From formaldehyde in hair products, to styrene in maxi pads, to mercury in mascara, there are some 85,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., yet only about 200 have been thoroughly evaluated for safety. What’s more, most toxic chemicals used in consumer products are not even listed on the product’s label. Of the chemicals that have been tested, most have been evaluated only for their acute impacts to adult males in industrial settings. The chemical exposure routes and health impacts on women—especially girls, women of color, women workers, and women of reproductive age—are different, and have historically been overlooked. This has resulted in an enormous cost to women’s health. In this session, learn about how to avoid toxic chemicals coming into your home and body, and hear the inspiring ways that women are standing up to toxics in their products and in their communities, to ensure safe and healthy products for all.
Erin Switalski, Executive Director, Women’s Voices for the Earth
Erin Switalski is the Executive Director of Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), a national organization that amplifies women’s voices to eliminate the toxic chemicals that harm women’s health. WVE works within the social justice and environmental health movements to amplify the voices of all women to advocate for their health. Recent victories include moving the largest consumer products company on the planet, Procter and Gamble, to remove the carcinogen 1,4 dioxane from all of their laundry detergents (representing 70% of the U.S. market share) through a campaign that engaged nearly 100,000 women nationwide, and passing legislation in California to require ingredient disclosure for cleaning products. Erin is a 2010 winner of the “40 Under 40” Leadership Award in Advocacy from the New Leaders Council. She is also featured in the 2014 Link TV special, UNSAFE: The Truth Behind Everyday Chemicals. Erin regularly speaks about the power of women to move major corporations and influence policy.
Visit www.womensvoices.org to learn more.