Biomonitoring | Chemicals | Citizen SuitsCoal | Environmental Justice | Health & the Environment Bulletins | Health Care |  Home and Garden | Military | Mining | Newsletters | Peer Reviewed Journal Articles |  Pesticides | Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) | Public Comments | Reports | Worker Health

Threats to Drinking Water and Public Health in Alaska: The Scope of the PFAS Problem, Consequences of Regulatory Inaction, and Recommendations – An investigative report by Alaska Community Action on Toxics identifying the discovery of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at over 100 individual sites in nearly thirty locations across Alaska. Ten Alaska communities have PFAS in their drinking water at levels deemed unsafe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and it is likely that the number of communities with contaminated water will grow as more sampling is conducted throughout the state.


Playing on Poisons - Harmful Flame Retardants in Children's FurniturePlaying on Poisons – Harmful Flame Retardants in Furniture for Children – Alaska Community Action on Toxics participated in a nationwide testing and report with Center for the Environmental Health (CEH) on toxics found in common furniture products made for children. We purchased a Spiderman chair in August 2013 at a Walmart store in Anchorage, Alaska. This chair was tested and found to contain the flame retardant Firemaster 550.Website | Report | ACAT News | News Release at Center for the Environmental Health (CEH)


Community-based participatory research projects and policy engagement to protect environmental health on St Lawrence Island, AlaskaInternational Journal of Circumpolar HealthVol 72 (2013) Pamela K. Miller, Viola Waghiyi, Gretchen Welfinger-Smith, Samuel Carter Byrne, Jane Kava, Jesse Gologergen, Lorraine Eckstein, Ronald Scrudato, Jeff Chiarenzelli, David O. Carpenter and Samarys Seguinot-Medina


Retailer Therapy: Ranking retailers on their commitment
Retailer Therapy  Ranking retailers on their commitment to personal care product cosmetics safety, putting a spotlight on Walmart, Target, Macy’s, CVS, Walgreens, Costco, Kroger and Whole Foods Market. 12/11/12 Press Release: Who’s Naughty and Who’s Nice? How retailers respond to consumer demand for safe personal care products from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Alaska Community Action on Toxics


Naptime Nightmares? Toxic Flame Retardants in Child Care Nap Mats


Naptime Nightmares? Toxic Flame Retardants in Child Care Nap Mats

Children’s nap mats from Alaska, Washington, California, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut contain harmful flame retardant chemicals, according to independent testing commissioned by the Center for the Environmental Health (CEH) in collaboration with Alaska Community Action on Toxics and other groups. The flame retardant chemicals found in the nap mats, which are used in daycare centers in Alaska and nationwide, have been linked to cancer, genetic damage, impacts on fertility and reproductive health, allergies, hormone disruption, and other serious health problems. Alaska Community Action on Toxics, CEH, the Washington Toxics Coalition, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, Clean and Healthy New York, and Clean Water Action chapters in Massachusetts and Connecticut collected 24 nap mats, and sent them to Duke University researcher Heather Stapleton for testing. Dr. Stapleton’s testing found flame retardant chemicals in all but two of the nap mats. The testing found 10 different flame retardant chemicals (or chemical mixtures) in the nap mats; 19 of the nap mats contain more than one harmful flame retardant chemical. Eleven of the nap mats were advertised as flame resistant.

News Release | Report: Naptime Nightmares? Toxic Flame Retardants in Child Care Nap Mats

Podcast and CHE-AK presentation with Dr. Heather Stapleton recorded 2/13/13


Indigenous Peoples of North America: Environmental Exposures and Reproductive JusticeElizabeth Hoover, Katsi Cook, Ron Plain, Kathy Sanchez, Vi Waghiyi, Pamela Miller, Renee Dufault, Caitlin Sislin, David O. Carpenter. (2012). Environmental Health Perspectives doi:10.1289.Available at: American communities face disproportionate health burdens and environmental health risks relative to the average North American population. These health impacts are issues of both environmental and reproductive justice.Continued research which involves collaborative partnerships among scientific researchers, community members and health care providers is needed to determine the impacts of this contamination and the approaches for remediation and policy interventions.
Environmental contamination of the Yupik people of St. Lawrence Island, AlaskaCarpenter, David O. and Miller, Pamela K. (2011) “Environmental contamination of the Yupik people of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska,” Journal of Indigenous Research: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 1. Available at:


Organochlorine and Metal Contaminants in Traditional Foods from St. Lawrence Island, AlaskaGretchen Welfinger-Smith, Judith L. Minholz, Sam Byrne, Vi Waghiyi, Jesse Gologergen, Jane Kava, Morgan Apatiki, Eddie Ungott, Pamela K. Miller, John G. Arnason & David O. Carpenter. (2011). “Organochlorine and Metal Contaminants in Traditional Foods from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues, Volume 74, Issue 18, pages 1195-1214. DOI:10.1080/15287394.2011.590099Available at:


Coal Ash in Alaska: Our Health, Our Right to Know(February 2011) Waste from coal-fired power plants in the Fairbanks area have been disposed of with virtually no restrictions for decades. Samples of coal ash collected in the Fairbanks area in June 2010 were found to contain a range of toxic heavy metals including arsenic, vanadium, and mercury. In almost every case, the levels of toxic chemicals were found to be much higher than background soil samples.


Mind, Disrupted: How Toxic Chemicals May Change How We Think and Who We Are(February 2010) Twelve leaders from the Learning and Developmental Disability community stepped forward to have their bodies tested for the presence of a set of chemicals known or suspected to be neurotoxic or endocrine disrupting. Mind, Disrupted is a synthesis of the test results and the experiences of participants.


Hazardous Chemicals in Health Care: A Snapshot of Chemicals in Doctors and Nurses(November 2009) Details the first ever investigation of chemicals found in the bodies of health care professionals, including two Alaskan participants. The project tested for 62 chemicals that are used in products common to the health care setting.


Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic: Report for the Delegates of the 4th Conference of the Parties Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (2009)
Lindane: Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Alternatives (April 2009)
Is It In Us? Toxic Trespass, Regulatory Failure & Opportunities for Action(2007) Toxic chemicals from everyday products contaminate the bodies of every person in this country. Thirty-five Americans from seven states participated in this national biomonitoring project to measure toxic chemicals in the bodies of average Americans.




David O. Carpenter, Anthony P. DeCaprio, David O’Hehir, Farooq Akhtar, Glenn Johnson, Ronald J. Scrudato, Lucy Apatiki, Jane Kava, Jesse Gologergen, Pamela K. Miller, Lorraine Eckstein. (2005). “POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS IN SERUM OF THE SIBERIAN YUPIK PEOPLE FROM ST. LAWRENCE ISLAND, ALASKA“. International Journal of Circumpolar Health 2005; 64(4):322-335).

Objectives. To determine serum levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Siberian Yupik adults from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, and to determine the relative contribution of atmospheric transport of PCBs and local contamination to body burdens.


A Survey of Waste Management Practices at Alaska’s Health Care Facilities: A Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

(January 2005)


Contaminants in Alaska: Is America’s Arctic at Risk?

This collaborative report was released in September 2000, by a coalition of federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Interagency Collaboration: US Dept. of the Interior, State of Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation & Dept of Health & Social Services, US EPA, NOAA, University of Alaska Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies

Non-governmental organizations: Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Science Commission, Alaska Inter-Tribal Council, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, Alaska Native Tribal health Consortium, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, North Slope Borough, September 2000 Press Release


The Nuclear Reactor at Fort Greely

(May 2000) An investigative report by Alaska Community Action on Toxics for Delta Junction, Alaska.


back to top

Chemical Fact Sheets

Fact sheets on chemicals of concern describing common sources of the chemical, how the chemical may affect human health, and ways to reduce exposure.

Citizen Suits


Environmental Justice

Health & Environment Bulletin for Health Care Providers

Health Care

back to top

Home and Garden

ACAT has developed the following resources to help you avoid exposure to everyday products that contain harmful chemicals.

Browse our chemical fact sheets to learn more about how common chemicals may affect human health and ways to reduce your exposure.

back to top



back to top


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles


back to top

Persistent Organic Pollutants

Worker Health

Public Comments

back to top