The Environmental Justice program works to build healthier communities by addressing issues such as the elimination of oil drilling, the exposure of toxic chemicals in our personal and hair care products, and more.
To find out more information about this program and how you can become involved, contact Dr. Astrid Williams, Environmental Justice Program Manager.
Exposed: Ingredients in Salon Products & Salon Worker Health and Safety
Health and justice organizations, Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), California Health Nail Salon Collaborative (CHNSC) and Black Women for Wellness, have released a report that spotlights how new ingredient disclosure requirements for professional salon products are providing improved and vital information about chemical exposure from the use of these products.
The report, Exposed: Ingredients in Salon Products & Salon Worker Health and Safety, calls attention to significant changes the industry has made in increasing ingredient transparency as a result of new laws. It also points to chemicals of concern that — despite years of documented links to adverse health impacts — continue to be widely used in professional nail and hair products. Specifically, the report reveals over 30 hazardous ingredients in professional salon products that have not been disclosed on product labels – until now.
• Exposed: Ingredients in Salon Products & Salon Worker Health and Safety »
• Fact sheet spotlighting toxic chemicals in salon products identified in this report is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
johnson and johnson
Black Women for Wellness has led the charge against Johnson & Johnson to force them to stop selling their asbestos-contaminated talc baby powder.
In August 2022, after years of advocacy, Johnson & Johnson announced that they will stop selling their talc-based baby powder globally! Read more here.
- Johnson & Johnson (J&J) sold asbestos-containing talc in its baby powder and targeted Black women in advertising. There was evidence that J&J was fully aware of the asbestos contamination since the 1970s.
- J&J stopped selling talc-based baby powder in the US – citing a drop in demand. They continued to do so globally – May 2020.
- After George Floyd’s murder, J&J put out a statement in solidarity with BLM. In response, BWW sent a letter to the CEO demanding J&J halt global sales of talc-based baby powder. BWW also issued a press release with over 170 supporting organizations – Summer 2020.
- Johnson & Johnson responded to the request with a non-answer – Summer 2020.
- 200 organizations from 51 countries signed onto a letter written by BWW asking J&J to stop selling its baby powder products globally – August 2021.
- J&J continued to sell and market talc-based baby powder in the U.S. This is shown in a Worldwide Research Brief for Black Women for Wellness – Oct 2021.
- Despite there being over 38,000 active lawsuits against J&J related to asbestos in their talc-based baby powder, J&J denied wrongdoing and won a court battle to proceed with its plan to shield its talc liabilities and deny thousands of people due process – Winter 2022.
- Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Women’s Voices for the Earth, WE Act for Environmental Justice, and Until Justice Data Partners led an effort to push for J&J shareholders to vote in favor of two resolutions – one for them to conduct an internal racial justice audit, and one for them to cease global sales of talc-based baby powder. The first was voted in favor, but the latter was not – Spring 2022.
- This video was banned from being shown to shareholders about J&J’s harms.
- J&J announced a plan to stop selling talc-based baby powder globally – August 2022.
Black women are overexposed and underprotected in the world of beauty.
Due to eurocentric beauty standards, poor government regulation, and systemic racism, Black women are sold products with ingredients that are harmful to reproductive and respiratory health. This is called the environmental injustice of beauty, and it is even more severe for beauty industry professionals who work with dangerous ingredients in products everyday. We deserve better!
- We host Curls & Conversations events to shine a light on this issue and education about healthy hair.
- We conduct community-based research with partners like Occidental College and Silent Spring Institute to better understand this problem and create solutions.
- We work directly with hairstylists and barbers to advocate on their behalf, listen to, and address health concerns.
resources for you
Check out these resources to help keep you and your family safe.
The built environment in Los Angeles hasn’t been designed equitably.
Black and Brown people face more environmental burdens in their neighborhoods – this includes everything from experiencing hotter temperatures and worse air quality, the presence of toxic facilities like oil wells, water quality concerns, and the list goes on.
At BWW, we work to address some of these harms.
- We are proud members of STAND LA, a coalition to bring an end to neighborhood oil drilling. Recently, LA County and LA City voted in favor of making oil drilling non-confirming. Now, we are in the midst of making these votes a reality and making sure that community voices are centered in the discussion of what these sites become.
- We work to understand and address our community’s water quality, affordability, and accessibility concerns. If you have concerns, please reach out to us.
Environmental Justice reading materials and educational literature.
- Coming Clean policy papers on how to bring about a toxic-free future. Learn More!
- The Intersectional Environmentalist by Leah Thomas
- Dr. Robert Buillard, considered to be the father of Environmental Justice, has many books on the issues at hand. Check them out here!
environmental justice media