Center for Environmental Health (Oakland, CA)


  • Name:Ms. Laura Hoover
  • Title:Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Center for Environmental Health
  • Address:2201 Broadway, Suite 302
    Oakland, CA 94612
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:(510) 655-3900
  • Main fax:510 655-9100

Organization Web

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • The Center for Environmental Health (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.

  • Overview:
  • The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) protects people from toxic chemicals, holds corporations accountable for their actions, and promotes business practices that are safe for workers, communities, children, public health, and the environment. We have a more than 15-year track record of far-reaching victories that protect consumers and communities from dozens of environmental health threats.

    Some of our key accomplishments include:

    • Eliminating lead and cadmium from hundreds of children’s products, including diaper creams, baby bibs, lunch boxes, jewelry, bounce houses, and candy and in 2008 helping to write and pass the first-ever federal law banning lead in all children’s products;
    • Forcing companies in the fashion accessory industry to eliminate high levels of lead found in purses, belts, and shoes;
    • Creating industry-wide guidelines to eradicate chemical hazards in the purchasing and disposal of electronics at many of the nation’s leading hospitals; and,
    • Exposing organic greenwashing of falsely-labeled “organic” personal care products, forcing national companies to change their labels and/or to source organic ingredients.
    Environmental health threats have become more prevalent as our economy has globalized. Industries use over 84,000 chemicals and invent more each year. The chemical industry does this without adequate testing, without regard to the full life cycle impacts of these chemicals on human health, and usually without our knowledge. Chemicals inundate our homes, workplaces, and now even our bodies; the negative health impacts proliferate with our exposure to so many toxic chemicals, harming our development, our intelligence, our fertility, our growth, and our health.

    CEH utilizes a variety of strategies to protect and inform consumers and reduce exposure to toxic chemicals. These include public interest litigation, coalition building and advocacy, grassroots organizing, and public education in our campaigns to stop immediate toxic threats, promote a comprehensive chemical policy, and remove toxics from consumer products. We leverage the media, the marketplace, and the courts and partner with responsible businesses to eliminate toxics and protect the health of children, families, and communities, with a particular focus on low-income communities that bear a disproportionate burden of chemical pollution.

    CEH differentiates ourselves from other groups through our carrot-and-stick approach to polluters. We work with companies to change their business practices when they run afoul of existing laws, including promoting the use of market opportunities that come from doing the right thing, and when necessary we litigate against them when they refuse to stop selling hazardous merchandise. CEH is unique in that we have an in-house attorney that works to enforce the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (California’s Proposition 65), and staff that supports environmental justice activities through alliances between labor and environmental groups in low-income areas and communities of color.

    Our experience and expertise complement the strategic relationships that we continue to build with community and non-profit partners to get the word out about toxic chemicals in consumer products. Our leadership roles include:

    • Fiscal sponsorship for and membership on the steering committee of the Get the Lead Out Coalition - educating lead poisoning prevention staff on legislative and administrative opportunities to protect children from lead;
    • Coordination team membership of Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE), a coalition working towards implementation of the Green Chemistry Initiative in California; and,
    • Steering committee membership of Californians for Pesticide Reform, a statewide coalition of 185 organizations and community groups that work to protect public health and the environment by changing local and statewide pesticide policies and practices.

    We are also extremely proud that CEH attracts experienced, nationally renowned environmental health leaders to our staff, who recognize and value our organization’s personally and professionally supportive culture. We see this as a reflection of the healthy and effective society we hope to help shape.

  • History:
  • Since opening our doors in 1996 with a staff of one, CEH has grown to a 20-person, national go-to organization with offices on both coasts and a respected leader in the field of environmental health and consumer safety.

    In the mid-90s, Michael Green, who is still with the organization today as our Executive Director, envisioned an organization where he could put creativity into developing strategic ways to stop toxic exposures and protect public health. His journey had taken him from inspiring travel and academic pursuits to a much less invigorating stint at the DOE in Washington, DC where, notwithstanding its vital role, he came to believe it would be difficult to pursue new ideas in anything short of a painfully long timeline and a highly bureaucratic process.

    Because California has effective consumer-protection laws, he felt it would be a good place for the organization he envisioned. The California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 has a citizens' suit provision under which CEH brings public interest lawsuits against corporations that expose people to toxic chemicals without their consent. Michael drove to California and started CEH on his credit card. Sixteen years on, CEH is made up of highly motivated, innovative environmental health professionals who are dedicated to removing toxic threats, and it can now boast a collection of achievements that has helped put environmental health on the map.

    In an interview with a Cleveland newspaper several years ago, Michael summed up the context of CEH’s work. “Since WWII, we have created tens of thousands of chemicals that didn't exist before. And very few of these chemicals have been regulated. Nor have we taken any protective measures. Chemicals are assumed safe until proven otherwise. The result is an unplanned science experiment. We don't know which of these things are going to have bad consequences.”

    CEH’s first legal action was to combat toluene, a brain-damaging chemical found in aerosol spray paints and sealing compounds, which led to the reformulation of products that teens had been inhaling. Since then, in addition to the achievements already listed above, CEH has:
    • Eliminated lead from: baby powders and children’s medicines, , artificial turf, chili powder from Mexico, automobile wheel balancing weights (in California), and home water filters that were actually adding lead to “filtered” water;
    • Eliminated arsenic based wood preservatives from playground equipment that expose children to dangerous toxins with only a few days of use;
    • Helped shut down a medical waste incinerator less than a mile from the San Francisco Bay that was polluting air and water with cancer-causing dioxins;
    • Forced companies to reduce or eliminate thousands of pounds of cancer-causing chemicals that were illegally spewed into the air in low-income neighborhoods near schools, parks, and daycare centers; and,
    • Drafted legislation for the City of San Francisco that was implemented calling for greener purchasing, making San Francisco’s $600 Million purchasing budget a force for safer, healthier products.

    Our experience and expertise continues to grow. Yet so do health threats as the chemical industry creates thousands of new chemicals every year. What will 2013 hold? We are at a juncture where we have to act in a more comprehensive way, rather than on a chemical-by-chemical or product-by-product basis.

    CEH, together with allies in the field, is working towards a more comprehensive chemical policy at the state and federal levels. What this means is that companies will have to test chemical safety before putting chemicals in the marketplace, rather than discovering too late that a chemical is toxic. It is a policy regime whose time has arrived. On the road to that destination, CEH is working on medium-term strategies focusing on flame retardant regulations, testing of plastics, and the dangers of fracking, and in the short-run on litigation that addresses egregious violations of environmental health laws. These short and medium-term strategies underpin the forward-thinking comprehensive chemical policy we envision, while building on the victories of recent years. We are working in earnest with companies, communities, and elected officials to educate and push for a culture shift that values health over short-term profit. This will be the next chapter of our history.

  • Year established:1996
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:10
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:20


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:94-3251981

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:943251981
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:2201 BROADWAY STE 302
  • Organization City:OAKLAND
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:94612-3023
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:June, 1997
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):995, 351
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Described in section 509(a)(2) of the Code, Combating or preventing pollution (air, water, etc)
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:E017
  • Asset Amount:$5,075,904
  • Asset Code:7 ($5,000,000 - $9,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$3,593,690
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$3,593,690
  • Last Updated:2/21/2018 8:50:35 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.