EWG News and Analysis
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EWG News Roundup (1/11): Trump EPA Walks Back Youth Pesticide Proposal, Coal Miners Turn Their Back on the President and More
Last week the Trump administration surprisingly reversed course on a proposal that would have allowed minors working on farms to spray toxic pesticides on crops. Acting, and newly nominated, Environmental Protection Agency head Andrew Wheeler sent a letter to the Senate committee that would oversee the change, notifying it of the agency’s turnabout. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, worked closely with EPA to secure this concession.
“We’re stunned and relieved by this welcome reversal. Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency comes with a default setting that protects polluters, not kids,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Dangerous pesticides that can cause cancer and brain damage should never be anywhere near children.”
But it wasn’t all good news coming out of the Trump EPA this week.
First the agency indicated that it would likely narrow a ban on methylene chloride, keeping paint strippers with the deadly ingredient on store shelves.
Politico reported that EPA’s draft guidelines to clean up military and industrial sites contaminated with toxic fluorinated chemicals proposed a cleanup level 10 times higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe is safe for human health.
Pivoting to the energy and natural resources realm, this week coal mine workers expressed outrage over President Trump’s litany of campaign promises that have yet to come to fruition and analyzed the fleeting economic viability of nuclear power.
Here’s some more news you can use going into the weekend.
According to the Environmental Working Group, with information acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, 85 Market Facilitation Program payment recipients received more than the cap of $125,000.
According to a Nov. 28, 2018 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story, federal data obtained by the Washington, D.C.,-based Environmental Working Group shows the average payment for Wisconsin farmers was $2,145.
But whatever you call it, says Ken Cook, executive director of the Environmental Working Group, who has worked on every Farm Bill since the late 1970s, a check in the mail sends a powerful signal: “If you subsidize something, generally you get more of it.”
EPA and Alexandra Dunn
Dunn will be in charge of the EPA's chemical office, including implementation of the revised Toxic Substances Control Act, Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported. Dunn is seen by environmentalists as a better choice than previous nominee Michael Dourson, a chemical industry consultant had to drop out of the running after both Democrats and Republicans raised objections.
EPA and Andrew Wheeler
NGO the Environmental Working Group said that, since taking over as EPA’s head, Mr Wheeler has been "largely ignoring" the reformed TSCA law. He instead has "shown a fervent commitment to boosting the fortunes of his former employers in the coal and chemical industries by knocking down the agency’s efforts to protect people," said EWG president Ken Cook.
Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) argued that Wheeler’s official takeover of the EPA makes the agency even more dangerous than it was during Pruitt’s tenure — one marred by scandals regarding his spending, secrecy, and misconduct.
Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) argued that Wheeler’s official takeover of the EPA makes the agency even more dangerous than it was during Pruitt’s tenure—one marred by scandals regarding his spending, secrecy, and misconduct. Reprinted by AlterNet.
EPA and Pesticides
Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said he was “stunned and relieved by this welcome reversal.” Environmental and farmworker rights groups had fought EPA’s attempt to lower the minimum ages in the rules from 18 to 16, and also opposed other changes to the WPS rule.
Agency is ‘aware of all ongoing uses of asbestos’ The petition was filed by NGOs the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Center for Environmental Health (CEH), the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Environmental Health Strategy Center (EHSC) and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF).
EPA denied the September 27, 2018, petition on the grounds that the petitioners, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, American Public Health Association, Center for Environmental Health, Environmental Working Group, Environmental Health Strategy Center, and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, did not demonstrate that it is necessary to amend the CDR rule.
The US EPA has denied an NGO petition to require increased reporting of asbestos under the TSCA chemical data reporting (CDR) rule. SEE ALSO: "Asbestos Imports Surge as Trump White House Moves to Keep Deadly Carcinogen Legal" (Environmental Working Group release) and "Trump EPA Moves To Shield Info on Asbestos Imports and Use From Public" (Environmental Working Group release)
Ting cited studies by the Environmental Working Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that retail workers have higher concentrations of BPA or BPS than those who do not have regular contact with receipts. Reprinted by the San Francisco Chronicle and 124 media outlets.
Ting cited studies by the Environmental Working Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that retail workers have higher concentrations of BPA or BPS than those who do not have regular contact with receipts.
While introducing his proposal, Ting cited studies by the Environmental Working Group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show retail workers have higher concentrations of BPA or BPS than those who do not have regular contact with receipts.
It may seem innocuous to add a few squirts of dish soap to your produce with the intention of removing bacterial pathogens, but of the 232 hand-washing soaps listed on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Healthy Cleaning database, 58 scored an F. Those receiving the lowest score contained specific toxic ingredients detailed by Treehugger.
Check the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning to learn more about green cleaning products. Vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils also make great choices for DIY cleaning products.
According to the Environmental Working Group, women use an average of 12 products a day, which adds up to 168 chemicals per day, while men on average use 85 chemicals per day. Cutting back the sheer amount of products and chemicals you use will not only impact how much plastic you buy for your bathroom, it will also likely greenify your skin routine.
Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database
Resources for vegan products: Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database.
Remember, not every natural product is vegan, and not every vegan product is natural or nontoxic. This site allows users to search for products and companies, and determine how healthy or toxic they are. ewg.org/skindeep
Commercial sunscreens, moisturizers, shampoos, and other products frequently contain problematic ingredients that can add to your toxic burden. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database provides an excellent source to learn more about these ingredients and make the best choices.
This database is extremely valuable to anyone who wants quick, credible, and comprehensive information on any ingredient found on personal care labels. The site is brought to you by the researchers at the Environmental Working Group, which is a trusted and valuable resource that works to educate and empower consumers.
New Year tip: The Environmental Working Group website (ewg.org/skindeep) is a good source for identifying ingredients and learning what can harm us.
The Environmental Working Group maintains a comprehensive, highly accessible database calledSkin Deep that distills what we know about ingredients and recommends cosmetics that present the fewest risks. Look at the ingredient label and avoid products with “fragrance” or phthalates.
Emily Cassidy is a scientist turned science writer and has written extensively on food and energy in her previous roles at the California Academy of Sciences and Environmental Working Group. Currently a data journalist at the World Resources Institute, Emily is passionate about connecting environmental issues with our daily lives.
One example of this evolved progression is Live Ultimate, a wellness company with substance to back up its swagger. The Miami-based brand boasts the highest and most respected certifications for its collection of nutrition and skincare products, including from the esteemed Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG VERIFIED™ and Herbal Essences
This is where consumer product giant Procter and Gamble (P&G) is making a splash with the Environmental Working Group (EWG). For more than 10 years, EWG has been the face of chemical ingredient disclosure in personal care products. They established the EWG VERIFIED program, which puts personal care products through a rigorous battery of tests to ensure the safety of every ingredient.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) serves as a nonprofit agency sharing information to protect public health and the environment. They are well-known for the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for safer cosmetic and beauty care products as well as the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen shoppers guide to pesticides in produce.
“While some companies have been slow to incorporate ingredient transparency with their products, SC Johnson has always led from the front,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group. “I applaud Fisk Johnson for his steadfast commitment to consumers as a global leader in ingredient transparency.”
Triple Pundit: SC Johnson Keeps Global Promise, Expands Ingredient Transparency to Latin America
“While some companies have been slow to incorporate ingredient transparency with their products, SC Johnson has always led from the front,” said Ken Cook, President of Environmental Working Group. “I applaud Fisk Johnson for his steadfast commitment to consumers as a global leader in ingredient transparency.”
In March, the Inaugural Food Tank Seattle Summit was also a massive success. More than 500 in-person attendees and nearly 100,000 live-stream viewers tuned in to the sold-out event, titled “Growing Food Policy.” It was held in partnership with the Environmental Working Group, Food Action, Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Seattle University.
“No one should be surprised that the most anti-consumer, anti-transparency administration in modern times is denying Americans basic information about what's in their food and how it's grown,” argued Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group.
“No one should be surprised that the most anti-consumer, anti-transparency administration in modern times is denying Americans basic information about what’s in their food and how it’s grown,” argued Scott Faber,senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health
Start small and take part in Meatless Monday, an initiative that encourages people to ditch meat once a week. Meat consumption is not good for the environment because the production of lamb and beef generate high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization. Reprinted by Yahoo! News.
Chicken and turkey are the best meat picks for the planet, while beef and lamb are the worst, according to the Environmental Working Group’s meat-eater’s guide. Similar guidance could apply to your body.
Keep in mind, too, that eating a lamb chop isn’t the same as eating a chicken thigh — from both an environmental and health perspective. Chicken and turkey are the best meat picks for the planet, while beef and lamb are the worst, according to the Environmental Working Group’s meat-eater’s guide.
In August, the Environmental Working Group, an environmental advocacy organization, released the results of a study they conducted that found glyphosate was found in all but five of the 29 oat-based foods they tested.
A 2018 report from the Environmental Working Group found that glyphosate, a common weed killer that has been linked to cancer, was found in a large amount of oat-based breakfast foods. Although the FDA and EPA insist some amounts of glyphosate are safe in food, it has been linked to cancer by the World Health Organization and scientists in California.
To top it off, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) told consumers that their beloved Cheerios and Quaker Oats have more glyphosate in them than some of the vitamins touted on the packaging. Pressure is building as more and more brands reach out to the Detox Project with interest in its Glyphosate Residue Free certification.
PFAS in Dental Floss
Previous reports have highlighted Glide’s use of Teflon-like compounds. Teflon is the brand name of PFAS polytetrafluoroethylene, which the Environmental Working Group has warned against using via dental floss due to risks of cancers, hormone disruption, brain and liver problems, as well as low birth weights.
Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
The Dirty Dozen are the 12 produce singled for having the highest loads of pesticide residues each year by the Environmental Working Group. In 2018 these were: strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and bell peppers.
Every year the Environmental Working Group evaluates fruits and veggies for pesticides, and the most contaminated culprits are probably in your favorite smoothie.
Ultimately, choosing organic products for yourself and your family is one of the most proactive measures you can implement to take control of your health. If you must choose between which products to purchase organic, I recommend prioritizing organic animal foods and then using the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) "Dirty Dozen" list for produce.
Let's start with the core of a healthy diet, which most doctors agree should be made of vegetables. Vegetables, luckily, are one of the cheaper healthy foods around, especially if you consult the EWG's Clean Fifteen and focus your organic efforts on only the most sprayed crops.
Not every fruit or vegetable you buy needs to be organic. The Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides annually lists the fruits and veggies that have the highest pesticide residues. You may know these as “The Dirty Dozen.” The list includes apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, hot peppers, kale, collards, snap peas, zucchini, lettuce, and blueberries.
Potatoes are on the list of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen and were found to have more pesticides residue by weight than any other crop. Going organic helps eliminate those pesticides and shouldn’t cost you anything more.
Some of the worst offenders include conventional apple juice and brown rice products. For a list of other foods that you should always try to buy organic, see this list of the Dirty Dozen, detailing the most pesticide-contaminated produce as tested by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Vote with your dollar by purchasing items that stand for what you believe in. Check out the EWG’s Clean 15 & Dirty Dozen to know when you save and when to splurge.