Posts tagged: household cleaners

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

household cleaners


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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
10 February 2012, 2:11 AM
Chemical list limbo, idle air pollution laws, green coup
Photo courtesy of Calgary Reviews.

McDonald’s takes pink slime goop out of burgers
It’s official: The next time you have a Big Mac craving, you no longer have to worry about your burger being loaded with pink goo, reports MSNBC. Recently, McDonald’s announced that it is no longer using ammonium hydroxide, an anti-microbrial agent that, when used on inedible scrap meat, turns into a pink slime that’s the basis for your burger. Though the USDA maintains that ammonium hydroxide is “generally recognized as safe,” food safety experts and television celebrity chef Jamie Oliver disagree, arguing that “taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest form for dogs and making it 'fit' for humans” is “shocking.” Not long after Oliver’s show on ammonia-treated beef, McDonald’s announced that it would stop using lean beef trimmings—aka scrap meat—treated with ammonia in its burgers (though McDonald's maintains that the show had nothing to do with its decision). If the idea of pink slime in your burgers doesn’t make you gag, take a look at McDonalds' ridiculous new “farm to fork” video campaign and see if you can hold that burger down.

Check out Jamie Oliver's episode on pink slime: (note: not for the faint of heart)

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
24 May 2011, 1:09 PM
Same as other new mothers: Googling BPA + baby bottles
Jessica Alba supports the Safe Chemicals Act. Photo courtesy of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition.

In the quiet moments after her two-year-old daughter has gone to bed, actress Jessica Alba scours the Internet in search of how to protect her children from toxic chemicals in consumer products.

Like so many other parents, she’s distressed by what she finds: BPA in baby bottles, lead and cadmium in toys, formaldehyde in furniture.

“Our children are being used as the testing animals,” she realized.

Which is why Alba, now pregnant with her second child, made the trip to Washington, D.C. today. Along with mothers from across the country, she is asking members of Congress to reform our nation’s outdated chemical policy and shift the responsibility from overburdened parents to the companies who make these chemicals.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
18 February 2011, 4:15 PM
House lawmakers continue to slash essential protections for the American public

As I write this, members of the House of Representatives continue to debate and move their way through votes on hundreds of amendments to the chamber's government spending bill. The voting and debate has been a marathon process, stretching from morning through late at night for the last three days, and looks to carry on until late tonight or tomorrow.

Once the amendments are voted on and settled, the whole House will cast a final vote on the entire bill package with all the passed amendments. Then the Senate takes its turn, crafting a spending bill of its own. The two chambers must then confer and agree on one bill that funds the federal government by March 4 -- or the government must shut down until its spending and funding sources are settled.

The amendments that the House is currently considering are wide-ranging. They aim to cut government spending by cutting the funding streams of hundreds of government programs. So, instead of ending those programs through legislation and appropriate voting, many members of the House are seeking to delete the programs by wiping out the funds that keep them going.

View Marty Hayden's blog posts
16 February 2011, 10:38 AM
Amendments to funding bill target everything from wolves to water to health
Wolves are on the congressional hit list

House Republicans are using the oft-repeated refrain of “fiscal restraint” as their excuse for gutting several environmental initiatives that will put the public in harm’s way. But there simply is no excuse for hacking away at health protections that will leave our air and water dirtier and our children and seniors at risk.  It’s not hard to see their real agenda. In many cases their proposals are clearly designed to make it easier for some of America’s biggest polluters to dump their pollution on us rather than pay to dispose of it responsibly. 

House GOP’s Public Enemy Number 1: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The spending legislation introduced this week slashes the EPA budget by $3 billion and blocks the agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. And in a symbolic dig against the White House, the bill also stymies President Barack Obama from replacing departing lead White House climate and energy advisor Carol Browner.
 
The spending plan also tries to block the EPA from fully implementing the Clean Water Act, while effectively letting major polluters foul our water. This will jeopardize drinking water for 117 million Americans and could leave millions of  acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of streams and rivers without Clean Water Act protections from pollution. But it doesn’t stop there.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
11 February 2011, 6:37 AM
Radiated bird brains, Clorox cleaning, peak oil Wikileaks
A recent USDA decision allows farmers to plant genetically modified sugar beets. Photo courtesy of Uwe Hermann.

USDA gives Big Ag some sugar in GE beet decision 
In a move that directly contradicts the finding of a U.S. federal judge, last week the Department of Agriculture said that farmers could start planting their genetically modified sugar beets, reports the New York Times, despite concerns raised over GE crops by environmental and organic groups. The decision to allow farmers to plant the beets before a (legally required) environmental impact assessment was conducted was most likely brought on by fears that blocking the crops’ planting would result in a sugar shortage, an odd concern for a country who's known to have a bit of a sweet tooth

Clorox freshens up stance on ingredient disclosure
Hooray! This past Tuesday, cleaning company Clorox announced it would allow consumers to know just what’s in all of those cleaners and cleansers, reports the LA Times. The announcement comes after sustained pressure by environmental and health groups, including Earthjustice, which argue that consumers have a right to know what’s in their toilet bowl cleaner. After all, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
24 November 2010, 1:15 PM
Idling laws, inconvenient climate truths, radiating trees
Wi-Fi radiation may be making trees sick. Photo courtesy of sxc.hu, Auro Queiroz

California's chemicals law gets tangled in toxic debate
With toxic chemicals regulations set to go into effect in January, manufacturers and advocacy groups are going head to head over how California should implement the landmark law, according to the Washington Post.

Advocates of the law say the regulations are too weak, while industry claims otherwise—a similar predicament that's also found in New York, where Earthjustice litigation recently resulted in state legislators requiring household cleaner manufacturers to begin disclosing their products' chemical ingredients and health risks.

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
19 November 2010, 12:32 PM
Plastic parody, sewage-sucking trees, smog baby wipes
California recently adopted a law that requires cleaning companies to reduce their smoggy ingredients.

Plastic looks not so fantastic in parody rap video
On the heels of LA's new law banning single-use plastic bags, spiritual advocacy group Green Sangha recently released an anti-plastic bag rap video parodying Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind," reports Grist. Here's one tidbit that's musically on message: "Skip the bag, the cup and the spork, dude, convenience can kill you…ban bags made of plastic." See the rest of the video below.

 

Trees step in to suck up nation's sewage problem
Anyone who's spent time in New York knows that the city, well, stinks. But it's not just the overflowing garbage and mass of sweaty, hurried people. During heavy rainstorms, Manhattan's decrepit sewage system often discharges untreated storm-water and sewage into local waterways, a problem that's mirrored across the country, reports The Economist. But instead of building more pipes, NYC and other cities are planting trees and rooftop gardens to help suck up rainfall, green the city and raise property values, all under a lush canopy of leaves.

Window sprays and toilet bowl wipes to clean up smog
California recently adopted a regulation that requires about 2,000 household cleaning products, which contain smog-producing compounds known as VOCS, to be reformulated to help clean up the state's smogginess, reports Environmental Health News. The new law's effects are expected to reverberate across the nation, much like New York's recently enforced healthy cleaners law, which requires household cleaning companies to come clean on the health effects of their chemical ingredients. With any luck, Mr. Clean may soon look more like Mr. Green.

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
07 October 2010, 12:43 PM
Turns out he wants to keep cleaning product chemical info a 'surprise'
Failed presidential candidate/mock talk show host Stephen Colbert wants to rumble

When Stephen Colbert's ultra conservative Comedy Central character declares you as being part of the nanny state, you know you're doing something right.

Last night, the mock talk show host aired a segment on Earthjustice's campaign to enforce a 40-year-old New York state law and associated regulations requiring manufacturers of household cleaners to reveal the chemical ingredients in their products and any health risks they pose.

"Way to spoil the surprise!" Colbert shouted, likening the effort to other pesky consumer protections he despises: baby seats and motorcycle helmets.

He then vowed to derail the initiative, declaring, "Nation, we're not going to take this sitting down. We're going to take it standing—on top of a step ladder, throwing a lawn dart at a drum of DDT." (Read more to watch the video.)

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
15 September 2010, 11:13 AM
Consumers will get info on what's in their household cleaners

A few months ago, I told you about our tough legal fight in New York to force household cleaner manufacturers to reveal what chemicals they are putting in products that we use every day in our homes.

Today, I am glad to report that our work has persuaded the state of New York to take action. The Commissioner of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation last week told manufacturers to disclose what their products contain and any health risks they pose, the first such request ever made by regulators in any state. (You can send Commissioner Pete Grannis a note of thanks here.)

This is a huge win for consumers that wouldn't have happened without strong legal pressure.

You might recall from my previous column that a long-forgotten state law requiring manufacturers to come clean was unearthed by former Earthjustice attorney Keri Powell a few years ago. Following her discovery, Earthjustice and our coalition partners mounted an aggressive legal and advocacy campaign that ultimately triggered the state's decision to start enforcing this important right-to-know law. A big thanks go out to our supporters, who held green-cleaning parties in their homes and helped generate nearly 40,000 emails to decision-makers and cleaning product companies.

But, this isn't just a victory for New York state. Because many of the manufacturers doing business in the state of New York sell their products throughout the U.S., we all stand to benefit. After all, Procter & Gamble's Mr. Clean products and other national brands are the same whether you're in Poughkeepsie or Portland.

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View Emily Enderle's blog posts
10 August 2010, 10:33 AM
Hormone-disrupting BPA free with purchase

I've got a chronic habit of holding onto receipts for the items I buy. Just in case a moment of clarity strikes and I realize I don't need that time-saving gadget or extraneous accessory after all.

But it turns out that as a woman of child-bearing age, this practice poses a greater danger to me than just encouraging indecisive shopping. New evidence suggests that these slips of paper we handle so often are coated in the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA)—putting each of us and our children, even those unborn, at risk. BPA is widely recognized as an endocrine disruptor (a substance that can alter how our hormones are regulated in our bodies). Reports from across the globe have stated that BPA can cause cancer, erectile dysfunction, and child development problems.

Flipping through the Global Times on a flight to Tibet from the Yunnan Province in China the other day, I came across an article reporting that pregnant women and many other people in Shanghai are no longer taking receipts from places like grocery stores and ATMs because of concerns about BPA. Women in the United States are doing the same.

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