The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (AHT)
A broad coalition in Massachusetts working to pass laws and policies that prevent harm to our health from toxic chemicals. Our top priorities are to create a groundbreaking program in Massachusetts to systematically replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives that are better for workers and the environment, and to compel the Massachusetts Department of Health to use its authority to protect the health of children and vulnerable adults from the toxic chemical bisphenol A. Please join the effort.
Whether they know it or not, American families are exposed to toxic substances like lead, mercury, and formaldehyde everyday in their own homes. Our country’s system for regulating toxic chemicals is broken, allowing toxic chemicals to find their way into common household items like laundry detergent, couches, and even baby shampoo.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the only law our nation has guiding regulation of toxic chemicals—it has not been updated since 1976. Since that time, hundreds of new chemicals have entered the market and our homes without being tested for safety. Meanwhile, the rates of chronic illnesses like asthma, cancer, and reproductive and developmental have continued to rise.
February is the month for sweethearts to fan the flames of love, and this year for those in the trenches of toxic chemical phase out it's been the month of new news on flame retardants.
Today, Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow helped to release Naptime Nightmares, a new study on Chlorinated Tris in nap mats used in day care centers. Chlorinated Tris may not exactly be a common household name, but it is a resident in many of our homes as it is used as a flame retardant in furniture and many other products. It may also ring a bell as the chemical that was banned from children's pajamas in the 1970s because of its health impacts--Chlorinated Tris is linked to cancer and may cause genetic damage as well. Unfortunately, in a case of "regrettable substitution," it has been been making a resurgence in recent years as a replacement for the flame retardants known as PBDEs that the industry has been phasing out due to consumer pressure and laws passed in some states.
We all know someone living with cancer, asthma, learning disabilities, birth defects, or another devastating health problem linked to toxic chemicals. Massachusetts can protect the health of citizens and save in health care costs by passing legislation that would replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives wherever feasible.Thankfully, such legislation has been filed in the State House: the Healthy Families and Businesses Act.
An Act for Healthy Families and Businesses (H.235/S.354) was filed by Rep. Jay Kaufman and Sen. Kenneth Donnelly. It is a new version of the Safer Alternatives Bill, which AHT supported in previous years.Read more...
Have you ever walked into a dry cleaner and been bothered by the smell? Your nose knows: that unpleasant aroma could actually be toxic.
For the last fifty years, dry cleaners have used perchloroethylene (perc) as their most common cleaning product. Perc is a probable human carcinogen that can cause nervous system, liver, and kidney damage. Dry cleaning workers are at most risk, but when we take dry cleaned clothes home, we expose our families to this toxic chemical as well. Perc also can pollute the soil and groundwater around dry cleaning shops when improperly managed.
Circles represent number of surveyed garment cleaners in that area.
View Garment Cleaners in Massachusetts in a full screen map.
The good news is there are several alternatives to perc. The bad news is that each may have their own health and safety concerns, and it can be tough to figure out which is the best choice. A process called wet cleaning is the safest known method of professional garment cleaning, but many companies that make other dry cleaning products advertise themselves as green or environmentally friendly, even when they’re not. This is a practice known as “greenwashing.” There are steps you can take to avoid greenwashed cleaners and keep your family and yourself healthy.Read more...
When Lori Alper, a mom and activist from Bedford, was getting her kids ready to go back to school, she was horrified to discover that some school supplies featuring favorite Disney characters might be releasing “toxic dust” linked to serious health problems, including asthma, ADHD, and diabetes.
Lori started a petition to get Disney to make its children's products safer, and we're pitching in to help gather signatures. Sign the petition and tell Disney to stop using dangerous phthalates in its products now.
Want to do more? Join Lori and AHT as we deilver the petition to The Disney Store!Read more...