Toxics-Free Environments


Oregon law ID’d as key example for Federal Consumer Safety Proposals

A Congressional memo for a hearing on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. cited Oregon’s Toxic Free Kids Act as one of four “long-standing” examples of state action.

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If Our Government Won’t Regulate Toxic Chemicals, It Is Up to Consumer Behavior and Retailers to Drive Change

New Report Reveals Top Retailers Making Major Chemical Safety Advances A new report released this week by Oregon Environmental Council’s partner Safer Chemicals Healthy Families reveals that many of our nation’s top retailers are voluntarily embracing safer chemical policies to help protect consumers from hazardous chemicals in products.  The fourth annual Who’s Minding the Store? A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals evaluated and graded the chemical policies and practices of 43 retail chains ranging from Starbucks to Lowes, with more ...

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Climate-Friendly Communities Don’t Magically Appear

Oregon Environmental Council and 1000 Friends of Oregon have a long history of partnership, especially working together to advance compact community design with a myriad of reliable alternatives to driving. When people live close to their daily destinations and have lots of transportation options, we can significantly curb climate pollution from everyday travel. And the good news is that climate-friendly communities have lots of other benefits: the air is cleaner, the costs of getting around are lower, it’s easier to get exercise by walking and biking, they are ...

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Tell McDonald’s: Time to Take off the Toxic Gloves

With great market power comes great responsibility for customers' health. This summer Oregon Environmental Council helped gather samples for a research report that finds that some vinyl, or PVC, food service gloves contain toxic chemicals called phthalates (THAL-eights) that can leach into food—and some gloves from McDonald’s tested positive for these harmful chemicals. We’re joining with our partner groups across the nation in calling on McDonald’s, the top restaurant in the U.S., to be a market leader and switch away from using PVC gloves—the only way to ...

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Dying Green: Have You Considered A Natural Burial?

Planning ahead for your own funeral can be daunting. It is not exactly a subject many people want to talk about. A traditional American funeral consists of an embalming process, a coffin, flowers, etc. Even more resources go into the planning and execution of a funeral. Then there is the less costly conventional route of cremation. Both are socially accepted, neither is environmentally friendly.  In the United States, 30 million board feet of wood, 1.6 million tons of concrete, 800,000 gallons of embalming fluid, and 90,000 tons of steel are used every year for ...

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A Modern Take on Trick or Treating

Guest post by blogger Tillia Griffin Halloween has come again, bringing with it ghosts, goblins, superheroes, and of course, candy! Unfortunately, that also means buckets and pillowcases full of plastic. There’s nothing sweeter than grabbing a handful of Snickers, Reeses Cups, and my favorite, Twix. But after all the chocolate, caramel and nougat are gone, you’re left with piles of plastic wrappers that will inevitably end up in a landfill.  To protect the environment many of us are changing the ways we buy, eat and live, extending to the ways we celebrate ...

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Oregon Health Authority Wrestles With Commitment to Transparency

At the most recent meeting of the Toxic Free Kids Act Rules Advisory Committee the chemical industry publicly admitted that many chemicals in kids’ products may lack key data on their safety. This sort of disregard for product safety and transparency is sadly a routine page out of the chemical industry's playbook.  The issue of transparency was another hot topic during the most recent rules meeting. While it's a common move for industry associations and manufacturers to refuse to provide transparency on chemical ingredients and safety assessments, it's less common to ...

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Transportation Transformation: The Writing Is On The Wall

Greenhouse gas emissions aren’t something you can easily feel or smell or see in your daily life. It’s hard for us to get a sense of what the volume is, and whether it’s going up or down. That’s why it’s so important to track the measurements to see what’s working and what isn’t working On September 18, the City of Portland released a report on greenhouse gas emissions in Multnomah County from 1990 to 2017. This report tells us that some things are working, though not quickly enough, and some things are working much worse than others. Here’s the good ...

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What does clean air mean to you?

Oregon Environmental Council is celebrating Park(ing) Day on September 20, 2019. Park(ing) Day is a global event that allows us to reclaim our public space and imagine what we could do with them if we weren’t using them to store cars. Roadways used to be spaces for pedestrians, but with the advent of the automobile, our relationship to the “public right-of-way” has changed. On Park(ing) Day, groups and individuals adopt parking spaces around Portland for a day to celebrate, learn, relax, and enjoy our public right-of-way with art, activities, living room spaces ...

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Protect Oregon’s drinking water from toxic PFAS: Ask Congressman Walden to designate PFAS as a “hazardous chemical”

Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a category of hazardous chemicals that are currently designated as “contaminants” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  To protect human health, Congress must designate PFAS as hazardous chemicals, which will speed up the identification, cleanup and monitoring of PFAS contaminated sites under federal Superfund law. What are PFAS and why should you be concerned? PFAS are a group of 47,000 synthetic chemicals that are known as ‘forever chemicals’ due to their persistent nature in the environment. They ...

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