Healthy Kids, Healthy Maryland

PROTECTING MARYLANDERS FROM TOXICS—Maryland PIRG is working with state lawmakers and our powerful coalition, connecting concerned citizens with their representatives, and reaching out to the media in our fight to make Maryland toxics-free.

Protecting Maryland Families

We need to do more to regulate toxic chemicals and prevent vulnerable populations, like women of reproductive age, developing children and factory workers from being unwittingly exposed to toxic chemicals.

Today, we are seeing the long-term impact that dangerous chemicals have on people. Leukemia, brain cancer and other childhood cancers have increased by more than 20% since 1975; asthma rates have doubled since 1980; and autism diagnoses have increased tenfold in the last 15 years.

OUR COMMONSENSE STEPS TO A TOXIC-FREE MARYLAND

Our campaign pushes for concrete steps that will help make it easier for Marylanders to protect themselves from toxic chemicals.

The Healthy Kids, Healthy Maryland platform calls for three commonsense steps to protect Marylanders from toxic chemical exposure:

  • Phase out chemicals we know are dangerous, and replace them with safest alternatives available;
  • Provide consumers with health and safety information about the presence of toxic chemicals in everyday products; and
  • Support and encourage research, innovation, education and technology transfer in the field of green chemistry, making Maryland a leader in safe product development.

Issue updates

News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Updated Keep Antibiotics Effective Act will go into Law without Governor Hogan’s Signature

Governor Hogan announced today that he will allow the updated Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (SB471/HB652) to go into law without his signature. Public health advocates are applauding the new law to ensure that Maryland is restricting antibiotic use on farm animals when animals are  not sick and collecting important data regarding antibiotic use on farms.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

2019 Session Roundup | Emily Scarr

Here's our full roundup on the 2019 legislative session.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working | Public Health, Antibiotics

Maryland Legislature Passes New Bill to Keep Antibiotics Effective

Public health advocates are applauding the State Senate and House of Delegates for passing bills (SB471/HB652) to ensure that Maryland is restricting antibiotic use on farm animals that are not sick and collecting important data regarding antibiotic use on farms.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Tyson chicken strips recalled, may contain pieces of metal

Just seven weeks after Tyson Foods recalled chicken nuggets that could contain rubber, the poultry giant is recalling chicken strips that might contain metal. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Maryland gets a C Grade for efforts to address lead in school drinking water

Annapolis – Reacting to pervasive lead contamination in schools’ drinking water, Maryland PIRG gave Maryland a C grade today for addressing the problem, according to a new report. In the second edition of Maryland PIRG’s Get The Lead Out study, the state showed progress as Maryland received an F grade in 2017. State Delegates Jared Solomon and Stephen Lafferty, State Senator Cory McCray, and the Baltimore Teachers’ Union joined Maryland PIRG in calling for swift action to ensure lead-free water in Maryland’s schools.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Updated Keep Antibiotics Effective Act will go into Law without Governor Hogan’s Signature

Governor Hogan announced today that he will allow the updated Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (SB471/HB652) to go into law without his signature. Public health advocates are applauding the new law to ensure that Maryland is restricting antibiotic use on farm animals when animals are  not sick and collecting important data regarding antibiotic use on farms.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working | Public Health, Antibiotics

Maryland Legislature Passes New Bill to Keep Antibiotics Effective

Public health advocates are applauding the State Senate and House of Delegates for passing bills (SB471/HB652) to ensure that Maryland is restricting antibiotic use on farm animals that are not sick and collecting important data regarding antibiotic use on farms.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Tyson chicken strips recalled, may contain pieces of metal

Just seven weeks after Tyson Foods recalled chicken nuggets that could contain rubber, the poultry giant is recalling chicken strips that might contain metal. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Maryland gets a C Grade for efforts to address lead in school drinking water

Annapolis – Reacting to pervasive lead contamination in schools’ drinking water, Maryland PIRG gave Maryland a C grade today for addressing the problem, according to a new report. In the second edition of Maryland PIRG’s Get The Lead Out study, the state showed progress as Maryland received an F grade in 2017. State Delegates Jared Solomon and Stephen Lafferty, State Senator Cory McCray, and the Baltimore Teachers’ Union joined Maryland PIRG in calling for swift action to ensure lead-free water in Maryland’s schools.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Public Health

Maryland Department of Agriculture Enacts Weak Antibiotics Regulations

Annapolis, Md – Public health advocates are crying foul over the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) long-awaited regulations to implement the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017. That year, the Maryland General Assembly passed the bill to help curb the proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria by eliminating routine use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry that aren’t sick. 

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Result | Public Health

Protecting Marylanders from toxic lawn chemicals

Toxic chemicals in lawn pesticides pollute our environment and our health. These chemicals can drift into our air, waterways and homes. In 2015, Maryland PIRG helped win restrictions on toxic lawn pesticides in Montgomery County. The restrictions allow only safe pesticides to be used on lawns, playgrounds, recreation areas and children’s facilities’ grounds.

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Result | Public Health

Convincing McDonald’s and Subway to protect public health

In 2015, bolstered by the support of more than 100,000 members and supporters, we convinced both McDonald’s and Subway to take action to protect public health. In March, just two days after we delivered more than 30,000 petitions to McDonald’s headquarters, the company announced that they would stop serving chicken raised on medically-important antibiotics. And in October, after more than 100,000 called on the chain to take action, Subway announced a similar policy for all the meat they serve.

> Keep Reading
Result | Public Health

Victory: Macy's commits to phase out toxic flame retardents

We did it: Macy's announced it will stop selling furniture that contains toxic flame retardants.

> Keep Reading
Result | Public Health

Victory: Subway Announces Plan to Go Antibiotic Free

We're ecstatic that Subway will be living up to the healthy image they've created. They have more restaurants in the U.S. than any other chain, and their announcement will put major market pressure on the meat producers to stop overusing antibiotics.

> Keep Reading
Result | Public Health

KIDS’ SCHOOL LUNCHES NOW SAFER

For years, America’s schoolchildren have been eating beef, chicken and other foods that would have been rejected as substandard even by fast food chains. Thanks in part to our advocacy, the U.S.D.A. has stopped buying such low-quality meat for school lunches.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Get the Lead Out

Our children need safe drinking water – especially at school where they go to learn and play each day.  Unfortunately, lead is contaminating drinking water at schools and pre-schools across the country.  As our report shows, states are failing to make the grade when it comes to keeping lead out of drinking water at school.  Instead of waiting for more testing, we need to proactively remove the lead pipes and plumbing at the root of this toxic hazard for our children.

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health, Consumer Protection

HOW SAFE IS OUR FOOD?

While our food safety system has improved significantly over the last 100 years, when toxics, fake foodstuffs and bacteria regularly infiltrated the supply, it is clear there is more work to do. A modern society relies on ensuring that the daily act of eating does not undermine the health of the population. 

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Ecology Center | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Hidden Hazards

The Ecology Center's has released test results and product ratings in their 2018 report, Hidden Hazards: Flame Retardants & PFAS in Children's Car Seats. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland

For over 30 years, Maryland PIRG Foundation has conducted an annual survey of toys to look for safety problems. This research has led to more than 150 toy recalls and other regulatory actions over the years. Our work has also helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and well-being of children. 

> Keep Reading
Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide

With this Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide, parents, teachers, and students can make more informed decisions while shopping for school supplies this Back to School season. We want to give parents and teachers the option to choose school supplies that do not contain toxic chemicals. This Shopping Guide should serve as a handy tool for finding products free of several types of toxic chemicals.

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Blog Post | Public Health

2019 Session Roundup | Emily Scarr

Here's our full roundup on the 2019 legislative session.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

Study finds weed killer in beer and wine

The last thing you want to think about when you pour yourself a glass of wine or a cold beer is whether it contains even small levels of a potentially carcinogenic weed killer.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health, Antibiotics, Consumer Protection, Democracy

2019 Legislative Priorities | Emily Scarr

Maryland PIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters democratic government.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Testimony: The Lead Reduction and Remediation Act | Emily Scarr

Maryland PIRG supports HB1253/SB481 to lower the action level of lead in school drinking water and help schools remediate for lead.

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Pages

Blog Post | Public Health

Study finds weed killer in beer and wine

The last thing you want to think about when you pour yourself a glass of wine or a cold beer is whether it contains even small levels of a potentially carcinogenic weed killer.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

Home Depot misses deadline to get toxic paint strippers off store shelves

Dozens of people have died. Yet in January, Home Depot was still selling the products that led to their deaths.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health, Consumer Protection

How safe is our food? Not safe enough, says PIRG Consumer Watchdog team, and it's trending in the wrong direction

Unsafe food recalls in the U.S. are trending the wrong way. From 2013 to 2017, they rose 10 percent overall, and a whopping 83 percent for the most hazardous meat and poultry recalls.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

Which stores make the grade for getting toxic chemicals off the shelves?

Out of the 40 largest retailers in North America, 19 lack any public policy to address toxic chemicals in the products found on their shelves.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Public Health

'Our Kids Deserve Better': Lead Found In Water In Two Dozen Maryland Schools

State-mandated testing revealed that two dozen schools in the Baltimore region have elevated levels of lead in their water, while hundreds of schools have yet to be tested. Efforts are underway to apply filters to the affected pipes, or replace them entirely, but progress is slow.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG

Governor Hogan announced today that he will allow the updated Keep Antibiotics Effective Act (SB471/HB652) to go into law without his signature. Public health advocates are applauding the new law to ensure that Maryland is restricting antibiotic use on farm animals when animals are  not sick and collecting important data regarding antibiotic use on farms.

Blog Post

Here's our full roundup on the 2019 legislative session.

News Release | Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working

Public health advocates are applauding the State Senate and House of Delegates for passing bills (SB471/HB652) to ensure that Maryland is restricting antibiotic use on farm animals that are not sick and collecting important data regarding antibiotic use on farms.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Just seven weeks after Tyson Foods recalled chicken nuggets that could contain rubber, the poultry giant is recalling chicken strips that might contain metal. 

News Release | Maryland PIRG

Annapolis – Reacting to pervasive lead contamination in schools’ drinking water, Maryland PIRG gave Maryland a C grade today for addressing the problem, according to a new report. In the second edition of Maryland PIRG’s Get The Lead Out study, the state showed progress as Maryland received an F grade in 2017. State Delegates Jared Solomon and Stephen Lafferty, State Senator Cory McCray, and the Baltimore Teachers’ Union joined Maryland PIRG in calling for swift action to ensure lead-free water in Maryland’s schools.

Public Health | U.S. PIRG

End the nicotine trap

In 2018, 1 in 5 high school students vaped, which often delivers a highly addictive dose of nicotine. This has damaging consequences for their future and their health.

 

Public Health | U.S. PIRG

Glyphosate in beer and wine

Research shows that beer and wine are contaminated with glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup.

 

Public Health | Maryland PIRG

Fight against flame retardants

It's time to protect our families and fire fighters from toxic flame retardant chemicals in consumer products.

 

Public Health

How safe is our food?

Our latest report examines recent food safety trends, case studies of national recalls, what they mean for our health, and what we should do about it. 

 
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