What You Can Do about Toxic Chemicals

Standard Page - 2009-08-11
Hazardous chemicals can affect all of us, but we can all do our part to reduce hazardous pollution. Whether it’s doing our part to conserve water or requesting companies for their environmental information, we can all make a difference.

Hazardous chemicals can affect all of us, but we can all do our part to reduce hazardous pollution. Whether it’s doing our part to conserve water or requesting companies for their environmental information, we can all make a difference.

A child in Guiyu, Guangdong province, pumps water that has been polluted by all the surrounding electronic waste scrap yards.

Join the Detox movement

Add your voice to a global movement demanding fashion without pollution. Some of the world's biggest fashion leaders have already committed to Detox in response to the growing international campaign, but the work is far from over.

Learn about our latest Detox action and get involved.

Report a polluter

Is there a major polluter in your town? If you read Chinese, you can visit our Chinese website for instructions on how to report polluting factories to the government and ask for environmental information disclosure.

Reduce the hazardous chemicals in your life

Try to buy products made without hazardous chemicals. This can not only help you lower your risk of exposure, but also send a message to companies that you want a toxic-free future.

  • Avoid anything made with PVC (polyvinylchloride) plastic. This plastic can release dioxins – one of the most toxic chemicals in the world – phthalates, chlorine and other harmful chemicals during its use and disposal. PVC can be found in packaging, electronics, imitation leather, flooring and more.
  • Avoid storing food in plastics, which can release phthalates and bisphenol-A into your food.
  • Avoid buying bottled water and other beverages: Not only are plastics a wasteful material, but they can also release phthalates into liquid.
  • Consider buying less clothing each year, buying second-hand, or getting together with your friends for a clothing swap. The textiles industry is highly polluting, with many hazardous chemicals and heavy metals used in its dyes and bleaches.
  • Make sure to dispose of your electronics properly, by bringing them to the manufacturer. Dumping electronics into landfills can cause them to leach lots of hazardous chemicals into the earth.

What else?

Get involved with Greenpeace’s campaign to stop industrial water pollution and clean-up China’s rivers.

  • Sign up for our newsletter and receive updates on our campaigns.
  • Support our work: Greenpeace relies upon individual donors to make possible our investigations, water sampling and more.

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