14 results for tag: toxic free environments


UPDATE: Victory! Judge dismisses Oregon Toxic Free Kids Act Litigation

As we reported at the start of the new year (see below), American Apparel, the Toy Association, and its member coalition- Safe to Play, had filed a lawsuit during the week of Christmas, claiming that Oregon’s Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA) is preempted based on the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Thankfully earlier this summer, the federal district court in Portland, Oregon dismissed the toy industry's lawsuit. Specifically, Judge Simon held that at least 69 chemicals regulated in Oregon’s Toxic Free Kids Act are not even addressed in the federal statutes. Therefore, the Toxic Free Kids Act is not ...

Grinchlike behavior: Toy Association delivers lawsuit against safer toys just in time for the New Year

In one of the most Grinch-like moves of 2021, American Apparel, the Toy Association, and its member coalition- Safe to Play, filed a lawsuit during the week of Christmas, in an effort to ensure that they can continue delivering toxic toys to Oregon kids.  They claim that the final rules of Oregon’s Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA) is preempted based on the  Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), and that compliance with phaseouts, especially if they have to pay the fees to apply for waivers, will cause them “irreparable harm.” This move came six and a half years after TFKA was enacted, and over 9 months ...

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 or recyclable. A whopping 40% of the world’s industrial logging goes into ...

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 ...

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 Salt: Options For Keeping Your Sidewalk Ice-Free

Winter weather in Oregon can be unpredictable. With this latest cold snap, it is time to start thinking about how we combat snow/ice on our sidewalks and driveways. The cost of so much salt Salt is used in many parts of the country because it lowers the freezing temperature of water and therefore can help accelerate the melting process of snow and ice. However, after it’s spread on roads or sidewalks, all of that salt has to go somewhere, and most of it washes into the storm sewer and gets deposited into the nearest river.  There, it can harm freshwater fish, frogs and other wildlife that aren’t acclimated to salty water, and can reduce ...

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 ...

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 see it from state agencies.  The heart of the matter under consideration by ...

Non-toxic tips to know before you buy furniture

Thanks, KGW! The local news is letting Portlanders know that they can now buy upholstered furniture made without toxic flame retardant chemicals. For decades, furniture-makers who use polyurethane foam padding have had little choice but to soak it in toxic flame retardant chemicals. Now, the law has changed—and it’s easier both to make and to identify furniture that is free of these chemicals linked to memory, learning, IQ, hormonal system and fertility problems. And thanks to a strong united voice from consumers and MindTheStore.org you’ll find a tag like the one pictured here in far more furniture stores, including Macy’s. If ...

Stronger Together: Equity in the Oregon Legislature

A few years ago, several groups got together to examine how state legislative proposals address issues of racial equity. They shone a light on laws that could have significant negative impacts on communities of color and recommended laws that could address racial disparities. To begin holding lawmakers accountable, they published the first Racial Equity Report Card in 2011. The report card, which is published every long session, evaluates each state legislator’s commitment to advancing opportunity and addressing disparities affecting Oregonians of color. Read about the most recent report card here. OEC is participating in meetings about this ...