The Toxies – Red Carpet Awards for Bad Actor Chemicals

A project of Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE) and led by PSR-LA, The Toxies is a tongue-in-cheek awards ceremony highlighting “Bad Actor Chemicals”. This fun and entertaining event and accompanying report (pdf, 8mb, 31 pgs) with policy recommendations, is timed both with the Academy Awards and  the release of Green Chemistry draft regulations. The bad actor chemicals featured here are determined to be toxic to the health and environment of Californians, and we make the case for their immediate retirement.

What exactly happened at The Toxies?! Here’s a clip.

A Review of The Toxies

by Danielle Hudson, UCLA Student

The first annual Toxies, America’s most exciting new awards show, second only to the Academy Awards, took place amid great excitment outside of the Egyptian theater at Hollywood and Vine on March 3rd. Forget Johhny Depp and Halle Berry, the Toxies are the first and only award show to honor the deadly careers of California’s “bad actor” chemicals that are causing serious harm to Californians of all ages everywhere.

Paparrazi went wild as the bad actor nominees showed up outside the theater in style, descending onto the red carpet from a Hummer Limo.  Reporters, photographers and spectators alike fought to catch a glimpse of these chemical divas as each stopped for a quick photo-op on the way to the stage. The audience cheered and screamed while chemical superstars like Lead, BPA and the Toxic Trio assembled themselves in front of the stage, awaiting their awards.

Waiting with baited breath, the audience listened as the host of the Toxies took the stage and announced the the beggining of the Toxies to “celebrate the worst of the worst, the bad actor chemicals.”  Highlights of the show include the award of “Worst Breakthrough Perfomance” to BPA, who made sure to thank the chemical industry for continually providing her with work, and “Worst Long Running Performance” for Mercury.  And of course no one could contest when Lead was awarded the long-awaited “Lifetime achievement in Harm” award. With his typcial bad boy antics he tripped up the stairs in a chemical stupor to accept his award, no doubt a victim of the neurological problems he has been known to cause himself.  Lead acknowledged that his legacy will always live on “thanks to weak regulations and sub-standard housing.” And who could forget how the provocative NMP stole the stage with his acceptance of “Worst Stripper Performance.”

At the conclusion of the award ceremony, the host brought up several esteemed speakers to talk about the important issues that have brought such an insidious cast of bad actor chemicals together for the Toxies. Executive Director of PSR-LA, Martha Arguello, led the speeches explaining that we need to band together to send a message to the governor to change the regulations that allow these bad actor chemicals to contaminate our families and our environment and get them off the market.

Following Martha’s inspiring words, Ansje Miller, coordinator of the CHANGE coalition was brought up to the stage. Speaking on behalf of CHANGE, PSR-LA and the national campaign with Safer States, she rallied the audience to help these organizations in their efforts to find a better way to regulate harmful chemicals such as those who recieved awards at the Toxies today.

Next, Dr. Sandra Aronberg, a PSR-LA member and Environmental Health Ambassador, explained the need for chemicals to pass adequate health safety standards before we are exposed to them on the market and in the environment as currently in the absence of such regulations “our bodies have become toxic dumps.”

One empowering speech was followed by another as Pam Palitz, Toxics Advocate and Staff Attorney with Environment California, took the stage to educate the audience about the Green Chemistry Initiative. This initiative, launched by the governor and passed by the legislature in 2008, is meant to identify dangerous chemicals and phase out their production, replacing them with safer alternatives. She explained that the regulations to be implemented in the initiative are being written right now and roused the crowd with her challenge to governor Schwarzenegger asking him to “be the super hero you said you hoped to be.”

The last impassioned, motivational words of the environmental advocates signaled the end of the Toxies award show, but everyone who’s anyone knows that the end of any celebrity event is just the beginning of the star-studded after parties. Some of our reporters were able to get a couple words with the actors on their way out of the venue.

One of our reporters caught up with one of the worst actor chemical, Mercury, just in time to catch some of his crazy antics on tape, including an attempt to steal lead’s Toxie award! When we asked him about his plans for the future, this crazed actor responded that he planned “to posion as many as possible…60,000 kids and counting every year!”

Another reporter who spoke to the notoriously indifferent Hydrofluoric Acid was able to get a comment about this chemical’s feelings toward his work. When asked how he felt about the fate of all the workers whose lungs he has scarred and whose skin he has burned, he responeded in his characteristic apathetic way that “they should have known better.” All in all, the 2010 Toxie awards were certainly a sight to see. Audiences are already anticipating next year’s event to be even more sensational!

Read more about the serious threats that bad actor chemicals bring and see policy recommendations in the report (pdf, 8mb, 31 pgs). Take action on these bad actors now.

Executive Producers

  • Ana Mascareñas, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles
  • Martha Dina Argüello, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles

Creative Consultants

Production Team

  • Amanda Hawes, Worksafe
  • Andria Ventura, Clean Water Action
  • Ansje Miller, Center for Environmental Health
  • Catherine Porter, Commonweal
  • Christina Medina, Center for Environmental Health
  • David Chatfield, Californians for Pesticide Reform
  • Davis Baltz, Commonweal
  • Gretchen Salter, Breast Cancer Fund
  • Lisa Russ, Movement Strategy Center
  • Lisa Fu, Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
  • Luis Cabrales, Coalition for Clean Air
  • Margie Kellly, Safer States
  • Megan Buckingham, Californians for Pesticide Reform
  • Melissa Walthers, Breast Cancer Fund
  • Pam Palitz, Environment California
  • Renee Sharp, Environmental Working Group
  • Stephenie Hendricks, Coming Clean Collaborative

Bad Actor Cast

  • Alejandro Pérez López, Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Chiara Frenzel , Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE)
  • Denise Duffield, Perchlorate
  • Edward Enriquez, Mercury
  • Holly Ridings, The Toxies Hostess
  • Iliana Carter, Phthalate
  • Joel Ulloa, Hydrofluoric Acid
  • John Hale, Methyl Iodide
  • Juan Rodriguez, Lead
  • Kevin Walsh, Triclosan
  • Lorenia Rangel, Bisphenol-A (BPA)
  • Luis Lopez, Hexavalent Chromium
  • Miguel Angel Caballero, Perchloroethylene and photographer at The Toxies
  • Patricia Mateos Ballestero, Perfluorinated Compound (PFC), Formaldehyde at Toxies
  • Sabrine Dupperai, Formaldehyde in print
  • Saurabh Kikani, The Toxies Emcee
  • Tova Fuller, Toluene
  • William Barker, N-Methyl-Pyrrolidine (NMP)

The Toxies Volunteers

  • Alberto Barboza, Videography
  • Alegre Rodriquez, Writing Consultant
  • Paul Muñoz, Security
  • Dan Ortiz, Security
  • Danielle Hudson, Intern
  • Elena Fanjul-Debnam, Intern
  • Ernesto Quintero, Security
  • Jazmin Garcia, Photography/Wardrobe Asst.
  • Michelle Schulte, Intern
  • Nicolas Rodriquez, Photography
  • Sahand Nikoukar, Videography
  • Viviane Jacinto, Makeup

The Toxies Soundtrack