Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety

St Lawrence Island is facing a traditional food crisis

Please donate today - St. Lawrence Island families are facing a food crisis and economic disaster.

Click here to donate to the St Lawrence Island Food Crisis Fund using PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account.

“This is a crisis for the community. Children and elders are going hungry. Freezers which are usually full this time of year are empty.” Says Vi Waghiyi, Native Village of Savoonga tribal member and Environmental Health and Justice Program Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. Listen to Vi on Native American Calling, 9/20/13.

Learn more | St. Lawrence Island Traditional Food Shortage Tribal Village resolutions (pdf)

Alaskan women go to Washington DC to demand real reform for safer chemicals policy.News Release 10/28/13:

Alaskans go to Washington DC Capitol for a “National Stroller Brigade”

St. Lawrence Island delegation hand delivers chemical reform resolutions to Senators Begich and Murkowski 

Washington DC, October 29th, 2013 – Alaskan women have joined hundreds of mothers, nurses, and cancer survivors in the nation’s capital demanding action for real reform on toxic chemicals to revise the 37 year old Toxic Substance Control Act. The group will have a press rally at 10 am ET on October 29th at the national capitol with a stroller brigade asking congress to strengthen the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a bill to overhaul antiquated laws governing toxic chemicals. The stroller brigade may be viewed live at 6 am, Alaska time here:

The Alaska Federation of Natives passed resolution 13-23 which states in part: “We trust that our Alaska Senators will read this resolution and join us and other groups in developing and advancing the TSCA reform legislation that provides meaningful protections from, and safer solutions to, harmful chemicals.” Two delegates from St. Lawrence Island will hand deliver chemical policy reform resolutions from St. Lawrence Island to Senators Begich and Murkowski tomorrow with the Stroller Brigade. Read more.

News Release October 17, 2013, Rome, Italy, IPEN – International POPs Elimination Network
Original drawing by GeorgeAnne Sprinkle

Original drawing by GeorgeAnne Sprinkle

UN Expert Committee: Pentachlorophenol is one of the world’s worst chemicals

Agrees to incorporate climate change impacts in toxic chemical evaluation

(Rome, Italy) A UN expert committee recommended global action on pentachlorophenol – a pesticide used for wood treatment including utility poles. The Committee justified its recommendation for the Stockholm Convention due to pentachlorophenol’s persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and its toxic impacts. Governments around the world will decide on the recommendation in 2015.

“This is the beginning of the end of pentachlorophenol,” said Pam Miller, Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Pentachlorophenol has global health implications since it is found in the bodies of people throughout the world including Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic. Now governments and the private sector need to get to work to eliminate this toxic chemical.” Read more.

Mothers and Others Against Mercury

call for the Alaska Mental Health Trust to divest from coal

Public health and safety concerns are brought to the board’s attention – yet they still pursue their toxic agenda

Anchorage, AK, September 4, 2013 – The Alaska Mental Health Trust continues to lease coal resources to the highest bidder in spite of public health concerns around coal development in Alaska communities. On Wednesday September 4th, Mothers and others against mercury and coal development in Alaska delivered over 700 petitions with a stroller brigade to the Alaska Mental Health Trust (AMHT) board meeting at the AMHT headquarters from Tikishla Park in Anchorage beginning at 3 pm. Participants in the stroller brigade delivered petitions and provided testimony about the public health threats of coal mining and combustion in Alaska.

Lisa Wade , a mother, and Chickaloon Village Tribal citizen, tribal council member, and Health and Social Services Director for Chickaloon Village Traditional Council states: “These coal mines threaten the health of our children, our salmon, our water and air quality, our traditions, and our way of life.” Learn more.

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