Chemical Policy AdvocacyWe insist on laws and policies that protect us from harm.
As part of protecting families and communities from toxic chemicals, CEH pushes for sensible environmental health laws at the federal, state, and local levels.
Leading the Opposition to the “Cancer Cover-Up Bill”
In June of 2018, at the behest of the chemical industry and grocery manufacturers, a bill was introduced to take away our right to know about dangerous chemicals in products. This bill aims to eliminate state requirements for labeling and disclosure, exposing millions of Americans to more toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in food, water, and products.
In response, CEH sent an opposition letter —signed by 164 environmental, health and civic organizations representing millions of people across the country —to every Member of Congress urging them to oppose this unprecedented assault on public health and transparency. CEH has also been meeting with lawmakers to clarify how dangerous this bill is to everyday Americans.
Demanding EPA Puts Public Health Over Chemical Industry Profit
As a result of a law passed by Congress in 2016, the EPA is now poised to fundamentally weaken how the federal government determines the health and safety of some of the most dangerous chemicals on the market. This radical departure from the agency’s core mission means chemical industry executives stand to make millions while ordinary Americans will be exposed to more toxic chemicals. In response, CEH is helping lead a broad coalition of environmental, public health, and consumer rights organizations demanding that the EPA does its job: protect people and the environment, not corporate interests.
Holding Leadership Accountable
When leaders at the national, state or local level are tasked with protecting our health and environment, CEH fights to ensure they’re held accountable when they put corporate profits before the public interest.
After Michael Dourson was chosen by President Trump to lead EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, CEH sprang into action to block his nomination. Dourson had a history of supporting weakening standards for toxic chemicals to the detriment of people’s health—working for the tobacco industry to downplay the effects of secondhand smoke, the chemical industry to bless Teflon, and the Koch brothers to dismiss the health concerns related to petroleum coke. While it was widely understood Dourson represented a grave threat to our nation’s health, few believed it was possible to beat him. But together, we did it. With thousands of petitions signed, phone calls to Congress, emails to friends, and posts on social media, we made our senators listen, and kept a man with deep ties to the chemical industry out of the EPA – handing Trump his first Congressional defeat of a nominee.
Former disgraced EPA Chief Scott Pruitt was dedicated to dismantling our most essential environmental protection laws – endangering our health and the health of our families. Pruitt systematically gutted some of the EPA’s most important programs while stripping away the agency’s ability to do its job, including the enforcement of its own chemical safety rules. As the EPA’s Chief Administrator, his most discernible commitments were protecting corporate polluters and enriching himself. In the face of this all-out assault on the core mission of the EPA, CEH mobilized its supporters and joined the Boot Pruitt campaign – a nationwide movement demanding his ouster – which resulted in approximately 200 House and Senate members and one million U.S. citizens demanding his resignation.
Co-Sponsoring Landmark Bill to Ban Toxic Flame Retardants
For decades, California has required toxic flame retardants in everything from furniture to mattresses to children’s products. These toxic chemicals – which have been linked to cancer, thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, delayed mental and physical development, lower IQ, hormone disruption, and reduced fertility – are now ubiquitous in American households and workplaces and have steadily built up in the environment and in human bodies. In addition to being toxic, flame retardants aren’t needed for fire safety. CEH is fighting to put people’s health above corporate profit by co-sponsoring legislation that would ban – once and for all – the sale of children’s products and upholstered furniture in California that contain these toxic chemicals.
CEH believes the health of Americans should come before polluter profit. We will continue to fight any legislation or government efforts to undermine laws that protect public health and the environment.