Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Rules, Regulations and Grassroots

Over the past fifty years, as Americans have learned how our lives can be impacted by air and water contamination, chemical toxins and other types of harmful exposures, our nation has supported the creation of agencies and the adoption of rules that balance the interests of people with the interests of business.

But wherever you look these days, from the EPA to the FCC, the rules that were meant to protect us are being undone by lobbyists and government officials whose previous jobs were often with the companies they are now busy de-regulating.

And there's that dreaded word: regulation. The pro-business lobby has very successfully convinced Americans that regulation is bad, de-regulation is good. I think if you called them "rules," the perception might be quite different.

The list of rules that have been quietly abolished or suspended over the past year is long and troubling, covering protections for our air, water, worker safety, and children's health among many others. And the massive effort to eliminate even more rules goes on everyday in the corridors of our government.

When we created this poster more than a year ago, we had no idea how prescient it would turn out to be. Even then, we thought that government wasn't doing enough!  Little did we know how bad things would become.

Grassroots is committed to providing American families and local decision makers with science-based information they can use to protect themselves and others against toxins in our environment, and to act as catalysts for change in their own communities. We are here to help you as parents, as community members and as local decision makers.

No matter what happens in Washington.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


For quite a few years now, the lighting industry has been trying to develop more energy efficient lighting. First they rolled out compact fluorescent bulbs, but they contained mercury and quickly became a toxics nightmare, both for accidental breakage and safe disposal. 

So now they are moving forward very quickly with another option, LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). A light emitting diode converts electricity into light. LED lights are very energy efficient, using about 85% less energy than traditional incandescent lighting. Another positive is that LEDs convert 95% of their energy into light and waste just 5% to heat, as compared to traditional incandescent bulbs which do the exact opposite.

LED bulbs light our homes, schools, stores and businesses, and they are found in street lights, car headlights and the LED screens on all of our electronic devices.

However, there always seems to be a downside to new technologies, and LED lighting is no exception. LED screens and bulbs emit high-energy visible (HEV) “blue-white light”, which can permanently damage the human eye in several ways and suppress the production of the hormone melatonin which disrupts our normal circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle). Before LED lighting, the only exposure we had to HEV light was the sun and the exposure was relatively short-term. Now we are exposed from multiple sources indoors as well, and the amount of time we are exposed is growing fast!

Researchers from Harvard and other academic institutions from around the world warn us to limit the time we spend looking at our screens. This is especially true for children. In addition to the problems listed above, HEV from LED screens is also associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. So, besides limiting time spent in front of computer screens, tablets and phones, you should also download the app f.lux and do it for all the screens you and your family uses.  This will turn your screen to a soft yellow/orange color, which is not harmful to your health.

Protect yourself and your family – it’s simple – free – easy - do it!     f.lux

Read more about LED street lighting and breast cancer risk here: