CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

aka CEH   |   Oakland, CA   |  www.ceh.org

Mission

CEH protects people from toxic chemicals by working with communities, consumers, workers, government, and the private sector to demand and support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment.

Ruling year info

1997

CEO

Michael Green

Main address

2201 Broadway Suite 508

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3251981

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

Public Health Program (E70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Protecting the Public from Lead

Protecting the Public from Lead- Successfully advocated for the passage of the first federal limit on lead in children's products.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Collaborated with Industries to protect public health.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Support of Affected Communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution using a portion of legal settlements in the pursuit of environmental justice.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Public Policy multiple programs in the pursuit of environmental justice.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of consumer products tested for lead

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Protecting the Public from Lead

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of civil litigation matters handled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric captures the number of successful legal actions against companies that have been exposing people to harmful chemicals.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Collaborated with Industries

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We educate organizations and institutional leaders about endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in foodware and how to purchase flooring and furniture that is free of five toxic chemicals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our long-term vision includes changing the way business does business, so that everyday products and corporate chemical policies no longer put our children and families at risk. Alarmingly, our nation's current chemical policies actually encourage businesses to use unsafe chemicals, and/or chemicals that have never been evaluated for their potential to harm our children, our families, or the environment. This backwards approach allows unsafe products on store shelves and only takes action to protect children and families after we're all exposed to chemicals that can make us sick.

The Center for Environmental Health works to expose this risky policy and call instead for a "safety first" approach that puts our health and the environment at the center of economic calculations. Here are some of the game-changing projects we're currently working on to encourage better business practices and make children and families safer:
• Building the mandate for common-sense chemical regulations that push businesses to test the safety of their chemicals, disclose the data, and use the safest chemicals available.
• Creating incentives for safer, environmentally sensitive energy sources that promote the health of children, families, workers, and communities.
• Protecting people nationwide from immediate toxic threats posed by illegal products or business practices.
• Expanding the use of safer and environmentally friendly materials as replacements for toxic plastics used in food containers and food packaging.
• Ending the use of toxic flame retardant chemicals in furniture and baby products.

Of course, the chemical industry changes quickly and without notice. When it does, we shift our focus and targets to respond to opportunities and urgent threats. But whatever our projects, our long-term goals remain the same: The adoption of regulations that foster the development and use of safer chemicals, and the development of business practices that don't harm people or the environment.

For nearly 20 years, the Center for Environmental Health has fundamentally changed the way that major companies do business, making every American family safer. We investigate polluting businesses and companies whose products and practices put children and families at immediate risk from harmful chemicals in their air, water, and consumer products. We advocate for changes in government and corporate policies, using regulations and the marketplace to influence businesses towards safer practices. We also work together with major, cutting-edge companies who are proving that businesses are best positioned to be socially and financially sustainable when they use safer practices for safer products and services.

Our current campaign to end health and environmental risks from toxic flame retardant chemicals is an example of our coordinated approach using all of our strategies. We advocated for and won a change in a California flammability rule that for decades was a de facto national standard that promoted the massive use of these harmful chemicals in nearly all of our furniture. At the same time, we investigated and tested baby and child care products for illegal flame retardants, and took legal action against companies that sold such products, brining national attention to the issue and putting direct pressure on companies to change their practices. Now we are working with leading national furniture makers and buyers to promote swift adoption of safer products made without chemicals under the new standard, which goes into effect next year.

This combination of strategic action makes all of our work more effective. Our legal action insures that businesses take us seriously as a game-changing force in the movement for safer products. Our collaborative work with business leaders gives us credibility when we seek to partner with business for changes that benefit health, the environment, and the businesses bottom-line. And our influence in legislative and regulatory policy development gives us another tool to create both incentives and sanctions to influence changes in business.

The Center for Environmental Health is a national leader in the movement for safer chemicals. Our Executive Director Michael Green came to CEH after stints at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, where he helped clean up some of the nation's most toxic sites. Michael also worked with Mother Theresa's Mission in Calcutta, and with the Dalia Lama and the Tibetan community in exile. He was awarded a California Wellness Foundation Leadership Award, and the prestigious Compassion in Action Award from the Dalai Lama Foundation and the Committee of 100 for Tibet.

Our 20 staff also includes national leaders in their fields. Our Research Director Caroline Cox has worked on national chemical policy, focusing on pesticides for more than 20 years, and has served as an advisor to the U.S. EPA on pesticides policy. Our staff attorney Rick Franco has spent more than twenty years representing plaintiffs injured by corporate wrongdoing. Our Eastern States Director Ansje Miller, who also leads our Energy and Health campaign, previously founded and directed the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, a coalition organized to advocate for socially just policies on climate change. Prior to CEH, our Media Director Charles Margulis led the Greenpeace USA Genetic Engineering campaign as its lead campaigner and media spokesperson. In addition to our permanent staff, CEH relies on our strong internship program, which supports our work and trains the next generation of leaders in the environmental health movement.
CEH Board Members serve as active participants in our success. Our Board members include senior business executives, leading philanthropic advisors, and national leaders in environmental justice and environmental health advocacy. Our Board support our work through media and public engagement and as strategic advisors to our campaigns. Board members also connect staff to others in business, government, academia, the media and other nonprofits who can make our campaigns stronger.

CEH is a leader and active partner in national coalitions working for safer environments for children and families. We are a steering committee member of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a national coalition of more than 450 organizations concerned about toxic chemicals. Our Eastern States Director co-chairs the Business-NGO Working Group, a coalition promoting the creation and adoption of safer chemicals and sustainable materials.

CEH is financially stable and growing. Our annual budget of $3 million has more than doubled in the past 4 years, through growing support from major donors and other individual gifts, foundations, fee-for-service funds and corporate support. As a public interest enforcer of California state law, we also receive funds from legal settlements, which go to further our work to reduce or eliminate toxic health threats to children and families.

An illustrative example of how our combined strategies work towards our long-term goals is from our work to end lead poisoning threats to children. In this work, our success relied on the use of all of our tools, including product research and testing, litigation, media and public communications, market influence, and policy advocacy:
• We tested thousands of children's products and exposed health threats from dozens of lead-tainted children's products, including toys, jewelry, candy, lunchboxes, baby bibs and others.
• Our work exposing lead threats in children's jewelry led to the largest product recall in US history, when 150 million pieces of tainted jewelry were removed from gumball machines nationwide. Our policy work created a California jewelry law and our litigation ended lead jewelry threats nationwide.
• We found high levels of lead in vinyl children's lunch boxes, brining national attention to the issue. Our policy advocacy exposed a federal agency cover up of this lead health risk, and our litigation ended the problem and created a national lead-safe standard for the industry.
• Each year for three years, we tested Christmas toys for lead safety risks, bringing national media attention to the need for a national lead-safety standard and creating market pressure for lead-safe toys. Our work helped spur a massive spate of lead-toy recalls that provided further impetus for federal policy change.
• Our advocacy ultimately resulted in the first-ever federal law banning lead from all children's products. Several provisions in the law are directly based on our work.

Since adoption of this law, we have tested thousands of toys and other children's products for compliance. Lead hazards are now rare in children's products. Indeed, toy aisles of national chain retailers today are markedly different than just a few years ago. It is now rare to find toys made with vinyl or jewelry made with cheap metal, and wooden toys and other children's products made with natural materials are now common. Our work not only ended lead risks to children but also promoted broad changes in the market for safer, more sustainable products.

Of course, lead is just one chemical hazard among many from which children and families need protection. Among other victories, we have also used our combined strategic approach to:
• Eliminate health threats from arsenic-tainted wood playground equipment.
• End the use of phony “organic" labels on major cosmetics and personal care products sold nationwide.
• Eliminate health threats to children from cadmium-tainted jewelry, leading to the first-ever state law banning cadmium in jewelry for children.
• End the use of 4-MEI, a cancer-causing chemical, in Pepsi and other national brand colas.
• Expose shampoos and other body care products tainted with cocamide DEA, a cancer-causing chemical.
• Protect clean air and safe drinking water for Californians, through legal action against some of the state's most polluting facilities.

Financials

CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Board of directors
as of 10/4/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Tina Eshaghpour

Marni Rosen

Philanthropic Advisor

Michael Dorsey

Entrepreneur & Inventor

Arlene Rodriguez

Philanthropic Advisor

Cecil Corbin-Mark

WE ACT

Kalila Barnett

Barr Foundation

Bobbi Dunphy

Finance the Future

Kathy Gerwig

Kaiser Permanente

Matt Petersen

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

Monica Walsh

Google

Eliza Nemser

Scientist

Miya Yoshitani

APEN

Tina Eshaghpour

California Wellness Foundation

Lina Constantinovici

BVC Fund

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/04/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/30/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.