Betty the Be Safe Ducky

Betty the Be Safe Ducky is an inflatable 25-foot rubber ducky that’s been making headlines coast to coast in support of a PVC-free and toxic-free future. Betty was commissioned in 2006 by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ)* to support CHEJ’s PVC Campaign and allied groups working to phase out PVC and phthalates in kids’ toys and other consumer products

Why a Giant Yellow ducky?
Betty is a symbol of a seemingly innocent household product (rubber duckys) that are often made out of a toxic plastic – PVC (polyvinyl chloride or vinyl). PVC is the most dangerous plastic for our health and environment. Yellow duckys made out of PVC often contain and can leach toxic chemicals called phthalates –over 90% of all phthalates are used to soften PVC products.

Betty is also a symbol of a safer toxic-free future – a healthier tomorrow of getting toxic chemicals out of kids’ toys and our environment.

Where Has Betty Been?
Betty has traveled coast-to-coast, from Maine to California, in support of a PVC, phthalate, and toxic-free future. Click on the map to see pictures and stories from Betty’s travels.

Making Change for a PVC-Free Future & Toxic-Free Toys
Through strategic deployment in states across the country, Betty has played a role in encouraging:

  • Target to develop and implement a precedent-setting policy to systematically phase out PVC in their products and packaging. Target’s policy has led to a ripple effect throughout the big-box retail sector;
  • The states of California, Washington, and Maine to enact legislation to ban phthalates in children’s toys (and in the case of Washington and Maine begin working towards chemical policy reform);
  • Congress to enact legislation to ban phthalates in kids’ toys;
  • Educating thousands of legislators, parents, and children about the harmful effects of PVC and phthalates in children’s toys;
  • Support communities in North Carolina that didn’t want to be a “sitting duck” for mega-dumps.

While Betty can’t claim to have been the only factor that led to these victories, Betty played an important role in all of these efforts.

Betty was unveiled on the same day of the launch of CHEJ’s Target Campaign and CHEJ’s animated spoof video, Sam Suds and the Case of PVC, the Poison Plastic. This funny video features Sam Suds, PI (poisons investigator). Sam is no ordinary detective – he’s working to rid the Johnson household from dangerous toxins – namely a yellow ducky made out of PVC, the poison plastic. Visit CHEJ’s Sam Suds video at http://archive.chej.org/campaigns/pvc/projects/sam-suds/ to help crack the case and bring this dangerous plastic to justice!

Want to Bring Betty to Your Community?
Get in touch with us if you’re interested in bringing Betty to your community for an event: chej@chej.org or
703-237-2249 .

*CHEJ would like to warmly thank Gene Stilp for creating the ducky for us. Get in touch with us if you’d like to contact Gene about creating an inflatable prop for your group.