Environmental Health and Toxics
Environmental Health relates to how chemicals in our air, water, food, and household products affect our bodies. We are often unaware of how chemicals are taken into our bodies, and how they build up over time. Unlike carefully choosing ingredients in the food we eat, we are often unable to selectively choose the chemicals we breathe or absorb in other ways. That's why Environmental Health is an issue of common good for all of us.
Maine Council of Churches is raising awareness through education, as well as advocating more careful study and regulation to protect our health. We're working with coalition partners here in Maine, as well as the National Council of Churches.
MCC Environmental Justice Consultant Anne D. Burt speaks with Russell Libby of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener's Association at an event supporting safer regulations of chemicals in children's products in Maine.
Check out the resources below to learn more and get involved:
Read and endorse Christian Principles for a Healthy Body and Spirit
These principles were drafted as a collaborative effort of the National Council of Churches in consultation with its member denominations, Maine Council of Churches, and other ecumenical partners.
Video: Caring for Children, Caring for Creation
With the National Religious Partnership on the Environment, the NCC produced a 15-minute interfaith DVD entitled Caring for Children, Caring for Creation. Currently, we are offering a free copy. Use it with an adult study class to explain our moral call as people of faith to respond to threats to our health and environments where we live, pray, work and play. Click here to request it.
Addressing toxic chemical exposures in the air water, land, and consumer products is an urgent matter of justice that concerns me. One in 100 U.S. children are diagnosed with a form of autism. African American children are twice as likely as white children to have a learning disability or end up in the hospital for an ashthma attack. High levels of chemicals are found in arctic wildlife far from chemical plants. Scientists are finding environmental links with these and other health concerns, reminding us of our interconnectedness. Watch the movie to learn more.
The DVD is accompanied with a one-page study guide to facilitate a conversation afterwards with your faith community. The study guide is also located in the Mindful Living Gathering Guide which contains tools for planning an event, information about chemicals in consumer products, and more activities to use with your faith community or youth group. Click here to download the Mindful Living Gathering Guide.
Don't miss this unique opportunity to educate your faith community about chemicals in our environment and learn how people of faith are responding. Click here to order the DVD.
Made in the Image of God: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
The NCC Eco-Justice Programs created the Made in the Image of God Healthy Spa Workshop Guide and Toolkit for People of Faith to educate congregations about why safe cosmetics are a matter of faith, and to provide hands-on, cost-effective recipes for products that can be made at church or at home. We also provide online opportunities for groups that want to give the industry or government a safe cosmetics policy makeover. So go ahead, make a chocolate face mask, vanilla foaming bubble bath, or a coffee body scrub. Not only do they smell good, but they are also non-toxic and safe enough to eat!
Download the guide here.
Cleanliness and Godliness Toolkit There are many good reasons to us non-toxic cleaning products. They are safer for you, much safer for children, and are a part of hospitality. They are generally less expensive, widely available, and may involve less packaging and advertising. Also, they are quite effective. Experiment for yourself.
The Body of Evidence Study
Through a cooperative effort with the University of Southern Maine led by Dr. Rick Donahue, 13 men and women from Maine volunteered in 2006 to be tested for chemicals encountered in their everyday lives.
The results represent the first-ever report of nearly 50 toxic pollutants found in Maine people. By releasing these findings, the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine seeks to elevate the public discussion about pollution in Maine people and promote action to fix our broken safety system that allows chemicals to build up in our bodies.
You can find this study online and download it from the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine.
Contaminated Without Consent
Contaminated Without Consent is a 16-minute video available free for you to use to help inform your community about the hidden risks from chemical contaminants found in our homes, workplaces, the products we buy, and even our bodies.