Washington Toxics Coalition fact sheets, reports, pesticide action kits, and books.
Ordering print copies: Most of our publications are available here as PDF files. We no longer offer print copies.
Home Safe Home Fact Sheets
Cleaning Products and Antimicrobials
- Walmart-Get the Lead Out!
- Cosmetics and Personal-Care Products: Avoiding Bodily Harm (69kb PDF file)
- Getting Ahead of Lice (66kb PDF file)
Lawn and Garden Pests and Chemicals
- Tales from the North Side: Problems with Moss (500kb PDF file)
- European Crane Fly: Lawn Pest or Bird Food? (48kb PDF file)
- Removing a Lawn without Herbicides (361kb PDF file)
- Mosquito Megabites: Effective Mosquito Control (70kb PDF file)
- Keeping Molehills from Becoming Mountains (80kb PDF file)
- The Fruitful Northwest Home Orchard (80kb PDF file)
- Preventing Plant Diseases: Roots (43kb PDF file)
- Preventing Plant Diseases: Leaves (52kb PDF file)
- Choosing Fertilizers for the Lawn and Garden (35kb PDF file)
- Aphids - Safe and Successful Control (41kb PDF file)
- Lawn Care (38kb PDF file)
- Weed Management for the Lawn and Garden (39kb PDF file)
- Appropriate Plants for Northwest Landscapes (39kb PDF file)
- Garden Insect Pests (37kb PDF file)
- Managing Tent Caterpillars Without Chemicals (42kb PDF file)
- Getting Along with Yellowjackets (48kb PDF file)
- Protecting Your Plants From Slugs (90kb PDF file)
Indoor Pest Control Chemicals
- I Smell a Rat: Solving Rodent Problems (43kb PDF file)
- Managing Fleas in Your Home (43kb PDF file)
- Clothing Moths - Prevention and Control (39kb PDF file)
- Protecting Your Home From Carpenter Ants (1.1mb PDF file)
- Spiders, Ants, Flies, and Cockroaches: Four Common Household Invaders (188kb PDF file)
Art and Hobby Materials
- Art and Hobby Supplies (38kb PDF file)
Home Repair and Building Materials
- Vinyl Exam: Eliminating PVC in your Home (88kb PDF file)
- Paints and Wood Preservatives: Protecting your Wood and Your Health (36kb PDF file)
- Reducing Exposure to Lead in Older Homes (42kb PDF file)
General Household Topics
- Household Guide to Protecting Clean Water (58kb PDF file)
- Healthy Homes for Healthy Kids (50kb PDF file)
Other Fact Sheets
WTC Campaign Fact Sheets
- Clean Water for Salmon: Keeping Pesticides Out of Our Waterways (129kb PDF file)
- Healthy Schools: Getting Hazardous Pesticides Out of Our Schools (94kb PDF file)
- Consumer Education: Information for Leading a Toxic-Free Life (407kb PDF file)
- Toxic-Free Legacy: Eliminating Persistent Toxic Chemicals to Protect Health (100kb PDF file)
- Get Involved: Help Ensure a Healthy Environment (220kb PDF file)
Pesticide Reform Fact Sheets
- Pesticides Threaten Salmon and Steelhead (148kb PDF file)
- Pesticides Threats to Endangered Species: Case Studies (564kb PDF file)
- Protecting Endangered Species from Pesticides: Risks and Remedies (500kb PDF file)
- Dumping on Farmers: The Toxic Waste in Fertilizer Story (212kb PDF file)
Toxic-Free Legacy Fact Sheets
- Toxic Flame Retardants (PBDEs) (496kb PDF file)
- Stop Toxic Pollution! (Dept. of Ecology program to eliminate certain persistent pollutants) (124kb PDF file)
- Mercury (532kb PDF file)
- Mercury Thermometers (128kb PDF file)
- Mercury In Cars (140kb PDF file)
- Reducing Mercury Pollution: Six Things You Can Do (560kb PDF file)
- Pentachlorophenol (212kb PDF file)
- Dioxin (208kb PDF file)
General Fact Sheets
- Is This Pesticide Safe? How to Evaluate Your Risk of Harm from Using Pesticides
(488kb PDF file) This 2-page sheet contains tips on understanding
pesticide labels and Material Safety Data Sheets, and how to assess
your chance of exposure and susceptability to harm from these products.
- Carpeting and Children's Health: How Flooring Decisions Can Affect Your Home's Indoor Air Quality
(370kb PDF file) This 2-page sheet contains information on possible
toxic emissions from carpeting, dust and contaminants it can contain,
dust mites, and alternative flooring choices.
Household Products: Using the Internet and Other Resources to Uncover
Health Effects and Environmental Impacts, and Find Alternatives
(80kb PDF file) This 4-page sheet contains information on understanding
household-product labels, material safety data sheets, government
oversight of products, and includes numerous websites and books to
- What's on Your List
Parents want and expect the products they use to care for their children to be safe and free of harmful chemicals. But our nation’s toxic chemical laws are weak and ineffective and many harmful chemicals get into everyday consumer products without the public’s knowledge. Taking steps to remedy this problem, Washington state passed the Children’s Safe Products Act in 2008 (CSPA). CSPA set up requirements for makers of children’s products being sold in Washington to report to the state if these products contain chemicals on a list of 66 Chemicals of High Concern to Children.
- Walmart—Get the Lead Out.
The recent testing of Walmart jewelry products was carried out by Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC). WTC purchased 34 jewelry products identified as “Distributed by Wal-mart Stores, Inc.” in August of 2013 at the Lynnwood, Washington Walmart store. A variety of items such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets were chosen. This jewelry was analyzed for heavy metals using an XRF analyzer.
- Something Smells: What Tween Perfume Makers Don't Tell You, But Should. After the Children's Safe Product Act was passed in 2008, the Department of Ecology created a list of chemicals of very high concern to children. This list included phthalates, hormone-disrupting chemicals that aren't good for children's health but are found in fragrances and vinyl products. In Something Smells: What Tween Perfume Makers Should Tell You, But Don’t, we found that some children’s perfume and body sprays contain phthalates, yet these companies aren’t complying with the state law that requires them to report the presence of these chemicals to the Department of Ecology and the public.
- Hidden Hazards In The Nursery. Over the last few years, toxic Tris flame retardants have become more prevalent in foam products after many states banned another group of toxic flame retardants known as PBDEs. Manufacturers switched to toxic Tris flame retardants despite their effect on public health. Hidden Hazards In The Nursery collected and tested popular baby products, including nursing pillows and car seats, for these dangerous chemicals. Our research found the vast majority contain these toxic flame retardants linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and other health effects.
- On The Money (PDF) Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical of concern mainly associated with baby bottles and food containers. However, our research has discovered a new source of BPA exposure from items people handle every day- cash register receipts and money. On The Money investigated the extent to which thermal receipt paper containing BPA has permeated the market, and whether this hormone-disrupting chemical is escaping onto the money that lies close to these receipts in people’s wallets. Our research found roughly half of cash register receipts contain BPA, and almost all paper currency was contaminated with the chemical. This study also indicates that skin absorption from thermal paper receipts with unbound BPA may lead to exposure at levels equivalent to exposure from food sources.
- Earliest Exposures (PDF) New tests by the Washington Toxics Coalition reveal that children spend their first nine months in an environment that exposes them to known toxic chemicals. Washington Toxics Coalition tested nine pregnant women, from Washington, Oregon, and California, for chemicals including bisphenol A, phthalates, mercury, and “Teflon chemicals.” The first-of-its kind study tested blood and urine from pregnant women during their second trimester of pregnancy and found their bodies contaminated with chemicals found in a wide variety of consumer products.
- Puget Sound Down the Drain (PDF 2.8MB). It is well known that toxic chemicals pose a major threat to the health of Puget Sound. For many chemicals, however, how they are getting from the products in our homes to the waters, sediments, and wildlife of the Sound remains mysterious. Our study, Puget Sound Down the Drain, helped solve part of the mystery by finding that the same toxic chemicals polluting our homes from consumer products are polluting Puget Sound as well. Our research found that chemicals are escaping consumer products in our homes, contaminating house dust, hitchhiking on our clothing, and entering Puget Sound via washing machine rinse water and wastewater treatment plants.
- Not So Squeaky Clean: A Study of Phthalates in Toys (PDF file). Washington Toxics Coalition, February 2008, 12 pages. During 2007 WTC bought toys from common retailers and had them tested for phthalates. This study not only revealed that many of the toys containted the chemical, but that some of them where composed of it by almost %50.
- Results of X-Ray Testing for Toxic Chemicals in Washington Homes and Offices (732kb PDF file). Washington Toxics Coalition, February 2007, 20 pages. During December 2006 and January 2007, WTC tested common consumer products for toxic chemicals using the XRF Analyzer, a handheld spectrometer. This study revealed that harmful chemicals such as PBDEs and lead can be found in everyday items such as furniture, mattresses, electronics equipment, toys, and clothing.
Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition, May 2006, 66 pages. In 2005, ten
Washington residents agreed to testing of their hair,
blood, and urine for the presence of toxic chemicals. Our study
revealed that every participant had at least 26 and as many as 39 toxic
chemicals in his or her body. New
chemicals policies are needed today, to keep chemicals that can harm
our health out of industries and out of everyday products.
(Print copies: $15 each for individuals and NPOs; $25 each for
businesses and government agencies. Please see top of page for ordering
- Toxic Tradeoff: Exit Diazinon, Enter Carbaryl -- Phaseout Leads to Risky Replacement (892kb PDF file). Washington Toxics Coalition, May 2005, 29 pages. A new analysis of urban pesticide sales and stream contamination in the Northwest revealed a shocking increase in sales of the toxic insecticide carbaryl. During the phaseout of the lawn insecticides diazinon and Dursban, carbaryl sales increased by more than tenfold. Levels of carbaryl in salmon streams also showed a significant increase.
- A Lesson in Prevention: Measuring Pesticide Use in Washington Schools
(1.1mb PDF file). Washington Toxics Coalition, April 2004, 56 pages. A
majority of Washington's children attend school in districts using
pesticides that could cause serious long-term health problems such as
cancer and nervous system damage. Read all the details in this report
by the Washington Toxics Coalition, which documents pesticide use by 50
of the state's largest school districts.
- Growing Trends: Successful Strategies for Reducing Pesticides in Public Places
(816kb PDF file). Washington Toxics Coalition, November 2002, 48 pages.
This report profiles ten successful integrated pest management programs
in Washington. The landscapes covered by these groundbreaking programs
include public schools, Seattle University, county programs, the City
of Seattle, and others. Also included are recommendations and model IPM
policies for schools, cities, and counties.
- Reel Trouble: How Washington's Fish-Advisory Program Fails to Protect Consumers from Toxic Fish
(644kb PDF file). WashPIRG and Washington Toxics Coalition, November
2002, 31 pages. This report documents mercury contamination of fish in
bodies of water throughout Washington, describes the problems with the
current program for advising citizens of mercury-contamination sites,
and lists recommendations to the Department of Health to better protect
the state's residents.
- Visualizing Zero: Eliminating Persistent Pollution in Washington State
(1mb PDF file). Carol Dansereau, Bonnie Rice, Erika Schreder, and
Laurie Valeriano, Washington Toxics Coalition, 2000, 62 pages.
Visualizing Zero is the first comprehensive evaluation of how polluters
are contaminating Washington state with poisons that build up in our
environment, food, and bodies and threaten the health of people and
wildlife. It exposes more than 190 sources of dioxin, mercury, lead,
and pentachlorophenol (a wood-treating chemical) in the state and
details their serious impacts to our waterways, wildlife, and
communities. A key part of the report is the "People's PBT Plan" --
specific recommendations that should be implemented immediately by
Governor Locke, the Department of Ecology, and other agencies to stop
the toxic legacy of persistent toxic pollution.
- Poisoned Waters: Pesticide Contamination of Waters and Solutions to Protect Pacific Salmon
(1mb PDF file). New analysis of government water quality research shows
that numerous dangerous pesticides are present in Northwest rivers and
streams at levels known to be harmful to salmon. The report compiles
water quality testing results from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS),
which studied five major river systems in Washington, Idaho, Oregon,
and California and provides a first-time analysis of pesticide
registration documents at the Environmental Protection Agency. The USGS
studies found at least 35 pesticides present in each watershed. Sixteen
pesticides were found at levels above criteria set to protect aquatic
life, including salmon. 35 pages, 2002.
- Holding the Bag: How Toxic Waste in Fertilizer Fails Farmers and Gardeners
(132kb PDF file). (See update in the Nov. 4, 2005 press release.) Erika
Schreder, Washington Toxics Coalition, Nov. 2001, 18 pages. The
Washington Toxics Coalition and Washington Public Interest Research
Group (WashPIRG) co-released this report showing that fertilizers made
from toxic waste do not perform well in providing nutrients to plants.
The findings come as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a
proposed rule to clamp down on the most contaminated waste-derived
- Grow Smart, Grow Safe: A Consumer Guide to Lawn and Garden Products
(1.1mb PDF file) - Philip Dickey. Fifth edition, revised and expanded
for 2006! Looking for the least-toxic pest control methods for you home
lawn or garden? This 57-page booklet is a must for anyone with plants.
It rates 550 brand-name pest control products for health and
environmental hazards. Pesticide ratings include short- and long-term
health hazards, hazard to fish, hazard to wildlife, persistence in
soil, and water quality hazard. Products containing
endocrine-disrupting active ingredients are identified. Fertilizers and
soil amendments are listed with nutrient analysis and ranked for
solubility. Also includes disposal information and other resources.
Produced by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King
County, researched and written by the Washington Toxics Coalition.
Pesticide Action Kits
Healthy Schools Pesticide Action Kit. (128kb PDF file) The Washington Toxics Coalition has released a Pesticide Action Kit for parents and community activists. The kit is designed as a resource for community members who are concerned about pesticide use in schools and want to take action in their local school district. Ten documents, 2002.
You can also download the individual documents from the Healthy Schools Pesticide Action Kit:
- What is the Children's Pesticide Right-to-Know Act? (36kb PDF file)
- Kids at Risk: Pesticides and Children's Health (52kb PDF file)
- Ten Steps to a Healthy School (44kb PDF file)
- Model Least-Toxic IPM Policy (36kb PDF file)
- What are the Alternatives?
- Notification: Your Right to Know (44kb PDF file)
- Sample Schools Petition (28kb PDF file)
- Pesticide Information Online (40kb PDF file)
- Additional Resources (36kb PDF file)
- Hazards of Common Pesticides: A Quick Reference Guide (400kb PDF file)