General Issue Guides

Guides whose purpose is to inform the public about potential impacts and effects of environmental health hazards.

General Issues

Common Questions about Health Effects

This is an essential primer for grassroots leaders to use to educate themselves and their neighbors. This guide describes how chemicals get in to the body and how they may adversely affect human health.

Download Publication

Songs Not Speeches

In the history of people struggling for justice, music has always played a key role. Rarely do movements for social justice succeed without prominently featuring music.

Download Publication

Asthma

The Center for Health Environment and Justice has developed this fact pack on Asthma in response to the numerous requests for information that we have had on this topic. This demand for information has occurred due to an increase in the asthma cases around the nation, and the severity of the issue.

Download Publication

Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors reveals evidence about how the chemical industry has methodically and strategically attempted to influence policy makers and conceal from and mislead the public about the health impacts of dioxin.

Download Publication

Detoxifying your Home

This handbook, in Spanish and English, gives practical advice on how to handle your household hazardous waste.

Download Publication

Monsanto Investigation

This is an analysis of the failure of EPA to investigate allegations that the Monsanto Company had falsified scientific studies on the carcinogenicity of dioxin.

Download Publication

Everything About Facility Siting

Regardless of the type of facility you are fighting, you must ask key questions relating to a variety of topics: groundwater tables, transportation routes and the economies of facilities. Imagine the reaction of the agency or corporation who must answer these questions that they never thought you would ask!

Download Publication

How Clean is Clean?

This guidebook demystifies the technical debate over cleanup standards for contaminated sites. This resource covers the most effective grassroots strategies to win the best – not the cheapest – cleanup

Download Publication

Safety Plans

Communities are often faced with “plans” to clean up and monitor hazardous waste sites, spills and other forms of environmental contamination. Eventually, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state and the responsible parties come to agreement on how they are going to cleanup a contaminated site. You might not like their plan, but you want to make sure you have a say in how the plan is executed. This guidebook is meant to help you get the most out of this process.

Download Publication

SLAPP Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation

SLAPP is an acronym for, Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It is a legal tactic that corporations, businesses, or developers use against non-governmental groups or individuals to intimidate them into silence. In this fact pack you will learn about SLAPPs; anti-SLAPP legislation; people who were successful in fighting a SLAPP; current SLAPP news; and organizations that also share your cause.

Download Publication

Risk Assessment Fact Pack

This fact pack is a collection of articles and examples of risk assessments used to protect communities.

Download Publication

Relocation: Getting Organized and Getting Out (Go Go)

Although relocations have occurred, winning the evacuation of a community is a long, hard fight. It requires a great deal of planning and careful organizing to make it happen and to ensure you get what your community really needs. The purpose of this guidebook is to show you how to win relocation for your community.

Download Publication

Using Your Right-to-Know

Download Publication

General Reports/Books

25 Years of Citizen Activism

25 years of citizen activism. Read about the community fights and the construction of the grassroots environmental health movement.

Download Publication

No Silver Lining

A public health debate is raging around the world about the safety of bisphenol A (BPA). Chemical manufacturing and packaging companies claim BPA is safe and necessary to protect food from metal can corrosion and bacterial contamination. However, scientists, health professionals, and children’s and environmental health advocates are concerned that hundreds of independent peer-reviewed scientific studies have found negative health outcomes resulting from low doses of BPA.

Download Publication

Science Issues for Community Leaders

A compilation of articles from various experts that appeared in CHEJ’s Everybody’s Backyard, this fact pack touches on the most up to date scientific understanding within several areas of the environmental sciences. These topics include drinking water, landfills and waste, and risk assessment.

Download Publication

From the Files of a Whistleblower: William Sanjour’s Memoir

Bill Sanjour’s telling of how a federal program, intended to regulate the haphazard disposal of toxic industrial wastes, was, with EPA’s acquiescence, taken over by the hazardous waste disposal industry to the detriment of people living in poor rural areas around the country.  Sanjour, an EPA manager, tells the story of how he became a whistleblower and was recruited by Lois Gibbs, of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, to take up the cause of these Americans, speaking at rallies in small towns around the country and frequently testifying in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures.  When the federal government tried to silence him by writing a law just for that purpose, Sanjour and the National Whistleblowers Center fought a four year battle to declare the law unconstitutional.  The final chapter of Sanjour’s book deals with reforms for regulatory agencies to make them work for the public the agencies are supposed to protect.

Download Publication

Achieving the Impossible

This collection of heart-warming, humorous and inspiring short stories illustrates how people have stepped forward to meet the challenges facing their communities and celebrates their willingness to engage in our democracy. “Achieving the Impossible” is about ordinary people that create extraordinary change in their communities. By any standard, these people are heroes, in the fullest sense of the word.

Contact CHEJ for a physical copy of this book