Washington Toxics Coalition Programs
Toxic Chemical Regulation
WTC’s Toxic-Free Legacy Campaign is our signature program. We lead a diverse 50+ member coalition of health, environmental, faith, and community organizations to advance and achieve precedent-setting policy reforms to get unregulated toxic chemicals under control and out of consumer products. Our current policy focus is the phaseout of toxic Tris flame retardants from children’s products and furniture.
WTC puts the pressure on toxic chemicals through the marketplace. We engage consumers in asking their favorite brands and retailers to stop selling products containing toxic chemicals and to influence the market through safer purchases.
WTC promotes alternatives for companies that want to get off the toxic treadmill. We promote green chemistry and work with Washington’s new Green Chemistry and Technology Center. We also promote new methods that help companies find safer alternatives.
Reach New Audiences
WTC is known for our high quality, user-friendly educational materials with tips on how consumers can reduce their own exposure to toxic chemicals and easy ways to get involved in getting toxic chemicals under control. WTC reaches hundreds of thousands of people a year through social and traditional media and through our skilled grassroots organizing.
Science of Emerging Toxics
WTC’s science program grounds all of our work in solid science. We conduct product testing to identify unregulated toxic chemicals in consumer products and we carry out original research on the pathways toxic chemicals take from the home to the environment. Our newest reports include:
- Something Smells: What Tween Perfume Makers Don’t Tell You, But Should
- Walmart Get The Lead Out: Nearly 25% of Walmart Jewelry Tested Contains High Levels of Lead
- Chemicals Revealed: 5,000 Kids’ Products Contain Toxic Chemicals
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
WTC gets results. We are the people who:
- Got BPA banned from baby bottles and sports bottles in Washington. The ban on BPA in baby bottles was taken up nationally by the FDA in 2012.
- Won the strongest controls in the nation on lead, cadmium, and phthalates in children’s products with the Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008 (CSPA).
- Achieved implementation in 2012 of the nation’s most comprehensive reporting under CSPA; manufacturers must now report if their children’s products sold in Washington contain any of 66 harmful chemicals.
- Advanced new policies in Washington State targeted specifically at chemicals that pose threats to Puget Sound, establishing models that later led to new policies addressing copper in brakes and paint and lead in wheel weights.
- Got the nation’s first program in place to phase out persistent toxic chemicals (PBTs), resulting in the phase-out of two key Puget Sound contaminants—mercury in 2003 and PBDE flame retardants in 2007.
- Spurred a voluntary phase out of PBDE production nationally through our ban in Washington State. A known persistent and bioaccumulative pollutant in Puget Sound, PBDE levels in one species of monitored fish have begun to fall.
WTC is poised to add to our track record of success. WTC has been working hard to get toxic Tris flame retardants TCEP and TDCPP out of children’s products and furniture in Washington, as well as to require companies to use safer alternatives. TCEP and TDCPP have been linked to cancer and other health effects in people. And, they’ve been shown to be ineffective in stopping flames. WTC’s own research is demonstrating that their use in the home results in contamination of our state’s natural waterways. We got close to meeting our goal of phasing out these flame retardants in 2013 when a bill to phase them out and to require safer substitution passed Washington’s House of Representatives. It’s time to push this phaseout over the top and get these toxic Tris flame retardants under control.