State Campaigns

We have some new opportunities to make real progress towards protecting our health from toxic chemicals during the 2015-2016 legislative session in Massachusetts. The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow supports the following 7 bills that will help move that goal forward:

Protect our health from toxic chemicals, Support the following legislation:
An Act to Protect Children and Families from Harmful Flame Retardants
SD.539 (Sen. Cynthia Stone Creem)
An Act to Protect Children and Families from Harmful Flame Retardants
HD.1258 (Representative Marjorie Decker)

Toxic flame retardants are added to highchairs, car seats, nursing pads, furniture, carpet pads, electronic equipment (including toys), and many more household products. Unfortunately, they are a risk to our health and don’t actually provide a fire safety benefit. Fortunately, there are ways to make furniture more fire safe and less toxic, and many companies are already doing so. These bills will phase out the use of certain harmful flame retardant chemicals in children’s products and residential furniture. Read more >>

An Act Relating to Disclosure of Toxic Chemicals in Children’s Products
SD.866 (Sen. Ken Donnelly)
HD.408(Rep. Jay Kaufman)

A first step towards making the transition to safer alternatives is to find out what is being used in the products that we come into contact with every day. This bill will create a list of “toxic chemicals in consumer products.” Manufacturers of children’s products, personal care products, cleaning products and certain other “formulated” products sold in Massachusetts that contain those chemicals will be required to report that information to the state. The disclosed information will be made publicly available in a bi-annual report and on the state’s website. Read more >>

An Act for Healthy Families and Businesses
SD.770 (Sen. Ken Donnelly)
HD.1571 (Rep. Jay Kaufman)

Scientific evidence increasingly links many chronic diseases—such as asthma, autism, birth defects, cancers, developmental disabilities, diabetes, endometriosis, Parkinson’s disease, and others—with exposure to toxic substances. Current laws have failed to protect public health and the environment from exposure to harmful toxins. We need new laws that prevent harm from toxic chemicals before it starts instead of waiting to act after damage has been done. The Healthy Families Bill will require companies to replace toxic chemical in consumer products with safer alternatives wherever feasible.  The bill provides technical and financial assistance to businesses to support this transition. Read more >>

An Act to Require Environmentally Safe Alternatives to Harmful Cleaning Products
HD.2743 (Rep. Frank Smizik)

Toxic cleaning chemicals threaten the health of the workers who use them and the children and adults who live, work or study in the buildings where they are used. Scientific studies have found that cleaning chemicals have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive problems, stillbirths, and birth defects. Safer cleaning products are already in use in many public buildings and schools, demonstrating that they are effective, available, and feasible. This bill will require the use of safer cleaning products in schools, day care centers, and public buildings or common areas of public housing in Massachusetts. Read more >>

An Act requiring disclosure of solvents used in dry cleaning
HD.2758 (Rep. Frank Smizik)

Perchloroethylene, or perc, is the cleaning agent used by over 80% of U.S. dry cleaners. Perc has been linked to cancer, nervous system problems, liver and kidney damage, immune system problems, and other negative health impacts. Unfortunately, many of the alternatives to perc that are currently in use, including some that are marketed as “green” or “eco-friendly”,  have also been linked to health and environmental damage. This bill will require dry cleaners to post in their stores what chemical(s) they are using in their processes, and a color-coded indicator of the hazard level of each chemical. Read more >>

An Act prohibiting the use of bisphenol-A in consumer products
SD.1051 (Sen. Karen Spilka)

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an endocrine disrupting chemical that has been linked to early onset of puberty, increased diabetes risk, hyperactivity, obesity and certain cancers, including breast cancer.  It is the building block of polycarbonate plastic which is used to make some food storage containers toys and other products; it is in the epoxy linings of some food and beverage cans; and it is found.  BPA leaches out of these containers and into the food or drinks that are stored in them. BPA has been found in umbilical blood and urine samples. This bill, if passed, will require all manufacturers to phase out the use of BPA in children’s products including toys, bottles, cups and any child care article as well as any container made to be filled with food and/or beverages. The bill also requires that manufactures use the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA in their products. Read more >>