Public Health

Media Hit | Public Health

Congress poised to pass sweeping reform of chemical law

Congress is on the cusp of passing the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. chemical safety laws in 40 years, a rare bipartisan accord that has won the backing of both industry officials and some of the Hill’s most liberal lawmakers.

The Toxic Substances Control Act, which has not been reauthorized since President Gerald Ford signed it into law in 1976, regulates thousands of chemicals in everyday products including detergents and flame retardants. It has come under sharp criticism as ineffective from all quarters, including environmentalists who back stronger federal oversight and chemical companies that are now subject to a patchwork of more stringent rules in some states.

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Maryland PIRG statement on TSCA Reform

 

Unless Congress makes changes to the preemption clauses in the current bill being negotiated, it would effectively halt state action to restrict a toxic chemical while the EPA is assessing its safety – a years-long process that will leave us all at risk. When it comes to health protections, the federal government should set a floor, not a ceiling. We need sensible TSCA reform in order to keep us safe – not a step backward.

Resource | Public Health

Maryland Delegation sends letter to Congress urging stronger chemical protections

Current negotiations could tie the hands of states working to protect their citizens from toxic chemical expsosure. The bill would effecting halt state action to restrict dangerous chemical substances while the EPA assess chemical safety - a process that can take years. Check out what Maryland's legislative champs have to say about it.

Did you know that most chemical substances have not been cleared for safety? Of the 80,000 chemicals on the market today, only 2% have been screened by the EPA. Substances like formaldehyde, phthalates, triclosan, and bisphenols have been linked to growing health concerns like cancers, learning disorders, and asthma. Shockingly, many of these chemicals are in products we use every day to clean our homes and businesses. The good news is that half of the stores surveyed in Baltimore sell a certified non-toxic cleaning product.

Resource | Public Health

Resource Guide: 'Green' Cleaning Options for Baltimore

Our store survey found that half of Baltimore stores sell certified non-toxic cleaning products. These stores are mostly located in northern and southern parts of the city, leaving east and west Baltimore with limited options.

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health, Food

Taco Bell to Phase Out Chicken Raised on Routine Antibiotics; Students Host Event to Educate Peers

In a long-awaited victory for medically-important antibiotics, Taco Bell announced it will no longer serve chicken raised on human antibiotics in U.S. locations starting in 2017. Two Maryland PIRG interns this semester seized the opportunity to educate their peers on the dangers of antibiotic-overuse.

Media Hit | Public Health

Cleaning up Maryland's air

 

How can we help the next generation breathe easier?

 

On time for this year's Air Quality Awareness Week, Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health published new research confirming what we already suspected: Exposure to even small amounts of pollution can lead to lifelong respiratory disorders.

A national report issued this week titled What Stinks? Toxic Phthalates in Your Home reveals that a group of toxic chemicals are used in a broader range of household products than previously known, including products by Hallmark Cards, The Gap, True Value, and more.

Resource | Public Health

What Stinks? Toxic Phthalates in your home

Industry information newly required by the State of Maine reveals that hormone-disrupting chemicals known as phthalates (THAL-eights) are found in
more household products than previously known. For the first time, the use of toxic phthalates has been reported in paints, cleaners, disinfectants
and deodorizers. It also has been reported in clothing, shoes, and personal care products.

Strong science shows that even at very low levels of exposure, phthalates--a class of more than 40 closely related chemicals--are linked to reproductive harm, learning disabilities, and asthma and allergies.

Resource | Public Health

Public Comments: Proposed Off-Gassing Regulation Changes

Did you know that Maryland's air quality is one of the worst in North America? Much of our state's ground level pollution is made up of toxic VOCs, or off-gassing.

This year, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) proposed adopting an updated rule for Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs), which would apply to Maryland commercial and household products and would reduce off-gassing in the state by a projected 6.1 million tons per day. If approved, the regulations will be submitted to the EPA for approval as part of Maryland’s State Implementation Plan to further reduce ground level pollution.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Public Health

DEFEND THE CFPB

Tell your representative to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

Support us

Your donation supports Maryland PIRG's work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates, and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code