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 | COVID-19, Public Health

Maryland PIRG Statement on Gov. Hogan Restaurant Capacity Announcement

Baltimore - Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he is loosening coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining. Starting Monday, September 21st at 5:00pm restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity for indoor dining, up from 50%. 

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | COVID-19, Public Health

Maryland PIRG tells Governor Hogan it’s time to shut down, start over and do it right

Baltimore-- Maryland PIRG is calling on Governor Hogan to hit the reset button on the state’s response to containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as cases and hospitalizations increase.

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Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

Is Maryland Effectively Containing COVID-19? 7/27/2020 | Emily Scarr

Our weekly trends and risk assessment report on COVID-19 in Maryland.

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Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

Letter to Hogan: 1000 health professionals call for action | Emily Scarr

Along with U.S. PIRG and more than 1000 health professionals, we are calling on our decision makers to shut down, start over, and do it right. 

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | COVID-19, Public Health

Maryland PIRG Statement on Gov. Hogan Restaurant Capacity Announcement

Baltimore - Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he is loosening coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining. Starting Monday, September 21st at 5:00pm restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity for indoor dining, up from 50%. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Maryland PIRG | COVID-19, Public Health

Maryland PIRG tells Governor Hogan it’s time to shut down, start over and do it right

Baltimore-- Maryland PIRG is calling on Governor Hogan to hit the reset button on the state’s response to containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as cases and hospitalizations increase.

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News Release | COVID-19, Public Health

As jursidictions begin reopenning, let's follow advice from public health experts

Baltimore: On May 13, Governor Hogan announced plans to lift the statewide stay at home order and ease state restrictions on retail, manufacturing, houses of worship, and some personal services. His announcement gives individual jurisdictions power to make decisions regarding the timing of reopening locally.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | COVID-19, Public Health

Maryland PIRG Supports the "Roadmap to Recovery"

Baltimore:On April 24th, Governor Hogan released “Roadmap to Recovery,” his administration’s plan to safely ease state restrictions on business, education, and recreation implemented in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The plan sets out 3 phases of reopening, with subphases within each phase, a set of 4 criteria for moving from one phase to the next, and the ability to move back if conditions worsen. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Chain Reaction V

The Chain Reaction V report grades the top fast food and fast casual chanins on antibiotic use policies for their beef supply chains. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

Is Maryland Effectively Containing COVID-19? 7/27/2020 | Emily Scarr

Our weekly trends and risk assessment report on COVID-19 in Maryland.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

Letter to Hogan: 1000 health professionals call for action | Emily Scarr

Along with U.S. PIRG and more than 1000 health professionals, we are calling on our decision makers to shut down, start over, and do it right. 

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

By The Numbers: Is Maryland on Track to Reopen Safely? | Emily Scarr

Some people and businesses are feeling intense pressure to resume economic activity, but Maryland’s recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and limited testing and tracing capacity indicates that we are not ready to begin the process of reopening safely as outlined in Governor Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery. Here, we’ll look at the numbers that explain why. 

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Blog Post | COVID-19, Public Health

The path to reopening must follow public health guidelines | Emily Scarr

Marylanders are eager to move beyond the shelter-in-place phase of the coronavirus response. But many are still anxious about safety. What are public health experts recommending?

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Blog Post | Public Health

Testimony: Baltimore City Pesticide Control and Regulation | Emily Scarr

Maryland PIRG, along with our partners at Environment Maryland are proud to support comprehensive legisation to restrict the use of toxic pesticides in Baltimore City. Below is our testimony for today's remote hearing in the City Council's Health Committee.

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Blog Post | Public Health, Antibiotics

Superbugs Unplugged: PIRG launches podcast about antibiotic resistance

Get ready for some alarming stories—and they're all the more alarming because they're true.

On Nov. 14, U.S. PIRG and the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) of George Washington University launched "Superbugs Unplugged," a podcast that will dive into the alarming issue of antibiotic resistance and how we can slow it. Matt Wellington, our Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics campaign director, is co-hosting the podcast, along with Dr. Lance Price of ARAC. 

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Blog Post | Public Health

Kids are back at school. How do we make sure their water is safe to drink?

It's not just Flint or Newark. Parents and teachers are concerned about lead in drinking water throughout the country. And they're looking for steps they can take to get the lead out.

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Blog Post | Public Health, Antibiotics

These lawmakers are urging the EPA to protect our life-saving medicines

U.S. lawmakers have sent a blunt message to the Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Spraying antibiotics on citrus will "escalate [the] antibiotic resistance crisis."

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Blog Post | Public Health

Amazon: Take responsibility for unsafe products

Most of us expect that the products we buy in stores are safe to use. It turns out that's not always the case with Amazon. 

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Blog Post | Public Health

Public education, member action strengthen call to ban Roundup

The more we educate the public about Monsanto's weedkiller, Roundup, the more support we find for banning the product—the residue of which can be found practically everywhere, from breakfast cereal to ice cream.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG

Baltimore - Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that he is loosening coronavirus restrictions on indoor dining. Starting Monday, September 21st at 5:00pm restaurants will be allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity for indoor dining, up from 50%. 

News Release | Maryland PIRG

Baltimore-- Maryland PIRG is calling on Governor Hogan to hit the reset button on the state’s response to containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as cases and hospitalizations increase.

Blog Post

Our weekly trends and risk assessment report on COVID-19 in Maryland.

Blog Post

Along with U.S. PIRG and more than 1000 health professionals, we are calling on our decision makers to shut down, start over, and do it right. 

Public Health

Economists call for states to shut down, contain coronavirus before reopening

Economists from leading universities have signed an open letter to decision-makers urging them to scale back reopening in states that fail to meet public health benchmarks, saying the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus will continue as long as the virus goes uncontained.

 

Public Health

Maryland PIRG: Gov. Hogan should support local COVID-19 precautions, not restrict them

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced an emergency order prohibiting local governments within Maryland from issuing blanket closures of schools. Maryland PIRG opposes this decision — if local governments assess that temporarily closing schools during the coronavirus pandemic is best for public health, they shouldn't be barred from doing so.

 

Public Health

Responding to the COVID crisis

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, we need to work together to ensure that our government has a coordinated, strategic response to safeguard the public’s health, protect consumers from emerging dangers and ensure people can still participate fully in our democracy.

 

Public Health

Bill to protect families and firefighters from toxic chemicals becomes law

In early May, Gov. Larry Hogan allowed the Family and Firefighter Protection Act to go into effect without his signature. The bill — backed by Maryland PIRG — protects consumer and firefighter health by restricting the use of potentially toxic chemical flame retardants in furniture, children’s products and mattresses.

 
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