The Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow (AHT)
A broad coalition in Massachusetts working to prevent harm to our health and our environment from toxic chemicals. Our goal is to prevent exposure to the most vulnerable populations, such as children and workers, and those living in overburdened communities. We work to create laws and policies that result in the phase out of toxic chemicals in consumer products and other uses, and replace them with safer alternatives. We advocate for the creation of such policies at the municipal, state, federal and corporate levels. Please join the effort.
Massachusetts Senate passes bill to protect children, families, firefighters from toxic flame retardants
Elizabeth Saunders, Clean Water Action
Melissa Hurley, Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts
BOSTON, Mass.—The Massachusetts Senate voted favorably today to ban eleven toxic flame retardants from children’s products and upholstered furniture sold or manufactured in the commonwealth. The vote was hailed by firefighters, legislators and public heath advocates as a significant victory for public health and the environment who also called on the House to pass the bill swiftly.
"The value of flame retardants is certainly doubtful and given the extremely high cancer rates of firefighters the more toxic chemicals we can get out of our environment the less exposure we will have,” said Ed Kelly, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts. “This bill will ensure the health and safety not only of firefighters, but our children and all citizens of Massachusetts."Read more...
HADLEY, MA- A new report released today by the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow and several national organizations that tested nearly 200 food can linings for the toxic chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) found that two out of three cans tested have the chemical in the lining. BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems. Evidence suggests it may contribute to a host of harmful health effects including breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder. Other studies have demonstrated the capacity of BPA to migrate into food and then into people, raising concerns about exposures to low, but biologically relevant levels of BPA. Local results were startling: five out of six cans tested from the Walmart in Hadley were found to contain BPA.
For the first time ever, this report also identified the replacement materials for BPA in can linings, and to what extent - if any - their safety has been studied.
Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA & Regrettable Substitutes in the Linings of Canned Food (#BPA #ToxicFoodCans) was conceived and authored by the Breast Cancer Fund; Campaign for Healthier Solutions; Clean Production Action; Ecology Center; Environmental Defence (Canada); and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign.Read more...
New bill protects public from exposure to toxic chemicals, reflecting growing demand nationwide for flame retardant-free furniture.
BOSTON, Mass. (Wednesday, March 23, 2016)—Boston City Councilors passed a bill today to amend the city’s Fire Prevention Code, allowing hospitals, schools, colleges, and other public buildings with sprinkler systems to use furniture free of toxic flame retardant chemicals.
“This bill protects people from needless exposure to harmful flame retardants, creating a safer and healthier environment for all those who live, work, serve, and learn in our great city,” says Josh Zakim, City Councilor representing district 8, who sponsored the bill. The bill also brings Boston in line with the Massachusetts Fire Code’s regulation for upholstered furniture, as well as other major cities across the country that have taken steps to reduce the use of these toxic chemicals.Read more...
This week, two bills that would protect our children, families, and firefighters from harmful flame retardants moved one step
closer to becoming Massachusetts laws.
The Children and Firefighters Protection Act (H.2119) and An Act to protect children and families from harmful flame retardants (S.1132) were reported favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and the Joint Committee on Public Health, respectively.
There are a multitude of reasons to eradicate flame retardants from our everyday lives, and protect the well-being of firefighters who put their lives on the line for us every day. This is an important step towards significant change.
We have an opportunity this year to fight against an invisible health threat that pervades our environment, our homes, and our bodies: flame retardant chemicals! For years, these toxins have been added to consumer items like upholstered furniture and children's products, based largely on misguided policy decisions from the 1970s. We now know that flame retardants are a threat to our health and do not provide a meaningful increase to fire safety. It is time for them to go!
Here are the 5 top reasons why flame retardants should be a thing of the past:
1) Flame retardants just don't stay put...
They migrate easily out of the products we use every day and into our homes and bodies, where they build up and persist for years!
2) Health impacts can be dangerous...
Far from saving lives, these toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, neurological disorders, reproductive issues and a host of other significant health problems.