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 | US PIRG | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Statement: CPSC vote to regulate infant sleep products will save lives

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approved tough new standards Wednesday to regulate several infant sleep products for the first time.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG | Public Health

Statement: Gov. Hogan signs Safe School Drinking Water Act

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Today, Gov. Hogan will sign the Safe School Drinking Water Act, which will strengthen the state’s protections against lead in school drinking water. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Cory McCray and Del. Jared Solomon, requires schools to remediate lead in drinking water taps that test above five parts per billion. 

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center | Public Health

A Perfect Storm

SINCE 1980, THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Superfund” toxic waste cleanup program has been responsible for identifying the worst toxic waste sites across the country and holding polluters accountable to cover the cost of cleaning them up. When the polluting party cannot be found or afford the cleanup, the Superfund program has the authority and funds to clean up the site. 

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News Release | Maryland PIRG and partners | Public Health

A Loss for Public Health

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – May 7, 2020 – Today Governor Hogan vetoed House Bill 732 which would have taken a stand to protect public health by increasing funding for tobacco control, funding emergency response to COVID-19, and raising the tobacco tax.

Members of the Maryland Tobacco Free Coalition including the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and MD PIRG make the following statement: 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Public Health

Price gouging on medical equipment risks lives, 100+ mayors call for action

A new investigation by ProPublica, along with reporting by numerous other outlets, has revealed that suppliers are using the COVID-19 public health emergency to drive up prices exorbitantly on medical equipment. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Public Health

President Trump takes crucial step of activating Defense Production Act to get more ventilators

In response to a critical shortage of ventilators needed to keep severe COVID-19 patients breathing, President Donald Trump ordered General Motors to produce the life-saving machines under the Defense Production Act. The Department of Health and Human Services will be responsible for implementation of and follow through on that order. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Public Health

Statement: Passing the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act” is a crucial step to protect U.S. children

In an effort to protect young Americans from the temptations that can lead to a life-long struggle with tobacco addiction, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on Friday on a bill that would restrict tobacco sales and marketing.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

Trouble in Toyland 2015

For 30 years, Maryland PIRG Foundation has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

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Report | Maryland PIRG and Consumers Union | Public Health

Prescription For Change

Our September 2014 survey of physicians paints a grim picture of the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant infections. The overwhelming majority of surveyed doctors reported that one or more of their patients had been diagnosed with a presumed or confirmed case of a multi-drug resistant bacterial infection in the past twelve months. They also expressed concern about the use of antibiotics in livestock production facilities on healthy animals in order to promote growth and prevent disease.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

Weak Medicine

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people per year in the United States, causing more than 23,000 deaths. State governments, the FDA and other branches of the federal government should take steps to protect human health from the antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can develop on factory farms.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation and Washington Toxics Coalition | Public Health

What's on Your List?

Parents want and expect the products they use to care for their children to be safe and free of harmful chemicals. But our nation’s toxic chemical laws are weak and ineffective and many harmful chemicals get into everyday consumer products without the public’s knowledge. Taking steps to remedy this problem, Washington State passed the Children’s Safe Products Act in 2008 (CSPA). CSPA set up requirements for makers of children’s products being sold in Washington to report to the state if these products contain chemicals on a list of 66 Chemicals of High Concern to Children.

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Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Public Health

An Unnecessary Burden

A large and growing body of scientific research shows that many chemicals in consumer products and building materials are linked to asthma and asthma symptoms.

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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 | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Public Health, Consumer Protection

Cleaning and disinfecting safely during the coronavirus outbreak | Emily Scarr

If you’re like me, you’re spending a lot more time cleaning while sheltering in place. My increased time at home cooking, working, and playing with my children makes a lot of mess! I am also cleaning more as a way to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. I enjoy my cleaning routine; in a day full of zoom calls and wrangling small children, it’s nice to take a break to listen to the radio or music while I wipe down the counters or sweep the floor. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, COVID-19, Public Health

COVID-19 and the question of priorities | Douglas H. Phelps

To keep the sickest people alive during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we need ventilators. We don’t have them — and that says something about our priorities.

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News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation, NRDC, Fashion FWD

Maryland PIRG Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

News Release | Maryland PIRG

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Health and Environmental Affairs Committee voted unanimously to send the George Walter Taylor Act to the Senate Floor. 

Public Health

Maryland PIRG-backed comprehensive climate bill clears major hurdle

Pollution from fossil fuel-powered buildings and transportation puts Maryland families’ health and safety at risk. The Climate Solutions Now Act would change that by increasing the state’s electric vehicle fleet and requiring large buildings to reduce emissions, among other key targets.

 

Public Health

Emily Scarr makes the case for action to reduce PFAS

At the Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit, Emily Scarr made the case for stopping the use of "forever chemicals" in our everyday products.

 

Public Health

Maryland PIRG Foundation report details threat of PFAS chemicals

Nearly every American has toxic PFAS chemicals in their blood. A new Maryland PIRG report tells us how PFAS contamination puts our health at risk, what we can do about it. and calls for the regulation and restriction of this class of class of chemicals. 

 

Public Health

Maryland adopts tougher standard for lead in school kids' drinking water

Gov. Larry Hogan has signed the Safe School Drinking Water Act into law, which requires schools to remediate lead in drinking water taps that test above five parts per billion. State-required testing that Maryland PIRG helped pass has revealed dangerous levels of lead, a potent neurotoxin that's especially hazardous to children, throughout the state.

 
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