Strategy Center's blog

You can’t taste it, smell it or see it, but what you don’t know can hurt you. An estimated 150,000 rural Mainers are slowly being poisoned by arsenic in their drinking water drawn from private wells. This silent public health crisis robs our youth of intelligence and causes skin, bladder and lung cancer. Yet only about 45% of Maine households with wells have tested their drinking water for arsenic and other health-threatening contaminants from natural sources such as uranium, manganese, radon and fluoride. Statewide, as many as 1 in 5 wells may produce water that’s unsafe to drink, although in some “hot spots” the danger rate is much higher.+ Read more
EHSC's Frances Jimenez works with a Blue Hill resident to take a water sample
On a rainy July afternoon, while many stayed indoors, three determined individuals set out on the streets of Blue Hill to educate citizens of the dangers of arsenic and other toxic chemicals that are common in private drinking water wells. Equipped with donated water test kits, discount test coupons, and factsheets, EHSC’s Emily Postman and volunteer interns Frances Jimenez and Jack Martell went door to door distributing information and discussing the importance of getting a drinking water test...+ Read more
Safe drinking water
The crisis in Flint, Michigan is sparking important conversations nationwide about access to safe drinking water, free of toxic chemicals that impact brain development. Flint’s contaminated public water supply was in violation of safety standards established by the 1974 U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act, the law responsible for federal investigation into Michigan leaders’ sluggish response to the crisis. But that law does nothing to protect the 1.5 million U.S. households with children and families...+ Read more
Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) forty years ago to prevent harm to pregnant women, babies, workers, and other vulnerable groups from dangerous chemicals in everyday products. But the law was fundamentally flawed from the start. TSCA has failed so badly that even asbestos, which still kills 10,000 Americans annually, could not be banned. In fact, few chemicals have been tested for safety. A national leader in the decade-long campaign to overhaul TSCA, the Environmental...+ Read more
A national report released in March has verified that canned foods are still a major source of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), revealing its presence in the linings of two out of three cans of food distributed by popular national brands. Nearly 200 cans of food were tested. Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA & Regrettable Substitutes in the Linings of Canned Food , released in early March 2016, was conceived and authored by the national Mind the Store campaign of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a...+ Read more
2016 Report to the Community
Just released, our 2016 Report to the Community thanks everyone who supported the Strategy Center last year. Toward the healthy world we’re working for, here’s what you made happen. You made the marketplace safer. You supported our victories in the national Mind the Store campaign that encourages retailers to “mind the store” responsibly by eliminating toxic chemicals from the products they sell. Our Executive Director Mike Belliveau led campaign negotiations that convinced the world’s largest...+ Read more
For anyone who’s ever doubted it, Mom was right. Especially when she said people have the right to know what chemicals are in the products they buy. Thanks to a lot of moms, a new national report issued this week reveals that a group of toxic chemicals are used in a broader range of household products than previously known. "What Stinks? Toxic Phthalates in Your Home" was conceived and authored by the Maine-based Environmental Health Strategy Center and Prevent Harm and is cosponsored by Safer...+ Read more
Congress has passed two bills to fix our broken chemical safety system under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and negotiations on long-needed federal chemical reform are coming down to the wire. Reasonable chemical safety reform for the nation is within reach. But we’re worried: the Senate bill still on the table could block state action to protect children’s health from toxic chemicals in products. “The Pause” Passed in December 2015, the Senate bill would block states from restricting...+ Read more
How did Senator Angus King describe it, earlier this spring. . . ? Oh, that’s right. He said it was as devastating as “a natural disaster.” In late March, with leaders from federal economic development agencies who were touring Maine’s Lincoln Lakes and Katahdin regions, King said, “What’s happened in the paper industry in Maine is like a natural disaster. We have lost six mills in five years." The senator said about 1,400 direct paper jobs were lost, and nearly twice that many jobs were “lost...+ Read more
EHSC Moms bus to Washington. D.C. spring 2012
In our office yesterday, staff members shared a memory. It was four years ago this spring that a group of two-dozen Maine moms (along with some grandparents, college students, and others) boarded a bus with us. We headed down the highway to Washington, D.C., to join hundreds of other advocates who had come from all over the country to talk to members of Congress about the importance of overhauling the nation’s broken chemical safety system. The moms weren’t happy that Congress had repeatedly...+ Read more