reducing toxic chemical exposure
The O-Team actively tries to reduce staff exposure to toxic chemicals. This journey to create a safer, non-toxic work environment has led to two simple changes and a more informed staff!
In 2011, the O-Team hosted a Clean and Healthy Homes demonstration, presented by the Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF), a local nonprofit in Berea. Staff participants were presented with information on current policies regarding toxic chemical regulation in the United States, and learned that most of the more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today are not tested for their safety, and that current regulation does not require manufacturers of cleaning products to list ingredients used.
As a solution to monitor what one is exposed to, as well as prevent toxic chemicals from polluting the environment, KEF demonstrated how one can use common, inexpensive household items such as vinegar and baking soda to make simple, safe green cleaners. The O-Team plans to phase out MACED's use of industrial cleaning products and replace them with homemade green cleaners.
To learn more about KEF's work, please click here.
We make an extra effort to provide staff with healthy snacks at MACED, such as fruit, nuts and popcorn. Despite the convenience of microwaveable popcorn bags, studies have found that the inhalation of chemicals used in the lining may be a potential cause of cancer.
We decided to find an alternative option. The search led to a unique solution: Air Crazy, an air popper that is faster than a microwave and pops a healthy snack without oil. This air popper makes delectable popcorn, all while preventing exposure to harmful toxins. This switch has also produced two unexpected benefits: reducing our waste and enabling us to purchase popcorn from local farmers.