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Elizabeth Saunders Clean Water Action

71. Safer Alternatives to Prevent Harm from Toxic Chemicals

Elizabeth Saunders talks with Rob about Clean Water Action’s work to prevent harm from toxic chemicals in consumer products by encouraging the use of safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. Elizabeth coordinates a broad coalition working to prevent harm to our health from toxic chemicals. There is concern for people being poisoned by cadmium, lead, mercury, pvc’s and flame retardant chemicals. The top priority is to create a groundbreaking program to systematically replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives.

The MA Safe Alternatives to Toxic Chemicals bill will set up a process where use of safer chemicals can be mandated to replace the use of a harmful chemical whenever a better alternative is established.  This is an incentive that rewards development of alternative chemicals with a mandate for its use.  With this bill, MA can become a national incubator for less toxic chemical compounds.  Perhaps someday the region will become known as “Safer Chemical Valley.”

Elizabeth Saunders is the Massachusetts State Director for Clean Water Action and is a Campaign Organizer working with the New England Zero Mercury Campaign and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow.  Notable victories from her work at Clean Water Action include passage of the MA Mercury Management Act, phase out of BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and passage in the state Senate of the Safer Alternatives Bill and Electronic Waste Producer Responsibility Bill (2012).  Elizabeth has a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University.  She has always called Massachusetts home and currently lives in Jamaica Plain.