The Strategy Center Blog

Please read and share our latest thoughts on safer chemicals policy, products, health and disease prevention, biobased manufacturing and the green economy, environmental health and justice, and much more. 

We’re kicking off the holiday season with Giving Tuesday! Mark the date: November 28. In just one day, we’re hoping to raise $1,500 to fund our summer internship program, where we give aspiring advocates the training and experience to help them grow into tomorrow’s leaders for change. A generous donor has promised to match donations up to $500— that means your $25 donation turns into $50, and $50 turns into $100. Here’s what past interns have to say about their experience: “Witnessing these...+ Read more
Nothing says Thanksgiving more than the holiday’s iconic dishes: from the freshly roasted turkey to a bright bowl of tart cranberry sauce, this holiday of gratitude is about tucking in to a delicious meal, surrounded by the people you love. But what if some of Thanksgiving’s best dishes could contain hidden toxic chemicals? Don’t let harmful chemicals like BPA, arsenic, or so-called “Teflon chemicals” ruin your holiday. Follow these steps to reduce toxic chemicals in your Thanksgiving meal: 1...+ Read more
Are your favorite stores taking action to get toxic chemicals off their shelves? You can find out in a new report card that ranks 30 top retailers on toxics. The good news? Six retailers got a B or higher! Companies like Apple, Walmart, CVS and Ikea are taking the lead. The bad news? The average grade was a D+. Nine companies, [1] including Sally Beauty, Office Depot, Dollar General and Babies “R” Us, are lagging behind with F’s. It’s clear that there’s still a lot of work to do. Will you send...+ Read more
We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2017 environmental health leadership awards! Please click through the links to read our award winners' stories—and feel free to give a gift in tribute to their work. Michael Herz, PhD , is receiving the Frank Hatch Environmental Health Leadership Award for his lifetime of achievement in environmental advocacy and his leadership of environmental health organizations nationwide. Sydney Sewall, MD, MPH , is receiving the Bettie Kettell Award for...+ Read more
The Environmental Health Strategy Center this year recognizes longtime leader for change Michael Herz, PhD , as the winner of our 2017 Frank Hatch Environmental Health Leadership Award . “In the 30-plus years I’ve known Mike Herz, he’s always demonstrated a passion for a healthier environment, a zeal for citizen science, and an intolerance of wrong-doing of any kind—whether by bureaucrats or polluters,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of Environmental Health Strategy Center and Prevent...+ Read more
Grassroots Leadership Awards Linda Baker of Topsham is a former Republican state senator and public schoolteacher. Linda is the widow of Skip Baker, a career firefighter—with experience as a volunteer and then later as a professional firefighter—and former fire chief in Topsham, who died 16 years ago. His death was caused by what’s considered the number one cause of line-of-duty deaths among professional firefighters: cancer. Linda has two sons currently in the fire service, and she continually...+ Read more
Grassroots Leadership Awards Wendy Brennan is a mom of two daughters in Mt. Vernon, Maine. After discovering that her well water contained arsenic at three times the EPA safety limit, Wendy became a safe water champion, speaking out and raising awareness about this silent epidemic in Maine. “A lot of rural families in Maine are struggling paycheck to paycheck, and they can’t afford the hundreds or thousands of dollars it can cost to install a filtration system,” Wendy said after LD 1263 passed...+ Read more
The Bettie Kettell Outstanding Health Professional Award Dr. Sydney Sewall , MD, MPH, member of our Science Advisory Council, has been a pediatrician in Maine since 1982. Currently teaching pediatrics at the Maine-Dartmouth Family residency, Dr. Sewall was a past president of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A member of the Maine chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Sewall has worked throughout his career to advance public health initiatives and...+ Read more
Science Champion Award Gail Carlson , PhD, assistant professor, Environmental Studies, Colby College. The chair of our Science Advisory Council and a former executive board member at the Strategy Center, Dr. Carlson exemplifies putting science into action. She brought her expertise ​to key committee hearings of the Maine Legislature several times this session. Her testimony was foundational for both campaigns, explaining the science basis of why flame retardants are unnecessary and harmful, and...+ Read more
Legislative Leadership Award Sen. Joyce A. Maker , R-Washington, represents Senate District 6. A retired College Administrator and Financial Aid Director at Washington County Community College, Sen. Maker served on the Board of Directors for the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) for two terms, including two years as Chairman of the Board. Prior to her position in the Maine Senate, Sen. Maker represented House District 140 and has also served three terms on the Calais City Council. Senator Maker...+ Read more