Our Top Accomplishments

At the Center for Environmental Health, we are proud of our major accomplishments. These successes protect and improve the health of children, youth, and families nationwide—including yours.

From banning lead in children’s products to ending the use of phony “organic” labels on cosmetics nationwide, our list of success stories is too long to sum up. Here are a few victories we are especially proud of.

  • Our lead-testing of hundreds of toys and other products prompted Congress to adopt the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which for the first time set comprehensive federal standards banning lead in toys and all other children’s products.
  • CEH co-sponsored successful legislation that requires labels to inform consumers when furniture contains toxic flame retardant chemicals, and we worked with major companies including Facebook, AutoDesk, and many others to win their commitment to purchasing furniture made without flame retardant chemicals.
  • CEH testing pressured Coke and Pepsi to eliminate a cancer-causing chemical from their colas nationwide.
  • When the Governor and Health Commissioner of New York State announced a ban on fracking in the state, they cited two studies co-authored by CEH, one on health risks from air pollution associated with fracking and the other on the maternal and child health risks from the technology.
  • Our work ended the use of cancer-causing arsenic in wooden playground structures.
  • We partnered with major health care giants like Kaiser Permanente to create the most stringent environmental standards for computer purchasing, recycling and disposal, broadening the market for computers made with safer materials.
  • CEH conducted the first-ever large study of nearly 100 e-cigarettes, finding that the majority of companies tested produced one or more products that expose users to one or both of two cancer-causing chemicals. Our legal action is the first to call on the companies to reduce the risks from their products and end their marketing practices that target teens and put younger children at risk.
  • CEH conducted a multi-year health investigation that exposed the threat of lead in children’s jewelry. Our legal action spurred the largest product recall in U.S. history and led to a landmark agreement with Macy’s, Disney, Target, Wal-Mart and ultimately over 200 other companies to protect children from unsafe and potentially fatal exposures to lead.
  • Our work helped expose the hazards of lead-tainted products sold to low income consumers who shop at “dollar” stores nationwide.
  • Our work exposed the threat of lead air pollution to people living near small airports nationwide. We reached legal agreements with fuel suppliers to dozens of California airports, calling on them to offer lead-free fuel to end the lead threat and ultimately make safer fuel available to pilots nationwide.
  • CEH found more than 100 shampoos, soaps and other personal care products sold by major national retailers containing the cancer-causing chemical cocamide DEA. Our legal agreements have ended the use of the ingredient throughout the industry.
  • We created government policy requiring all purchasing by a $600 million annual municipal budget to prioritize the safest, greenest products for all government operations.
  • Won landmark legal agreements with dozens of leading cosmetic companies requiring them to use organic ingredients in their “organic” labeled products or change their false labels.
  • We forced Chrysler and the leading manufacturers of auto wheel balancing weights to end their use of leaded wheel weights in California and beyond. Previously lead from wheel weights was the largest unregulated source of new lead released into the environment.
  • Our work forced dozens of industrial polluters to eliminate thousands of pounds of cancer-causing air emissions.