Our Stories

Toxic Injustice and the Power of Personal Stories

by Sara Moffett, Western Massachusetts Organizer People often ask me, “What do you like best about working for Clean Water Action,” and my answer is always the same: the people. For me, the most rewarding aspect of my job is connecting with folks on the diverse experiences that drive our efforts for progressive change. We all suffer the impacts of environmental degradation (some more profoundly than others), and we all have unique stories to share. Whether incensing, inspiring, or downright…

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Stand up for us, not the chemical industry

It was an unseasonably warm November day when I sat down in my political ecology class at Northeastern University. My professor, Danny Faber, an environmental justice champion in the Boston area, was showing us a film called “Toxic Hot Seat.” The topic seemed mundane: flame-retardants. But after sitting through the compelling and borderline shocking documentary, I was outraged. I had just watched a step-by-step breakdown about how flame-retardants, chemicals that are supposed to protect us from essentially bursting into flames,…

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Young advocates for safe cosmetics

“Dear Retail Stores, Listen up!” urges 11-year-old Sophie Alcindor. After learning about the dangers of toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products at her after school program, Sophie decided to take action. In a letter addressed to major retailers, she expressed her desire for change: “We all get it that you want to make money, but are [sic] this neck to neck competition really worth it. Can customers walk in and feel safe without having to feast valuable hours just…

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Laura: Mercury does not belong in your mouth

Laura Henze Russell is a member of the Massachusetts delegation to the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ Stroller Brigade for Safe Chemicals in Washington DC. Laura grew up on Long Island, New York. The horror of cancer hit home early for Laura when one of her friends lost her mother to the disease in high school. Unfortunately it didn’t stop there.  Over time, the the majority of her friends from the neighborhood, and their mothers, have contracted breast cancer. Cancer hit…

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Gail: Unwanted toxics in the home

Gail MCCormick is a member of the Massachusetts delegation to the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ Stroller Brigade for Safe Chemicals in Washington DC. Gail is a mother of two, a grandmother of three, and a dedicated activist. Though she’s lived in 12 different states in her lifetime, she’s lived in Massachusetts for 17 years and currently calls Arlington home. When her children were young, Gail’s family went through a harrowing experience of toxic chemical exposure that opened her eyes to…

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Lessons from My Grandmother

By Cindy Luppi, New England Director, Clean Water Action April is here and for many, the top thing on our minds is the early days of spring–whether we can shelve our winter coats, maybe how close we are to Opening Day. For me, April always reminds me of my grandmother, Aubine. She was born in early April, over 100 years ago in a small town in northern Maine. When I think of her, I think of the popcorn balls she…

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Margo: Not many things shock me anymore

By Margo Simon Golden, MPH We have all been touched by cancer.  I was in my thirties, married for nine months, and diagnosed with breast cancer.   Four years later, now ten years ago, my breast cancer metastasized to my lungs.  I am grateful and thankful to all the dedicated men and women, past and present, in all capacities, who helped to develop treatment options and hope that I never run out of options.   I also support  the common sense approach…

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Pat: The Scent of a Problem

By Katherine Friedrich, Based on an interview with Pat Smith Pat Smith had over 30 years of experience as a registered nurse. She’d been working in the same office for five years. She was used to her routine at work and at home. Since she believed products had to smell good to be clean, she used perfumed lotions, scented shampoo, dryer sheets and commercial detergent. When Pat noticed a musty smell in the carpet near her desk at work one…

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Cheryl: Medfield mother works toward a ‘healthy tomorrow’

By Linda Thomas – correspondent for the Medfield Press. Reprinted with permission from the Medfield Press. Cheryl Durr Patry watched as her infant son’s skin turned red. It was dry, itchy and scaly – how his little nails tried to tear it up as he cried. He was borderline colicky, she said. She tried over-the-counter creams and salves, and eliminated different foods from his diet. Then, one day, he sneezed 15 times in succession while sitting on a table she…

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Tiffany: A ‘Hairy’ Valentine Tale of Toxic Woe

By Tiffany Skogstrom Okay.  I confess…  I am not a real blond.  Ever since those streaks of silver started slipping in, my hair has become  my biggest environmental sin.  Every 5 weeks I visit the altar of beauty where a talented co-conspirator helps me hide the natural aging process by putting god-knows-what in my hair, down the drain, and inevitably into the environment. I compost food waste, wear no make up, carry a travel mug, use home-made cleaning products, buy…

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Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow

c/o Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund
88 Broad Street, Lower Level
Boston, MA 02110

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info@healthytomorrowma.org

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