35 results for tag: environmental health


Summer isn’t the only time to worry about woodsmoke

As we roll into fall, many people start cleaning out their wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to start heating their homes, or just to get that cozy ambiance. What many people don’t realize is that, when a lot of people are burning wood in their homes, the cumulative effect on air quality can be similar to a wildfire. OEC has been advocating to reduce harmful air pollution from urban wood fires and to provide healthier options for those that rely on woodburning as a primary heat source.   Specifically, OEC has been working closely with Woodsmoke Free Portland and the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners over the past six months on the Multno...

Without TFKA expansions, OHA forced to choose 5 chemicals to regulate

There’s thousands of potentially harmful chemicals in products that are marketed to kids. As of now, OHA can regulate just a few of them. We need to change that.  In 2015, OEC’s advocacy lead to the passage of a groundbreaking law, the Toxics Free Kids Act (TFKA), which required manufacturers of children's products sold in Oregon to report certain products containing High Priority Chemicals of Concern for Children’s Health (HPCCCH) (“high priority chemical list”), and ultimately phase them out. However, the chemical and toy industry successfully limited the law, so that the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) could not regulate more than five ...

Centering Frontline Voices: Oregon OSHA Enacts Heat & Smoke Rules

In a summer already marked by unprecedented temperatures and a devastating wildfire season, OEC and its partners pressed Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to adopt a health-first standard when it comes to protecting vulnerable workers from climate hazards. As part of EO-20-04 (OCAP), Governor Kate Brown directed Oregon OSHA to develop standards in order to protect frontline workers from excessive heat caused by climate change and wildfire smoke exposure. We know that not everyone is equally impacted by climate change. Frontline essential workers such as farmworkers, bus drivers, and warehouse workers are paid less ...

Oregon OSHA Enacts Emergency Heat Rules

A Joint Press Release - July 8, 2021 Contacts: Ira Cuello-Martinez, PCUN iracuello@pcun.org, (503) 851-5774 Kate Suisman, Northwest Justice Workers Project kate@nwjp.org, 503-765-7105 Jamie Pang, Oregon Environmental Council, jamiep@oeconline.org, (971) 353-7963 Oregon OSHA’s Emergency Heat Rules Are a Good Start to Protecting At-Risk Workers; Strong Enforcement Will be Necessary SALEM, Ore— Oregon OSHA today issued emergency rules protecting workers from climate-fueled excessive heat, following an extensive campaign by workers’ rights, environmental, and public health advocates. The emergency heat rules enacted today are the most ...

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-estimated. It is no secret that decreased air quality and pollution is linked to a ...

Hold the wrapping paper! Most of that gift-wrap is not eco-friendly nor recyclable

It is that time of year again—no matter what holiday you celebrate, or what religion you subscribe to, it is difficult to be unaffected by the enthusiasm of the season of giving and reflection. It is predicted that the average American will spend $942 on holiday gifts this year. It is no secret that as consumerism spreads, landfills also fill up, and the Earth suffers.   According to Stanford University, Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. And most of that holiday wrap is not eco-friendly nor recyclable. A whopping 40% of the world’s industrial logging goes into ...

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 than 190,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, as part of Safer Chemicals Healthy ...

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 ensure that food service gloves won’t contaminate diners’ meals with toxic ...

Transportation Pricing for Equitable Mobility

The roads belong to the public. We own the right-of-way, the sidewalks and curbs and the street.

Let’s talk about microplastics

Your closet and dresser drawers are full of plastic - and not the kind from packaging, straws and shopping bags. Some of our favorite fabrics, whether it’s techy workout gear or your fleece winter pullover, can release upwards of 730,000 synthetic particles per wash. When these synthetic fibers end up in our waterways they become a form of microplastic pollution. Microplastics are exactly what they sound like: tiny pieces of plastic that result from the inevitable breakdown of the plastic products around us. As they get smaller and smaller, microplastics become harder to catch, clean up or keep out of our rivers, oceans and marine food webs. ...