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And the winner for most toxic chemical is....

March 2, 2010 | 11:20 am

Just in time for the Oscars, the environmental group Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy is holding its own red-carpet event. An eco version of the Razzies, the Toxies will take place Wednesday at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood and hand out awards for "bad actor" chemicals.

More than 80,000 chemicals are competing for awards in six categories, but it’s lead that will walk away with the "lifetime achievement in harm" award for its longstanding role in child poisoning; Bisphenol-A for "worst breakthrough performance" due to its leaching properties; and toluene, phthalates and formaldehyde for "best performance in an ensemble cast" (i.e., their widespread use in nail salons.

The first of what is planned as an annual event, the Toxies are timed not only for the Oscars but in advance of next week’s release of California’s Department of Toxic Substances’ Green Chemistry Initiative, a list of harmful chemicals and a set of requirements designed to keep toxics and non-biodegradable products out of the state.

"We wanted to make these issues accessible to people," said Martha Dina Arguello, executive director of L.A.-based Physicians for Social Responsibility, one of several groups involved in creating the Toxies. "When we do education on these issues, it tends to scare people, so we wanted a fun way to show how bad these chemicals are. They should not be in products. They should not get work, just like bad actors don’t get work."

-- Susan Carpenter