Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics
flexible. Phthalates are an endocrine disruptor
linked to developmental and reproductive issues
in humans and animals. They are used in paints,
hoses, shoes and many other common products and
most phthalate pollution in Washington comes from
these ordinary products rather than industrial
Reducing toxic threats
Much of the pollution that enters our environment comes from the small but steady releases of toxic chemicals contained in everyday products
such as the brakes on our cars, flame retardants in our furniture, softeners in plastics, and metals in roofing materials. Some toxic
chemicals impair development, some affect reproduction, some disrupt our body chemistry, and some cause cancer.
Ecology's Reducing Toxic Threats initiative focuses on identifying priority toxic chemicals and developing plans to reduce or
eliminate their use, or to mitigate their impacts on people and the environment.
In 2015, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a
comprehensive toxics reduction
initiative to deal with these
everyday toxics, tied to a plan to
update Washington's water quality standards
. Although the Legislature could
not reach an agreement on the proposal, Gov. Inslee and Ecology remain committed to finding new ways to tackle everyday toxics.
What Ecology Is Doing
- Developing chemical action plans
Ecology leads Washington's efforts to identify sources of toxic chemicals and
developing plans to reduce or eliminate their use.
Flame retardants |
- Protecting Washington's children: Washington's
Children's Safe Product Act requires manufacturers of children's products
sold in Washington to report if their product contains a Chemical of High Concern to Children and limits the amount of lead, cadmium,
and phthalates allowed in children's products.
- Testing consumer products for toxic chemicals
Ecology conducts product testing to understand the sources of toxics entering our environment, to identify potential health risks,
and to ensure compliance with Washington's laws and reporting requirements.
Search our product testing data.
Learn more about Ecology's product testing work.
- Finding safer alternatives
Ecology is working with industry, other state governments and academic institutions to
identify safer alternatives to toxic chemicals.
- Advancing green chemistry
Ecology uses the
principles of green chemistry to help Washington businesses be more innovative, profitable, and competitive while
protecting human health and the environment. It also supports educators by providing sustainable educational tools.
- Reducing use of toxic substances in products
Ecology offers engineering and other technical assistance to manufacturers
to reduce their use of toxic chemicals.
- Supporting strong toxics policy
strong policy at all levels to protect people and the environment from toxic chemicals.
Chemicals and Hazards A-Z |
Chemicals of High Concern to Children |
Bisphenol A (BPA) |
Diesel exhaust |
Persistent, Bioaccumulative Toxics (PBTs) |
Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Waste |
Toxics in Packaging |