WASHINGTON – Salon workers from around the U.S. today joined the Environmental Working Group and Women’s Voices for the Earth to petition the Food and Drug Administration to ban dangerous hair straighteners that contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and potent allergen. The petition argues that its presence in hair-straightening and -smoothing treatments means that under the federal Drug and Cosmetics Act, such products are “adulterated” and should be banned.
A new report by environmental health organization, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), spotlights how toxic chemicals in cleaning products add to the health disparities and disproportionate burdens many people face from occupational exposure, pollutants in their environments, as well as social, racial and gender injustices. By accessing new ingredient information, the report calls attention to some of the most problematic and pervasive ingredients used in household and institutional cleaners, that have, until recently, been hidden from the general public.
Un nuevo informe de la organización de salud ambiental, las Voces de la Mujeres para la Tierra (WVE), destaca cómo los productos químicos tóxicos en los productos de limpieza se suman a las disparidades de salud y las cargas desproporcionadas que enfrentan muchas personas debido a la exposición ocupacional, la contaminación -tanto en sus entornos, así como las injusticias sociales, raciales y de género. Al acceder a información sobre nuevos ingredientes, el informe, "Más Allá de la Etiqueta: Impactos en la Salud de los Ingredientes Nocivos en los Productos de Limpieza", señala algunos de los ingredientes más problemáticos y omnipresentes utilizados en los limpiadores domésticos e institucionales, que, hasta hace poco tiempo, ha estado oculto al público en general.
The racial and sexual violence that Asian American and Pacific Islander women face in the United States is not new, but is historically and shamefully ignored by mainstream media, decision-makers, and often organizations like ours who are dedicated to bettering societal and environmental health.
To help prevent the overuse and the misuse of disinfectants in schools, Women’s Voices for the Earth has released a toolkit for parents and guardians on how to talk to educators about safer alternatives. The toolkit includes a comprehensive list of EPA-certified safer disinfectants to combat COVID-19 that use active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide instead of toxic quats. But beyond disinfectants, the toolkit also highlights how to use these products safely, and stresses the importance and effectiveness of hand-washing for keeping kids healthy.
Women’s Voices for the Earth is profoundly devastated and outraged by the recent brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We are tired of seeing headlines and newsfeeds populate again and again with names, faces and stories of black men and women harmed by a system that often determines worth by our sex, wealth, and whiteness. The damage that occurs when certain groups are privileged or disadvantaged because of their gender, their class or their race, is not just catastrophic, it is fatal.
More than 150 affected communities, environmental justice organizations and other groups are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind or replace its policy allowing companies to stop reporting how much they pollute under the guise of COVID-19. The policy, which took effect in mid March, allows companies to use COVID-19 as an excuse to stop critical health and safety monitoring—without notifying the public or the EPA. The policy applies to every industry in the country, including chemical manufacturing, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, and virtually all other sources of pollution. In addition to increasing the potential for catastrophic chemical releases and explosions, the policy allows the EPA to waive enforcement even if the suspension of monitoring causes an “imminent threat” to health or the environment. On top of all that, the policy comes at a time when EPA inspections are at a decade-long low.