(Lighting the way to Less Toxic Living)

Liberty Goodwin, Director

P.O. Box 40441, Providence, RI 02940

Tel. 401-351-9193, E-Mail: 






(A Forum by & for Parents, Teachers, & Health Professionals)


This Free event was held on Friday, May 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. (Refreshments 6 to 7 p.m.), in the State Room at the RI State House, Providence, RI. The Speakers/Panel included:


Christine Pontus, M.S., COHN-S, CCM, Associate Director, Massachusetts Nursing Association Health & Safety Program. Creator of an accredited CE online course for health care personnel, “Fragrance Free! Creating a Safe Healthcare Environment” .


Susan S. Addiss, MPH, MUrS, Director of Health Education, Environment & Human Health, Inc. – who focused on how to make schools healthier and provided copies of an EHHI study of asthma in Connecticut's schools.


Paula and Glenn Dewell: Paula, a chemically sensitive art teacher and her science teacher husband, will discuss ways to make schools safer and the obstacles that teachers, parents and students face when trying to improve the school environment."


Kim Paul, Founder & President of CATCH, Communities Against Toxic Chemicals & Hazards, Coventry, RI, parent of a son affected by chemicals in a RI school. (with a dramatic story of improved learning when the classroom went less toxic).



The health of more and more children and teachers is being affected by commonly used chemicals. Asthma, allergies, autism and childhood cancer are all on the rise, and connections with these conditions have been made by numerous scientific studies and reports. Inhalant abuse of household products is also a growing problem. Many schools, towns and states are taking action to protect kids by reducing their exposure to problem products. Everyone involved with young people should be informed about this concern!

PART I: CHEMICAL TRIGGERS FOR ASTHMA & OTHER CONDITIONS. The panel addressed health effects from chemicals in common products like cleaning materials, art supplies, new carpets and paint, personal care products and pesticides, to which kids may be exposed in the classroom or on the playing fields. Of special concern will be the problems of children with asthma and allergies and learning disabilities. Less toxic replacements were suggested.


PART II. INHALANT ABUSE - THE FREE - AND DANGEROUS - HIGH AT HOME OR SCHOOL . A short video on protecting kids from the dangers of “huffing” common household products was provided to us by Pauline Hamilton-Kell, RI Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coordinator. This was shown in the second half of the program, followed by comments and discussion by the panel and audience. NOTE: We plan to make this video available for additional showings in RI.