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Washington Toxics Coalition 

Description

Washington Toxics Coalition makes change happen.  For over three decades WTC has worked hard to protect health and the environment from harmful chemicals – and we have a long track record of success.  Among our many achievements are a ban on hormone-disrupting BPA in baby bottles in our state, a ban that was taken up nationally by the FDA in 2012, and the nation’s first ban on the toxic flame retardant deca PBDE in 2007 that inspired a phase-out of PBDE production nationally. But our fight continues.  It is absolutely critical that we get more toxic chemicals under control for the health and well-being of future generations. 

Mission Statement
Washington Toxics Coalition uses groundbreaking research, top-notch advocacy, in-depth grassroots organizing and high quality consumer information to help create a healthier and just world by promoting safer products, chemicals, and practices, and a healthier future for the next generation.
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Washington Toxics Coalition
4649 Sunnyside Ave N Ste 540 
Seattle 
WA
98103-6963 
(206) 632-1545 

Laurie Valeriano 
Executive Director 

Programs

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.

Move Markets
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. 

Offer Alternatives
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.

 

 

Evaluation


The Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) combines policy advocacy, community organizing, research and education to protect public health and the environment from toxic chemicals. Its public outreach is founded on the message that many of the same chemicals that are polluting the natural environment are also contaminating people and harming their health.

Proven Success
Public concern about toxic chemicals and health is at an all-time high. By conducting original research on the impact of product-based toxic chemicals, the WTC has established itself as an expert on the issue, giving the organization greater legitimacy in the policymaking arena. For instance, it was able to help secure the strongest standards in the nation restricting toxic chemicals in children’s products in Washington State and securing a state ban on the hormone disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, sippy cups and sports bottles.

Best Practices
WTC provides the public with multiple ways to connect to its work - from social networking tools (such as Facebook and its ToxicsWatch blog), to a toxics telephone hotline, to visiting homes and businesses with handheld devices that test for heavy metals in everyday consumer products.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
WTC reaches diverse audiences through partnerships with community-based health organizations. Its collaboration with Planned Parenthood informs low-income pregnant women about avoiding toxins in baby products. They are always seeking additional partnerships, particularly with Latino and faith-based organizations.

Collaboration
WTC makes effective use of its partnerships with a wide range of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and business groups across King County. WTC coordinates the Toxic Free Legacy Coalition, a diverse coalition of over 40 groups in the Northwest. The organization also is a founding member of SAFER (State Alliance for Reform of Chemical Policy) which includes diverse coalitions in 14 other states that benefit from shared knowledge and relationships and strategically leverage their work to achieve federal reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
3/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2009 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2007 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/22/2005 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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