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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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: www.saferchemicals.org/strollerbrigade.
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
(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.
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.