We protect biodiversity and human health from toxic substances while promoting a deep understanding of the inextricable connection between the health of humans and all other species.


The industrial age has brought millions of pounds of toxic contaminants into our environment. Pesticides, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals and even chemicals from household products are now pervasive in our water, air and soil. This toxic legacy poisons the future for all life on earth.

The widespread toxic contamination of our environment is well documented. More than 90 percent of the nation's waters and fish are contaminated with pesticides. Independent research has found more than 200 chemicals, many of them known poisons, in the blood of newborn human babies. In both humans and animals — including theCalifornia condor,green sturgeon, Tehachapi slender salamander andpolar bear— toxic chemicals increase cancer rates, cause reproductive problems and contribute to a wide range of other health problems.

Monarch butterfly
These iconic beauties have plummeted by 80 percent in the past 20 years. We're working hard to protect them.
Please help us save monarch butterflies now.


  • Strategic legal action
  • Creative media
  • 政策宣传
  • Research papers and reports
  • Grassroots campaigning and general advocacy
  • Working with our members and in alliance with diverse coalitions



Pesticides, by design, are toxic to plants and wildlife. Their use, degradation and mixtures in the environment have resulted in pervasive water-quality contamination. The Center'sPesticides Reduction Campaignaims to secure programmatic changes in the pesticide registration process and stop toxic pesticides from getting into fish and wildlife habitats.

Toxic contamination of polar bearsis a good example of how pervasive pesticide pollution has become. Pesticides approved for use and applied in the continental United States are transported in the atmosphere, in the ocean and along biological pathways, eventually ending up in the Arctic, where they endanger the health of the entire ecosystem. Check outour reportabout how the pesticide glyphosate impacts farm workers and low-income communities in California.

Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with natural hormone functions and affect the reproduction, development and growth of fish and wildlife, as well as people. Pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, cleaning agents, cosmetics, antibiotics and drugs introduced into waterways and aquatic habitats act as endocrine disruptors. As drinking-water sources and aquatic wildlife habitats are being increasingly and unnecessarily contaminated by endocrine disruptors, the effects on imperiled species are profound. The Center continues our campaign tocontrol endocrine disruptorsand reduce their impacts on our environment.


Lead is still entering the food chain through widespread use of lead hunting ammunition and fishing tackle, poisoning wildlife and even threatening human health. The Center's nationalGet the Lead Outcampaign is devoted to replacing lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle with safer, nontoxic alternatives.

We also work to clean up historic lead pollution. Lead-based paint at federal facilities on Midway Atoll kills up to 10,000 Laysan albatross chicks each year and also threatens the endangered Laysan duck. As a result of asettlement with the Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a plan to clean up this toxic lead contamination to protect wildlife in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.


Two-thirds of the toxic mercury in our oceans is a result of manmade pollution from metal production, pulp industries, waste handling and coal production.

The Center is also seeking innovative ways to reduce mercury exposure and increase awareness of mercury contamination. The primary source of mercury exposure for humans in the United States is contaminated seafood, and one-third of mercury exposure comes from consumption of tuna. The Center haspetitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationto implement stricter regulations to protect women, children and all people who eat fish from mercury in seafood.

过去的汞遗留下了有毒,可以使用be resurrected through modern mining practices. Suction dredge mining in waterways not only directly hurts habitat for sensitive, threatened and endangered fish and frogs, but can also pollute waterways with toxic plumes of mercury leftover from the Gold Rush. The Center has worked through litigation and legislation toban suction dredge miningin California.


In addition to the direct physical impacts of coal mining itself, there are severe toxic impacts of air pollution from coal-fired power plants, the waste from coal-mining tailings and coal ash slurry. The Center's campaign tofight the harmful effects of coal energytakes on these threats.

Coal combustion produces a number of hazardous byproducts, including mercury, selenium, CO2, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and methane — which pollute the environment, exacerbate climate change and contribute to smog and acid rain. The Center, along with a coalition of environmental groups,filed a formal petitionwith the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish, for the first time ever, limits on air pollution from coal mines throughout the United States. The Center has also worked tochallenge individual coal production plantsthat pose particular threats to wildlife and ecosystems.

Mountaintop-removal coal miningis exceptionally devastating to ecosystems and wildlife. The toxins from mining wash downstream, poisoning animals that manage to survive in the toxic environment and tainting the drinking water of downstream communities.


Uranium mining has left a toxic and radioactive footprint across many areas of the West. All phases of uranium development — exploration, mining, milling and disposal — pose unique threats to species, ecosystems and human communities. Uranium ends up in the food chain and causes irreversible pollution of waters. It can contaminate aquatic ecosystems for hundreds of years, threatening downstream communities and fish and wildlife. Even minute amounts of uranium can poison fish, accumulate in the food chain, and cause deformities and reproductive problems for aquatic species.

The Center is engaged in abroad based campaignto fight uranium mining on our public lands and to limit uranium's toxic legacy, including our campaign to stopGrand Canyon uranium mining.


Fossil-fuel drilling involving high-pressure hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a highly controversial and dangerous oil-drilling method linked to water contamination and methane production. Recent reports show that fracking has resulted in more than 1,000 documented cases of groundwater contamination, either through the leaking of fracking fluids and methane into groundwater or from aboveground spills of contaminated wastewater. The Center hasworked to fight frackinginCaliforniaandbeyond— includingoffshore— to protect watersheds and wildlife.

Monarch butterfly photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/Blue Ridge Kitties