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. 

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
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
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
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
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
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
In a vote that would make the Grinch proud, the U.S. Senate passed a bill at the height of the holiday shopping season that would make it harder to protect children from imported toys containing toxic chemicals. The Senate bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 must be reconciled with a much different bill approved in June by the U.S. House of Representatives, before final TSCA reform can become law. American families expect assurance of product safety. But the Senate...+ Read more
According to the recent Bloomberg article, “Biomaterials May Be Next Growth Engine for Paper Industry,” pulp and paper companies world-wide are becoming more profitable by going biobased. Instead of traditional writing papers and newsprint, companies are finding new, high-value uses for wood. There is a global shift from traditional pulp and paper products to biomaterials – advanced packaging, biobased chemicals, advanced biofuels, and other high-profit products. So what about Maine’s pulp and...+ Read more
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, recently announced a $3.5 million provision in the 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill for forest products research. A portion of this funding will support University of Maine research to improve innovation and maintain a sustainable and globally competitive domestic forest products industry. According to Senator Susan Collins in her press release , “Maine has a thriving agricultural sector, and this bill...+ Read more