Protecting Our Health from Toxic Chemicals

Toxic chemicals surround us—in our air, water, homes, and workplaces. Many chemicals used in everyday products, like plastics, cosmetics, toys,  and furniture, increase the risk of serious illnesses.

Clean Water Action is working to reduce toxic chemicals in our homes, workplaces and communities. This year, we are asking Massachusetts authorities to:

In 2020-2021, Clean Water Action coordinated a state-wide effort to get Massachusetts leaders to address PFAS, a set of chemicals that have contaminated water, soil, and air throughout our state. Clean Water Action successfully got strong recommendations into the state’s PFAS Interagency Task Force report. The Massachusetts Attorney General filed a lawsuit against PFAS manufacturers, and Massachusetts added PFAS to the state’s list of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals.

In the 2021-22 Massachusetts legislative session, Clean Water Action supported four bills to eliminate PFAS from consumer products such as food packaging, clothing, personal care products, and fire fighting gear.  These bills garnered significant support but were not passed into law. However, Massachusetts legislators have announced that they are likely to file a comprehensive PFAS bill /bills in 2023.   CWA is committed to working with the Legislature to make sure that the strongest possible bills are introduced in January 2023, with prompt action by the Legislature.

In 2021, Clean Water Action won a big victory when the Massachusetts Legislature passed a law banning 11 dangerous flame retardants and giving the state the authority to restrict the use of additional flame retardants. 

Learn more about PFAS here.

Under the wire: Mass. legislature sends bill to Governor’s desk that will protect children and firefighters from toxic flame retardants

“This is a huge new year’s gift to all Massachusetts families and in particular firefighters,” said Elizabeth Saunders, Massachusetts Director for Clean Water Action and board member of the Alliance. “These chemicals have been putting our children and firefighters at risk for decades and it’s high time that they are removed from the products that we bring into our homes. We’re counting on Governor Baker to join the legislature in prioritizing protection for our most vulnerable by signing this bill into law.”

ma-flame retardants-kid-sleep-car seat-pickpik.jpg

Toxic Flame Retardants

Learn about flame retardants, chemicals that are added to everyday products such as highchairs, car seats, nursing pads, upholstered furniture, carpet pads, nap mats, strollers, electronics (including toys) and many more common household products. Many flame retardants are hazardous to our health. Over time flame retardants escape from the products they are used in and get into the air and dust around us. 

MA-toxic free kids.jpg

Environmental and health advocates call on Massachusetts legislators to get toxic chemicals out of children’s products

BOSTON--Silent Spring Institute published a peer-reviewed article today that details how widespread per- and polyfluoroalkyl subst

MA Blintzes_in_frying_pan (wikimedia).jpg

PFAS: The Forever Chemicals

Learn more about PFAS, a class of chemicals used to make products grease proof, water-proof, stick-proof, and stain-resistant.