Toxics-Free Environments


The single most important action you can take to protect Oregon’s climate, future

We need to elect pro-climate officials at every level to protect our environment and ensure a stable climate for future generations In a matter of days, tens of thousands of Oregonians were put under evacuation orders, thousands of families lost their homes, and nine people lost their lives. More than a million acres of precious Oregon lands--including critical carbon stores--were destroyed. Dense smoke led to air quality so beyond hazardous that public officials issued a statewide advisory instructing Oregonians to stay indoors. And here’s the kicker: if we do not ...

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Emerging toxics: PFAS in groundwater

Photo of firefighter using foam to put out a car fire
“Forever chemicals” and where they’re being found in Oregon.

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Lead in Oregon’s Drinking Water

Image of water sample being taken from drinking fountain
Where it comes from, health impacts, and who is working to solve these problems.

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Toxics Lurking in Our Water

Learning what toxics issues are top of mind for Oregon communities.

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Nearly 1/2 of the food packaging tested from popular chains contain “forever chemicals”

There is no shortage of toxics entering our bodies these days, between wildfire smoke, chemicals from consumer products, and now toxics in our food packaging. A new study published last month, Packaged in Pollution: Are food chains using PFAS in packaging?, by OEC’s partners Toxic Free Future and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition concluded that nearly half of the food packaging used from popular chains contain toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) (“forever chemicals”)—despite increasing consumer demand and legislative action to phase ...

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Climate Change, Economic Justice and Wildfires Collide

The West Continues to Burn Amidst a Pandemic and Heatwave The current wildfire situation is changing so fast in Oregon, that I have updated this blog no less than four times. Wildfires continue to wreak havoc and destruction across the West. As I type, the sky is filled with smoke, and the sun is an eerie shade of fiery orange-red. Gov. Brown has declared a state of emergency and State Fire Marshal leadership has advised that Oregonians from areas across the state be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. This is not a movie set during the apocalypse: this is our ...

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Toxic Free Kids Act in its final implementation stages!

Due to TFKA’s reporting requirements, we have discovered toxic chemicals in thousands of children’s toys and personal care products. Requiring reporting and phaseouts of these chemicals will lead manufacturers to develop better, safer products. 

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Gas Stoves Are Creating Unsafe Levels of Indoor Air Pollution

According to a growing body of research, tens of millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution in their homes. The culprit? Your gas stove. A study released by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) last month concluded that carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emissions from gas cooking can exceed the national levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and can seriously pollute your indoor air. Gas stoves emit a number of pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO), and ...

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This Earth Day, Pledge to Stop Burning Wood for Public Health

What do Earth Day, wood smoke and COVID-19 all have in common? The answer lies in air quality. With most of our nation’s in-person Earth Day festivities cancelled or moved to a digital format, and the state’s at-large shelter-in-place policy, many people may not be thinking that much more needs to be done to protect Oregon’s air quality. After all, our world’s air has become significantly cleaner, due to a slowdown in economic activity, right? While this may be currently true, the necessity of improving our air quality in the long-term cannot be under-estimate...

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Guide to Green Disinfecting

As fears of the COVID-19 pandemic ramp up, news reports of people hoarding cleaning supplies have dominated the headlines. Here at OEC, we want to remind our readers not to panic. Seriously, please don’t. You do not need to stock up on bleach, disinfecting wipes, or hand sanitizers that have harmful additives to be able to clean or disinfect properly. Rather, regardless of whether there is a pandemic or not, you can still utilize the tried and true solutions creatively, and be more diligent about your own personal cleanliness to keep you and your home healthy and ...

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