A growing body of science has linked exposure to hazardous chemicals in common products to cancer, asthma and other chronic diseases. On this call, we heard from representatives of two organizations that are leading the way in testing products for safety. They are also educating consumers, increasing retailer corporate responsibility for the safety of the products they sell, and promoting safer alternatives through research and policy.
Rebecca Meuninck, Deputy Director at the Ecology Center discusses how their HealthyStuff.org team works to identify toxic chemicals in children’s products, recommend ways to minimize exposure, and redesign consumer products so they are safe. Mike Schade, director of the Mind the Store Campaign talks about what Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families found when they evaluated and rated the nation’s top retailers on their progress in tackling toxic chemicals.
Mike Schade, director Mind the Store Campaign, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Mike Schade spearheads the Mind the Store campaign which aims to work with the nation’s leading retailers on creating comprehensive chemicals policy. For the previous eight years, Mike was the Markets Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ), a national environmental health organization where he led national campaigns to phase out PVC plastic, phthalates, BPA and dioxin. Prior to CHEJ, he was the Western New York Director of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition. Ethisphere Magazine listed Mike as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics for 2007 and the PVC Campaign received two awards from the Business Ethics Network.
Rebecca Meuninck, Deputy Director, the Ecology Center. Rebecca Meuninck has worked on environmental health and environmental justice issues for more than 14 years. She returned to the Ecology Center in September 2009 after leaving temporarily to pursue her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at Michigan State University. In 2008, she was awarded the prestigious Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad grant, which funded her dissertation research on the social, environmental, and economic impacts of fair trade and organic coffee production on small-scale farming families in Brazil. She has lived and studied throughout Latin America and speaks Portuguese and Spanish.