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National Chemical Policy Work
We have worked for years at the national level to transform the badly outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. Did you know that 80,000 chemicals are on the market in the United States without safety testing? In the 37 years of TSCA, only about 200 chemicals have been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their effects on human health and the environment. Only 5 chemicals have been restricted by the EPA. Asbestos, which everyone knows is bad news – has still not been successfully banned by the EPA. The Toxic Substances Control Act fails to protect our health because it does not require the chemical corporations to prove the safety of their products. Read more.
International Chemical Policy Work:
By Tiffany Immingan
My experience in Geneva, Switzerland at the Conference of the Parties 6 (COP6) of the Stockholm Convention was all out amazing! It was like a dream. It had that “once in a life time” feeling, was so much fun and very educational for me. I felt mixed overwhelming emotions meant in the greatest possible way! It was a lot to take in, what with all the big words and very formal dress. I’m still processing the fact that I actually got to attend something so huge, and will not forget the experience. Read more.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) was instrumental in achieving a major victory in May 2013 with the decision of 179 nations of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (“POPs Treaty”), to institute a global ban on the chemical HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane), a toxic and persistent chemical widely used in building insulation. HBCD is now found in soil, air, water, wildlife, and people around the world, including the Arctic environment and in the blood and breast milk of Arctic Indigenous Peoples. HBCD affects the ability of children to learn and grow because it harms thyroid function and neurodevelopment—with some of the effects being transgenerational. Read more.
Alaska State Chemical Policy Work:
Alaska State Senator Donny Olson recently announced that he will introduce a bill in advance of the 2014 legislative session that would phase out the use of a toxic class of flame retardant chemicals that are marketed for children—persistent, carcinogenic chemicals known as chlorinated tris that are used in such products as nursing pillows, nap mats, changing pads, car seats, baby carriers, and high chair pads. Read more.
On September 4, 2013 ACAT together with parents, grandparents, and health care professionals concerned about mercury contamination from proposed coal mining delivered over 700 petitions from Mothers Against Mercury to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority board urging the board to divest from coal. Read more.
“This is a crisis for the community. Children and elders are going hungry. Freezers which are usuallyfull this time of year are empty.” – Vi Waghiyi, Native Village of Savoonga tribal member and Environmental Health & Justice Program Director, ACAT
Walrus drying on racks in Gambell in April 2013. This year’s harvest was less than half of the average yearly harvest over the past 10 years causing a serious food shortage for St. Lawrence Island Communities. Photo by Samarys Seguinot-Medina
Our friends and families on St. Lawrence Island (SLI), Alaska are facing an urgent food shortage. ACAT has set up a donation fund to provide immediate food assistance.We have worked closely with the communities of Savoonga and Gambell on community-based research and advocacy since our founding in 1997. We are deeply concerned for their health and well-being. Read more.