Toxic Chemicals

From before we are born until the time we die, we are repeatedly and regularly exposed to toxic chemicals with the potential to seriously harm our health. Toxic chemicals can be found in our homes, schools and workplaces – in products we use on a daily basis. We're fighting at local, state, and federal levels to fix our chemical laws and find safer alternatives to the chemicals in everyday products.

Beakers. Photo credit: Africa Studios / Shutterstock

Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC): An Early Warning Sign

People and industry use tens of thousands of chemicals. A vast array of these chemicals have been found in our environment, where we consider them contaminants of emerging concern or CECs.

Recent Actions

Who deserves clean air and water?

Everyone deserves clean energy and a healthy environment, but many Massachusetts communities bear a greater health burden from fossil fuel pollution.

Tell America’s top retailers: Take action on toxic chemicals in your products!

The third annual Who’s Minding the Store? report card ranks 40 top retailers on their actions on toxic chemicals. Take action and send a message to the CEOs of all 19 retailers that earned Fs in this year’s report card.

Take action to rid our homes of toxic flame retardants

Contact your legislators today and tell them to pass House Bill 5329, a bill that bans the sale of children’s products and residential upholstered furniture containing toxic flame retardants, this session

Press Releases

April 20, 2018

"The time for talking is past," said Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer for Clean Water Action. "This environmental justice  (EJ) executive order starts the process and the governor cannot move fast enough to adopt mandatory EJ measures across multiple agencies. We need to significantly reduce the cumulatively be pollution burdens and health impacts on New Jersey is most vulnerable-low income communities and communities of color."

December 21, 2017

Clean Water Action is looking forward to having NJ’s next governor put Catherine McCabe in the driver’s seat as the new NJDEP Commissioner. She is a person who has made a career of being a science-based environmentalist.

"I’m proud to see that many large global retailers are paying attention to this campaign and consumer demands for safer products and applaud those that have received top grades.  There is much more that needs to be done and I am particularly disturbed to see the two top retailers of baby products falling behind.  Hopefully, our visit today and the release of the 2nd Retailer Report Card will urge both Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby to take serious action.”

Toxic Chemicals Blog Posts

Large group of people as seen from above. Credit: Stockernumber2 / iStock
January 2, 2019

Exciting news! Massachusetts is on the cusp of a big victory for public health - and we need your help to get there. The Massachusetts House and Senate voted on New Year’s Day to protect children and firefighters from toxic flame retardants!  For this to become law, the Governor must sign the bill by January 11th. Please call Governor Baker Today!

wrapped presents
January 2, 2019

I hope that the holiday season was for you a time of joy and togetherness. If you’re like many people, December also meant shopping—for friends, family, or even yourself. Gift giving is a way to show kindness and appreciation to our loved ones, but all too often we may give gifts that cause unintended harm as well.

Victory for kids and firefighers' health!
December 29, 2018

Late Friday afternoon the Massachusetts House voted to ban 10 toxic flame retardants in children’s products and household furniture!  This will be a huge step forward to protect the health of children and firefighters – but first the Massachusetts Senate has to approve the bill and send it to the Governor’s desk before the clock strikes midnight on Monday.