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Toxic Chemicals

PSR Maine is a founding member of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, a coalition of Maine environmental, public health, and other nonprofith organizations pursuing a multi-year strategy to phase out the long-lived toxic chemicals that build up in the food web and in our bodies.

In the spring of 2008, the Alliance’s strenuous effort to build legislative support for LD 2048 - An Act To Protect Children's Health and the Environment from Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children's Products came to fruition. The bill becoming what is known today as the Kids Safe Products Act passed overwhelmingly. It requires Maine to adopt a list of priority chemicals of high concern, forces manufacturers to disclose the toxic chemicals they add to products, and authorizes the state to require safer alternatives. LD 2048, sponsored by House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, continues Maine’s national leadership on safer chemicals, building on past success in phasing out mercury, arsenic and toxic fire retardants in consumer products.

PSR Maine took the lead in creating The Body of Evidence Report, a study published by the Alliance in 2007 to raise consciousness of the number and amount of toxic chemicals that are found in the bodies of Maine citizens. In 2006, thirteen Maine men and women volunteered to have their bodies tested in the first-ever study of chemical pollution in Maine people. This study found a total of 46 different chemicals (of 71 tested) in samples of blood, urine, and hair. On average, each participant had measurable levels of 36 toxic chemicals in their bodies. These findings show that Maine people are routinely exposed to hazardous industrial chemicals including phthalates from cosmetics and vinyl plastic, brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) from televisions and furniture, Teflon chemicals from stain-resistant and non-stick coatings, bisphenol A from reusable water bottles and baby bottles, and toxic metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.

In 2012, PSR Maine introduced its toxic academic initiative in the classrooms at the University of Southern Maine and by fall 2013 roughly 350 nursing students were exposed to the presentation.

For additional environmental health information and resources, click here.


  • Death by Degrees

    PSR Maine released their updated report Death by Degrees: The Health Crisis of Climate Change in Maine on Thursday, June 18. PSR Maine's new report is an update to their original report of the same name released in 2000, which was considered groundbreaking at the time. Read more »

  • Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit

    The Toolkit is a combination of easy-to-use reference guides for health providers and user-friendly health education materials on preventing exposures to toxic chemicals and other substances that affect infant and child health. Read more »