Good Chemistry: Green Tips for Better Health, from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

Posts Tagged ‘Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont’

Power of the Onesie Lobby Day!

Feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with all the talk of toxins in our bodies? Unsure of how to make a positive difference? Come to The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont's Lobby Day!!

When: Thursday, February 24th; 9:30 am –2:00pm
Where: Vermont State House --115 State Street, Montpelier.
Who: Students, Families and kids of all ages
What: A day to speak to your elected officials

Tell our legislators that more needs to be done to protect Vermonters from toxic chemicals in schools, homes, and products.  This lobby day is hosted by VPIRG, Toxics Action Center, River Network, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Mama Says, VT Public Health Association, and Voices for Vermont’s Children, and Informed Green Solutions. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Charity Carbine at charity@vpirg.orgor 223-8421 x 4108


Posted by on February 10th, 2011 No Comments

An Environmental Health Night @ UVM

With growing awareness of the tightly woven connections between our environment and our health, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is making a commitment to protecting both. With a desire to share this important information with our communities we will be showing the documentary Living Downstream, an adaptation of the book by Dr. Sandra Steingraber. The movie follows Dr Steingraber and her work around the country promoting awareness of the dangers of toxic chemicals as they contaminate our world and eventually our bodies. Though the film is not set in Vermont, the issues raised are relevant in our state. Despite best intentions Vermonters, too, are exposed to dangerous chemicals via consumer products and our environment.

Please join us Wednesday, January 26th at 7pm for an evening of action as we screen the documentary Living Downstream, an adaptation of the book by Dr. Sandra Steingraber.  Watch the Trailer Here

A conversation will follow the film as we talk about the relevance of this critical link in our communities and the need for comprehensive chemical reform in Vermont.  Our hope is that you’ll agree with us that toxic exposure is unnecessary and voice your concern to your legislators here in Vermont.

Environmental Health Night: Documentary and Discussion
Wednesday, January 26th at 7pm
Sugarmaple Ballroom 4th Floor Davis Center, University of Vermont

This is a FREE Event!

Hosted by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, a member of The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont & the Environmental Studies Department.

For questions e-mail

Posted by on January 24th, 2011 No Comments

VT BPA Update: Bill Passes Senate, Headed for House Human Services Committee

Great news! Last week the Vermont Senate passed S.247, An Act Relating to Bisphenol A (BPA)--a  bill that would phase out BPA in reusable food and beverage containers and in infant formula or baby food that is stored in a plastic container, jar or can in favor of safer alternatives.

S.247 is an important step in providing much needed information about which products contain the harmful chemical BPA, so that all men and women have the ability to plan a safe and healthy pregnancy and family.

Chamber of the Vermont Senate. Photographed by Jim Hood, August 2007.

Chamber of the Vermont Senate. Photographed by Jim Hood, August 2007.

An amendment that would have weakened S.247 was proposed, but luckily it was defeated by a bipartisan vote of 16-14.  Here’s the list of Senators who voted against weakening the bill: Ashe of Chittenden, Ayer of Addison, Brock of Franklin, Carris of Rutland, Choate of Caledonia, Cummings of Washington, Doyle of Washington, Flanagan of Chittenden, Giard of Addison, Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans, Kitchel of Caledonia, Lyons of Chittenden, MacDonald of Orange, McCormack of Windsor, Racine of Chittenden, and Snelling of Chittenden. Special shout out to Senator Ginny Lyons who is the lead sponsor of this bill and has been working really hard to keep the momentum going.

The next stop for the S.247 is the House Human Services Committee.  PPNNE will be working hard to keep this bill moving along with our coalition partner the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont. If you want to learn more or get involved, email

Posted by on April 12th, 2010 No Comments

Body Burden Study: Toxic chemicals found in the bodies of Vermonters

chartThe Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Vermont, an organization in which Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is a member of, released the first Body Burden study to be done in Vermont.  Body Burden studies test to find what chemicals we have in our bodies.

The report, Toxic Exposures in the Green Mountain State, tested the bodies of six Vermonters for a variety of common chemicals found in the environment and consumer products.  These chemicals - including bisphenol A (BPA), mercury, organochlorine pesticides, and flame retardants known as Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) – have all been linked to harmful health impacts ranging from cancer to neurological damage to birth defects.

The amount of each chemical found in the bodies of participants varied widely.  According to the study:

  • BPA was found in every participant and levels of the chemical in three of the participants exceeded the national norm;
  • Levels of mercury were found in four participants, each time equaling or exceeding the national norm;
  • Seven types of organochlorine pesticides were found in the blood of all participants, and DDT – banned in 1972 – was found in the bodies of five of the six Vermonters; and
  • Twenty different types of flame retardants were present in all of the participants, and Deca was found in all but one of the Vermonters.

“We participated in this study because as one of the largest providers of reproductive health care in our region, we believe it’s our responsibility to help our patients and communities understand the link between their health and the products they put in and on their bodies.   It is part of our role as health care providers to educate our patients about how to reduce their exposure to harmful contaminants,” said Ellen Starr, V.P. of PPNNE Health Center Operations. (more…)

Posted by on February 11th, 2010 No Comments

Deca Bill Update

The bill to ban Deca passed the House Thursday as part of the health care bill.  Keeping a toxic chemical linked to developmental and reproductive problems out of our mattresses sounds like  a no-brainer, but the bill was not without controversy.  Citizens for Fire Safety (CFS), a faux grassroots group, bombarded Vermonters with robo-calls falsely implying the end of Deca would be the end of flame retardants.  Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the bill is on it's way to the Governor's desk.

What does this mean for your mattress? Not much.  As for your future mattresses, it means plenty:  you'll know they don't contain Deca.  After July 1st, 2010 it will be illegal to manufacture or sell mattresses & upholstered furniture containing Deca in Vermont.  After July 1st, 2012 the same will hold true for computers and televisions, though retailers will be able to sell inventory purchased before July 1st 2009.  The bill also includes safeguards against Deca being replaced with equally toxic alternatives.

Kudos to all the legislators who made this possible, including Representative Weston who spoke in favor of the ban.

Thank you also to VPIRG, the Professional Firefighters of Vermont, and the rest of the Alliance For A Clean & Healthy VT for your work on this important effort.


Posted by on May 9th, 2009 No Comments

Toxic Flame Retardants In Your Bed? That’s Bad Chemistry.

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is working with The Alliance For a Clean and Healthy Vermont on a bill to keep Deca, a toxic flame retardant, out of mattresses, electronics and upholstered furniture. The bill passed the Vermont Senate and is now being considered in the House.  


Help by calling your representative to urge them to support the Deca ban bill.

Deca, Penta & Octa are PBDE type chemicals currently used as flame retardants in furniture and electronics.  They are known reproductive and developmental toxicants and make their way from products  into the environment and into our bodies.  PBDE levels in breast milk, blood and tissues have increased by a factor of 100 in the past 30 years, doubling about every five years. This is alarming--studies link PBDEs to reproductive and developmental problems, including delayed puberty. Fire fighting does not have to have toxic consequences: safer alternative flame retardants exist. 

Please call your representatives to ask them to support the Deca ban bill.  Not sure who to call or what to say? More info after the jump.


Posted by on April 23rd, 2009 1 Comment