These chemicals are linked to serious environmental and health problems. Check out our fact sheets, which draw from the leading peer-reviewed science.
Despite everything we know about its toxicity, asbestos continues to be used in items like roofing materials and disc brake pads. If asbestos-containing materials such as insulation, flooring, and ceiling tiles become old and flake, then the asbestos fibers can become airborne and breathable.
These notorious hormone disrupting chemicals are found in polycarbonate plastics, garden hoses, food can linings, cash register receipts—and unfortunately—in our bodies.
Produced at volumes of more than 6 billion pounds per year, formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas with a pungent odor that is a known carcinogen. It is used in many consumer products and building materials, including those in mobile trailers.
Hexane is a solvent widely used as an industrial cleaner and degreaser and is an ingredient in many consumer products. Easily inhaled or absorbed through the skin, hexane has been recognized for more than 40 years to cause long-lasting and even permanent nerve damage in feet, legs, hands, and arms.
A legacy pollutant that can contaminate soil and water supplies for decades, hexavalent chromium is a widespread contaminant at hazardous waste sites and in drinking water.
In the world of toxic chemical reform, reduction in lead exposure is often cited as a public health success story. Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear that lead exposure is far from last century’s problem, and far from only Flint’s problem.
Easily inhaled, methylene chloride converts to carbon monoxide once inside the body—making it especially dangerous for people with heart or lung disease, and pregnant women.
N-Methylpyrrolidone (a.k.a. 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone or NMP) is a solvent used in a variety of industries and applications, such as paint and coating removal, petrochemical processing, engineering plastics coatings, agricultural chemicals, electronic cleaning and industrial/domestic cleaning.
NPEs are still widely used in household paints, clothing and certain cleaners even though they have been phased out in laundry detergent.
Organotins have been widely used as pesticides and plastics additives. Some are highly toxic to aquatic life or known hormone disruptors.
Parabens have been identified as endocrine disruptors by the EU, Maine and Washington. They mimic the hormones that control functions like growth and sexual development.
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) are chemicals that were banned more than 30 years ago, but our air, water, land, and bodies are so contaminated that decades of cleanup efforts have yet to eliminate their threats to our health.
Chemicals that are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulate in people and/or wildlife, and are toxic are called PBTs. Because of these features, as long as they remain in commerce and may therefore be released into the environment, they will threaten the health of humans and wildlife.
PFAS are a class of carcinogenic chemicals used to repel oil and water from clothing, carpeting, furniture, food packaging, and non-stick surfaces on cookware.
Chemicals linked to low testosterone, birth defects and cancer are used to soften vinyl plastic and can be found in food as well as products like school supplies and flooring.
This petroleum by-product is used to make Styrofoam™, plastics, rubber, and resins. It can put people at increased risk for cancer and other diseases.
Tricholoroethylene (TCE) is used as a solvent for metals degreasing, as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning, and in other consumer products. EPA classifies TCE as carcinogenic to humans by all routes of exposure.
Chemicals linked to cancer and damage to reproductive and nervous systems are lurking in couches, mattresses, electronics, appliances, and more.
This pesticide is found in products like toothpaste, cutting boards, yoga mats, hand soap, and cosmetics. It is a hormone disruptor and encourages the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.
Vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC). From production through disposal, vinyl chloride threatens health and contaminates the environment.