header
bghomeabouthecendopreswhatcontbg
photos
spacer
spacer spacer

What is Environmental Justice?

Has Sasol Broken Its Promise to Meet Community Needs? Op-Ed piece

Congresss Keeps Environmental Racism Status Quo with Bad House Bill

Environmental Justice Leaders Gather in Denver for National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) Meeting - 20th Anniversary Feb 11-12, 2014 News Advisory

Yupik People on St. Lawrence Island Face Food Crisis

Contaminated Community: Mossville, Louisiana to Be Relocated

What are "Hot Spots" and what else is wrong with the new Chemical Safety Improvement Act?

What Is Chemical Security and Why Is It So Important for Environmental Justice?

EJHA Statement on the "Chemical Safety Improvement Act"

Toxic Flame Retardant Chemicals Impact Communities of Color More

National Council of Churches Fact Sheet on Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Justice

La información en sustancias químicas tóxicas en español

Alaska Federation of Natives' Resolution for Safer Chemicals

Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 - Read News Advisory

Read the letter sent to Congress on April 7, 2010, demanding Environmental Justice remediation and protections in reform of the Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA) Read the News Advisory

 

Join Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

 

Environmental Justice is the concept that all people have the right to a clean and healthy world. It is the deeply held belief that all Americans deserve to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. Yet from Alaska to the Gulf Coast, in urban centers like Chicago, New York, Hartford, San Diego and Austin, or to the rural farm country of North Carolina; from the Anishinabe tribe in the Great Lakes to the Penobscot nation in Maine and for countless other Indigenous peoples, communities-of-color, and low income people across America – chemical contamination is real and dangerous.

Communities-of-color and low income communities bear a disproportionate burden of toxic chemical exposures and related negative health outcomes. Because of the multiplicity of toxic chemical exposures from both current and legacy sources borne by these communities, the health profile of residents who live in them reveal the many health disparities that they confront.

More and more scientific studies demonstrate that exposures to persistent, bioaccumulative toxic chemicals (known as PBTs) such as lead and cadmium or chemicals like TCE, hexavalent chromium, organic solvents, formaldehyde and asbestos are linked to higher levels of cancer, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and several other types of morbidity in environmental justice communities.

Environmental Justice communities are calling for government to take immediate action on the worst chemicals because of their impact on all people, but especially our most vulnerable. Effective reform should contribute substantially to reducing the disproportionate burden of toxic chemical exposure placed on low-income people, people of color and Indigenous communities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be given the authority to create and implement action plans to relieve the outrageous toxic chemical burden that exists in environmental justice communities.

To do this, all chemicals including new ones and ones that have been in use for decades should be assessed against a health standard that protects all people and the environment, especially the most vulnerable subpopulations, including children, workers, and pregnant women. Costly, inaccurate and lengthy risk assessments should not be required for chemicals known to be toxic to public health or that cannot be controlled or confined to their original purpose. Our communities cannot wait on yet another study on these proven poisons. We support green chemistry research and safer chemicals favored over those chemicals with known health hazards.

 

Resources:

Principles of Environmental Justice

Toxic Wastes and Race and Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty

 

 

 

 

Jose Bravo. Just Transition Alliance

 

Pam Tau Lee, Asian Pacific Environmental Network

 

Susana Almanza, PODER

 

Mark Mitchell, MD., Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice

 

Cecil-Corbin Mark, WEACT for Environmental Justice

 

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

 

Monique Harden, Esq. Advocates for Environmental Human Rights