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.


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 Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
16 June 2010, 2:55 PM
Still waiting to see what’s in their products besides baking soda

Do you buy Arm & Hammer cleaning products? I used to.

I have to admit, there's something strangely comforting about that old-fashioned image on the side of their baking soda box. I associated it with, I don't know, something wholesome, like making pancakes with my Dad on Sunday morning. And when I got old enough to buy products to clean my own home, those happy memories buried deep in my brain propelled me to the Arm & Hammer section of the cleaning product aisle, silently commanding me to hoist that yellow bottle of laundry detergent into my cart.

At some slightly more conscious level, I was thinking 'If they make cooking ingredients, their cleaning products have to be safe, right?'

Well maybe. But here's the thing: We asked Arm & Hammer to disclose the chemical ingredients in their cleaning products as required by a New York State law.

They refused.

15 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
03 June 2010, 1:57 PM
Toxic America series continues tonight at 8 pm ET/PT

Did you tune into CNN's special series "Toxic Towns USA" last night? I sure did. I wanted to root on our friends and allies in the town of Mossville, LA who were featured in the special one-hour program hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Among the local heroes profiled in the piece was Dorothy Felix, who has spent much of the past decade fighting to protect her community from the cancer-causing chemicals raining down upon her hometown of Mossville, a historically African-American community in southwestern Louisiana ringed by chemical plants.

This is a community where University of Texas researchers found that 99 percent of residents suffered from at least one disease or illness related to toxic chemical exposure. Further studies found blood levels of dioxin in Mossville residents rivaling those seen in workers involved in industrial accidents. The toxicologists studying these results called them some of the highest levels ever reported in the United States from an environmental exposure.

11 Comments   /  
View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
02 June 2010, 11:36 AM
Residents of Mossville, La. speak out in debut of a new CNN investigation
Aerial view of a chemical plant in Louisiana.

Breathing isn't a choice. Everyone does it, no matter where they live. But for many Americans, where they live has a tremendous impact on the quality of the air they breathe.

Take a look at Mossville, Louisiana for instance, which is home to 14 chemical plants. The town's residents are plagued by severe health problems like cancer and kidney disease attributed to pollution from these local facilities.

Tonight at 8 PM ET/PT, CNN will profile the toxic plight of Mossville and its residents in "Toxic Towns USA," which is part of a two-night special investigation called "Toxic America" that culminates a "year-long, stunning look into toxic chemicals, health and the environment," according to the network. The investigation will continue tomorrow night with "Toxic Childhood" at 8PM ET/PT.

8 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
19 May 2010, 10:42 AM
Everybody’s doing it. You can, too! Learn at 'Green Parties'

If you're like me, you haven't quite gotten around to your spring cleaning. But this year, I'm actually excited to get started. Why? Because I'm detoxing my spring cleaning. And you can, too!

This spring, Earthjustice members are hosting 'Green Cleaning' parties around the country (and around the world—we just got a note from someone in Shanghai!). Our partners at Women's Voices for the Earth have been organizing these parties for years—where people gather with friends and family to learn how to mix their own safe and effective surface cleaners, laundry detergent and more.

We've got parties happening in Danbury, CT; Denver, CO; Dallas, TX; Flint, MI; Portland, ME, among other places. Sign up here to learn more about hosting one in your town!

1 Comment   /  
View Patti Goldman's blog posts
16 April 2010, 10:08 AM
Attorney—and mom—sees promise in "Safe Chemicals Act"
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

As mother, I try to protect my children from exposure to toxic chemicals in household products. But as an environmental attorney, I know only too well that our country's existing system of regulating chemicals is badly broken.

The same law that allowed asbestos to remain on the market long after it had been proven carcinogenic now has parents doubling as forensic chemists scrambling to keep up with the latest research on health risks posed by the items in their homes.

When it comes to protecting our kids from toxic chemicals, parents need a system that meets us halfway. We need to shift the burden from families to the companies who are manufacturing and distributing the chemicals used in these products.

This week, we are one step closer to that goal, with legislation introduced yesterday by Senator Frank Lautenberg.

1 Comment   /  
View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
17 February 2010, 4:30 PM
Historic litigation may shine light on toxic ingredients

Do household cleaners contain ingredients linked to asthma, nerve damage and other health effects? Manufacturers aren't telling, but Earthjustice attorney Keri Powell may have uncovered the key to their pursed lips.

While investigating a potential legal strategy, Keri found buried in the pages of a book of New York State statutes a long-forgotten law authorizing the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to require household cleaning product manufacturers to disclose their chemical ingredients and information about the health risks they pose. In other words, pay dirt.

State regulations issued in 1976 made these disclosures mandatory. Such laws are practically nonexistent in the United States, and the New York law has been altogether overlooked.

Until now.

203 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
04 February 2010, 11:53 AM
Household cleaner giants want to keep chemical ingredients secret

For more than a year, Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive and other household cleaner giants have been refusing to follow a New York law requiring them to disclose the chemical ingredients in their products and the health risks they pose.

When we asked them nicely, they ignored us or refused. When thousands of people across the country put the pressure on them, they responded with platitudes and still did nothing. And for almost a year, they've been fighting a lawsuit against them, slowing down the process whenever possible.

But today, both sides got their day in court, arguing the case before a Manhattan judge. Earthjustice attorney Keri Powell reminded the court that studies have linked chemicals commonly found in household cleaners to health problems like asthma and reproductive abnormalities. And that people deserve to know whether the products they use to wash their dishes, launder their clothes, and clean their homes could be harmful.

Industry's response: we'd rather wait until the authorities force us to provide the information.

7 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
14 October 2009, 2:05 PM
Earthjustice going to court over cleaning products

You spray them in the air, mop your floors with them and wash your clothes in them—but do you have any idea what chemicals are in the cleaners you use?

Probably not. And Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive and other household cleaner giants want to keep it that way.The companies are fighting Earthjustice's lawsuit under a right-to-know law requiring them to disclose the chemical ingredients in their products (Mr. Clean, Lysol, Brillo, Ajax and others) and the health risks they pose.

Keri Powell in the Northeast office will soon face off against the companies' lawyers in court. She'll be outflanked 5 to 1. But she's got spirited colleagues to cheer her on. That—and the fact that the law is on her side!

12 Comments   /  
View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
30 September 2009, 11:40 AM
Fans of the precautionary principle, read on

Imagine a day when expectant parents can paint their nurseries, stock them with playthings and baby supplies, and do it all with the security of knowing that each and every chemical in those products has been tested for health effects and found safe for their newborn.

Last night, the Obama administration got us one step closer to that shimmery non-toxic future.

At a speech in San Francisco, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said what none of her predecessors dared say before: our current system of regulating toxic chemicals—which doesn't even allow the government to restrict the use of asbestos—is badly broken.