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Celebrating workers for Labor Day

Happy Labor Day week! If you didn’t yet get a chance to honor our nation’s workers as you bid farewell to summer, here’s your chance:

We have workers to thank for insisting, so many years ago, that human life has a value greater than profit. By joining together to protest poor work conditions, they won the basic health and safety standards we expect today.

But for too many people, the workplace continues to take a toll on health. Until everyone enjoys a safe and healthy workplace, it’s our responsibility to follow in the footsteps of our labor heroes and insist on a better way.

According to a report from the AFL-CIO, one of the most serious workplace hazards remains chemical exposures.  Acute exposures and “accidents” are one thing—but  how can we hold a workplace accountable for repeated, small exposures that lead to chronic disease years later?

Take nail salons, for example. A study conducted in New York this year found that chemicals commonly used in nail salons are associated with headaches and dizziness right away and, later, cancer and reproductive problems. But the same report also concluded that simply banning “bad” chemicals in salons won’t protect health. They reason that we simply don’t know enough about chemical ingredients, and ever-changing formulas, to be sure.

It would be great if we could solve the problem before it starts: insist on safety testing, product labeling, and eliminating toxic chemicals before people get sick.

Today, firefighters and nail salon workers and housekeepers alike are living the Labor Day tradition: speaking up for safer products and processes that don’t involve our worst toxic chemicals. Safer States has partnered with these professionals to testify in favor of safer materials, greater disclosure and good laws protecting workers.

 You can help, too: take a moment to visit our partners page and renew your commitment. We’ll to join together and speak up for a safer, healthier world. It’s an American tradition that works!  

Interested in more? See the Year In Occupational Health Safety 2016

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