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EWG News Roundup (9/13): Army Sites Plagued With PFAS, Trump Guts Clean Water Rule and More

In the News
Friday, September 13, 2019

This week, through a Freedom of Information Act request, EWG uncovered 90 Army installations contaminated with the toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS. EWG has now found 297 military installations with PFAS contamination.

“These results are alarming, because they show that PFAS contamination of the water provided to our soldiers is nationwide and exposes them to a number of types of PFAS,” said EWG Senior Scientist Dave Andrews, Ph.D. “Because many PFAS chemicals build up in the body, even very low concentrations in drinking water can increase the risks of serious health problems. What’s more, the lack of regular monitoring suggests that military personnel could have been drinking water with even higher levels of PFAS in the past.”

In other PFAS news, EWG systematically broke down chemical giant 3M’s propaganda site pfasfacts.com and its arguments that the PFAS crisis is overblown.

Through another FOIA request, EWG found that 15 members of President Trump’s 2016 agribusiness advisory council have received $2.2 million from the federal bailout program for farmers hurt by the president’s trade war with China.

On Thursday, the Trump administration finalized its plan to repeal the Waters of the U.S. rule – an Obama-era rule that prohibits the dumping of industrial and agricultural pollution into sensitive waterways that provide tap water for more than 117 million Americans.

Finally, EWG covered the Food and Drug Administration’s safety alert urging consumers to stop using cosmetics from Beauty Plus, after the agency found the deadly carcinogen asbestos in at least four different talc-based products.

Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

House Oversight Committee Hearing on PFAS

The Guardian: Companies deny responsibility for toxic ‘forever chemicals’ contamination

The evidence continued to build for years, as outlined by health advocacy organization the Environmental Working Group.

Chemical Watch: 3M tells US Congress evidence has ‘not established’ PFASs cause harm (subscription)

But the NGO Environmental Working Group quickly published a rebuttal to the site, arguing that a one-by-one approach "has proven ineffective, highlighting similar toxicities and inadequate testing of sensitive endpoints and during vulnerable times of development." 

MPR News (Minneapolis MN): Third congressional hearing on ‘forever chemicals’ to focus on corporate accountability

Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs for the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, said it’s “long past due for Congress” to hold the companies accountable.

89.3 WFPL (Louisville KY): Congress Hears Testimony From Chemical Company Executives On PFAS Contamination

The Environmental Working Group estimates the drinking water systems of more than 700 communities are contaminated with PFAS. Reprinted by WKMS (Murray State University KY)WVPB (Charleston WV)

ABC 7 WJLA (Arlington VA): House Oversight subcommittee grills executives about ‘forever chemical’ contamination

As a Spotlight on America investigation pointed out in July, PFAS chemicals end up in the water you drink. That story highlighted mapping done by the Environmental Working Group, which indicated the presence of those chemicals in public drinking water from coast to coast.

KRCR ABC News (Redding CA): House Oversight subcommittee grills executives about ‘forever chemical’ contamination

That story highlighted mapping done by the Environmental Working Group, which indicated the presence of those chemicals in public drinking water from coast to coast.

90 New PFAS Detects on Army Bases

McClatchy: Military cleanup of water contamination on bases will top $2 billion

Hundreds of military bases across the United States have either drinking water sources or groundwater that has above-acceptable levels of the chemicals in them, the Pentagon and independent watchdog the Environmental Working Group has found. Reprinted by Bradenton Herald (Bradenton FL)Miami Herald (FL)Sun Herald (Gulfport MS)Tri-City Herald (Kennewick WA); 17 other media outlets

Times Union (Albany NY): List of Army posts with toxic PFAS chemicals includes Fort Drum

“This is the tip of the toxic iceberg,” said Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, which obtained the testing results from the Army via the Freedom of Information Act.

Florida Today (USA Today): Brevard anxious as Congress weighs fire foam chemical risks

This week's Congressional hearings came as the nonprofit Environmental Working Group released a report highlighting another 90 current and former Army and Army National Guard installations nationwide that are contaminated with PFAS.

E & E News: Report shows wider PFAS exposure at Army bases

Toxic chemicals known as PFAS were found at an additional 90 current and former Army installations, according to the Environmental Working Group.

The Michigan Daily (Ann Arbor): Environmental Working Group releases report about PFAS in drinking water

Drinking water supplies at 108 Army and Army National Guard installations are contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, according to a report released by the Environmental Working Group on Wednesday.

Military Times: These 90 Army posts have contaminated drinking water

Ninety active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard posts are on the list, obtained by the Environmental Working Group by Freedom of Information Act request, the findings of which were posted to the organization’s site late Tuesday night. Reprinted by US Politics 10zArmy TimesMilitary.comAqua Now

Military.com: Contaminated Drinking Water Found at 90 More Army, Guard Bases

The additions bring the number of Army installations contaminated with chemicals contained in firefighting foam, stain-resistant fabrics, nonstick cookware and other products from 18 to 108, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

Military.com: List of Bases Contaminated with PFAS Chemicals Expected to Grow, Pentagon Says

On Wednesday, environmental advocates from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that 90 more current and former Army and Army National Guard installations had levels of ground or drinking water contamination than previously indicated.

N.C. Policy Watch: DuPont tested Fayetteville workers’ blood, found elevated levels of PFAS

The Environmental Working Group this week released another list of military installations where PFAS had been detected in drinking water. EWG obtained the data through the Freedom of Information Act.

Politico: Offshore drilling bills on tap

Drinking water at an additional 90 current and former Army and Army National Guard installations is contaminated with PFAS, according to new data from the Environmental Working Group and obtained from the Department of Defense through FOIA.

WWNY 7 News (Watertown NY): Fort Drum says drinking water is safe in wake of report

The organization, Environmental Working Group, said it obtained Department of Defense data which shows Fort Drum water is contaminated with toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS.

Hurricane Dorian and CAFOs

Mother Jones: North Carolina Braces for Another Flood of Hog Poop

(Here’s Environmental Working Group’s map of Florence’s rainfall amounts and the placement of big livestock operations in southeastern North Carolina.) Two years earlier, Hurricane Matthew triggered a strikingly similar catastrophe. Reprinted by Environment Guru

Farms News: Hog Waste Fears Raised Again as Dorian Swipes North Carolina

In 2018 Hurricane Florence caused dozens of swine manure lagoons to overflow or breach, sending thousands of cubic feet of waste swirling into flood waters, according to the Environmental Working Group, an environmental organization.

Natural Resources Defense Council: With Dorian, NC Faces Same Hog Waste Threat as in Florence

(Reprinted and linked to our Under The Radar report)

Environmental Protection Agency Repeals WOTUS

Reuters: Trump EPA repeals Obama-era water protections to boost industry

Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group, said Wheeler’s decision to announce the final repeal at the headquarters of the National Association of Manufacturers showed favoritism for industry over public health. Reprinted by NetscapeKWSN (Sioux Falls SD)KFGO (Fargo-Moorhead MN)WNMT (Hibbing MN)HAARETZ (Israel)WHTC (Holland MI)Financial Post; 49 other media outlets

Asbestos in Cosmetics

Chemical Watch: US cosmetics manufacturer recalls products over asbestos findings (Subscription)

Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at NGO Environmental Working Group, said "it is troubling to think how many people have used talc-based cosmetics products potentially contaminated with asbestos, when inhaling even the smallest amount can cause cancer later in life."

DC on Heels: FDA Finds Asbestos in Beauty Plus Products

“It is troubling to think how many people have used talc-based cosmetics products potentially contaminated with asbestos, when inhaling even the smallest amount can cause cancer later in life,” said Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president for government affairs, in a statement. Reprinted by Newton County Times (Jasper AK)

Algae Blooms

Niagara Frontier Publications: Higgins asks Army Corps to expand successful algal bloom pilot project to Great Lakes

The nonprofit, nonpartisan Environmental Working Group reported toxic algal blooms have been on the rise in recent years and pose a significant threat to clean water for recreation and drinking.

California Chemical Bills

Chemical Watch: Additional chemicals bills see passage in California legislature’s final hours (Subscription)

A similar measure was sent to the governor last year, but was vetoed. Bill Allayaud, California director of government affairs for bill sponsor the Environmental Working Group (EWG), told Chemical Watch that the group is again "on guard" against resistance.

California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR)

Marin Independent Journal (Marin County CA): Marin assemblyman’s energy extraction bill clears Legislature

Bill Allayaud, California director of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group (EWG), one of the two sponsors of the bill, said, “This is another step in the reform of this agency, which started eight years ago and is ongoing.

Cleaning Products

(Reprinted from the New York Times) The Star (Toronto Canada): Homemade brews that clean your house and look pretty on your countertop

When the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit advocacy organization, reviewed more than 2,000 cleaning products, it found that more than half contained ingredients that irritate the lungs. Reprinted by The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario Canada)St. Catherines Standard (Ontario Canada)The Peterborough Examiner (Ontario Canada); 2 other media outlet

The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales Australia): Homemade cleaning potions, low irritant and suddenly cool

When the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization, reviewed more than 2,000 cleaning products, it found that more than half contained ingredients that irritate the lungs. Reprinted by The Age AustraliaBrisbane TimesWA Today (Perth Australia)Times of News Australia

Kourtney Kardashian and Cosmetics

Business Insider: 15 facts that will make you think differently about the Kardashian-Jenner family

Kourtney Kardashian teamed up with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit focused on corporate accountability and sustainable materials, to lobby Congress for updated federal cosmetics regulations. Reprinted by MSN

Poosh: How Using Hyaluronic Acid Has Changed My Skin

We worked closely with EWG (Environmental Working Group) and were able to get a score of 1 (best scores are rated with a green “1”) on the EWG scale, which was incredibly important to me.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Medium: Making Sustainable Choices with Cosmetics

While researching this article, I came across the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which makes it easy for you to search for products, ingredients and brands so you can see which chemicals could negatively impact both your health and the environment.

Beauty Independent: Clean Beauty Isn’t Intimidating At New E-Commerce, Event And Community Concept Clara Mae James

Sylves evaluates brands based on ingredients (she has a no-no list of 15 guided by ingredient resources like the Environmental Working Group), efficacy and ethos.

The Spa Insider: Spa Profile: Spa on the Plaza at the Portola Hotel & Spa

All of our products are reviewed for safety and ethical manufacturing practices by the Environmental Working Group’s website.

Wellness Mama: How to Detox Your Armpits

Common name: antifreeze. It is a hotly debated additive in personal care products but the Environmental Working Group reports that it carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies

Farm Bailouts

Politico: State ag officials call for more climate resilience

Fifteen Trump campaign advisers have received about $2.2 million under the program, the Environmental Working Group said Wednesday, including some more state and federal officials.

Counter Punch: Nuclear Power Has No Role in Fighting the Climate Emergency

According to research by the Environmental Working Group, five states have already spent $15 billion in subsidies to keep their economically failing nuclear plants open.

Newsweek: Farmers Confused By Trump Trade Aid Payments: ‘It Makes No Sense’

Although the administration implemented measures to prevent corporations from disproportionately benefiting from the $16 bailout, which occurred in the first round of aid, the Environmental Working Group said that the USDA's $16 billion bailout would still make rich farmers richer, thereby hurting small farmers.

RFD-TV (Rural Media Group): US Makes China Concessions As Tariffs Cost Companies Billions

Fifteen members of a President Trump campaign council receive trade aid payments. The environmental working group says they collected a total of 2.2 million dollars.

Food Policy Action

Eating Well: Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio Is on a Mission to End Hunger for Veterans

Six years ago, he and Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook co-founded Food Policy Action, an advocacy group that's focused on food safety, nutrition and hunger issues-particularly school lunch programs and hunger among veterans.

Gwyneth Paltrow and EWG

Variety: 25 Climate Movers and Shakers in Entertainment

The Academy Award winner has been celebrated by the Environmental Media Assn. and the Environmental Working Group for carbon-neutral living as well as using her celebrity to spread a message of sustainability. Reprinted by SF Gate (San Francisco CA)Chron (Houston TX)News Times (Danbury CT)The Stamford Advocate (CT); 2 other media outlets

Healthy Living App

Her Campus: Sustainable Beauty Tips for Earth’s Everyday Needs

If you are ever unsure about the safety of a product’s ingredients or the ethics of the brand’s production practices, download the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living App.

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

Stacker: Environmental impact of 20 foods

That answer varies, according to a 2011 study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan environmental health research organization. For the report, “A Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health,” researchers modeled the greenhouse gas emissions created during the life cycle (production, transport, retail, cooking, and waste disposal) of common American foods. Reprinted by The Telegraph (Alton IL)MSNSF Gate (San Francisco CA)USA Breaking NewsMy SA (San Antonio TX)Chron (Houston TX)LMT (Laredo TX); 1 other media outlet

Star Tribune (Minneapolis MN): Tracing illness to farms, only to meet a wall

Those germs can wind up on pork sold to consumers. An analysis by the Environmental Working Group, a research organization, found that 71% of pork chops at U.S. supermarkets carried resistant bacteria, second only to ground turkey, at 79%.

PFAS in Food Packaging

Cooking with Kathy Man: Denmark to Ban PFAS in Food Packaging

And just last month the U.S. nonprofit Environmental Working Group called for a U.S. ban on PFAS in food packaging. Reprinted by AgenparlChemistry World

PFAS Sludge

Associated Press: Concerns grow over tainted sewage sludge spread on croplands

"At least EPA should require that sludge be tested for PFAS before being applied to farm fields," said Colin O'Neil, legislative director with the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by The Wichita Eagle (Wichita KS)Riverbender (Aton IL)12 WBOY (Clarksburg WV)KVEO (Brownsville TX)We Are Iowa (Des Moines); 200+ other media outlets

EWG's Guide to Seafood

Elephant Journal: You May Never Eat Line-caught, Dolphin-friendly, Sustainable Tuna Again.

If you eat fish regularly, you’re probably getting too much mercury, according to this report from the Environmental Working Group. And that’s before we even get into microplastics.

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Ladders: Experts say you shouldn’t eat too much of this fruit

Grapes rank number five on the Environmental Working Group’s 2018 list of fruits and veggies with the highest levels of pesticide residue.

Lake Oconee Breeze (Milledgeville GA): PATHWAYS TO HEALING: The health benefits of apples

The Environmental Working Group has listed apples on its annual “Dirty Dozen” list for the last several years.

Payson Roundup (AZ): 2019 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists released

The Environmental Working Group has once again listed strawberries and spinach at the top of its annual Dirty Dozen list — along with kale, a leafy green that has gone from trendy to ubiquitous in recent years.

Shape: What Is Estrogen Dominance – and How Can You Rebalance Your Hormones?

Dr. Scott recommends choosing organic foods—particularly animal products and the "Dirty Dozen" (a list of the most chemical-laden produce in the U.S., put out yearly by the Environmental Working Group).

Well + Good: The 2 Foods You Should *Always* Buy Organic, According to a Top Dietitian

In the latest episode, Beckerman explains that every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases two lists: the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15.

Tap Water Database

Medium: The Truth About What’s Really in Your Drinking Water

The first thing I searched for was the local water quality report. I came across the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit corporation based in Washington D.C. that manages a searchable public Tap Water Database.

The Courier (Waterloo IA): Facing Iowa’s water quality issues

An Environmental Working Group study found that high levels of nitrates in Iowa’s drinking water could be contributing to 300 cases of cancer annually in the state.

Hoboken Girl: Hoboken + Jersey City Tap Water: A Closer Look

The Environmental Working Group {EWG} offers a free Safe Water Database tool that allows anyone to search the quality of their water using their zip code. Above is what we found while searching zip code 07030.

PFAS in Tap Water

Burlington County Times (Willingboro Township NJ): Why isn’t the military cleaning up firefighting chemicals?

But others remain critical. Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney for the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, said PFOS and PFOA in particular are already “incredibly well-studied” chemicals, for which there is little doubt about toxicity. Reprinted by US Politics 10z

Eat This, Not That!: How to Tell if Your Tap Water is Contaminated

The lead is not the only problem—Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University reports that 712 locations in 49 states are known to be contaminated with the highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS.

Eat This, Not That!: 30 Ways Tap Water Could Ruin Your Health

Tina Marinaccio MS, RD, CPT, an Integrative Culinary Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, suggests that you visit the Environmental Working Group site and type in your zip code to learn about potential water contaminants in your area.

Eating Well: This Interactive Database Shows the Most Contaminated Tap Water In America

A recent update to the Environmental Working Group's interactive water database found 610 sites across 43 states have contaminated water-affecting an estimated 19 million individuals.

The Holland Sentinel (Mich.): White House objects to PFAS provisions in defense bill

A report conducted by the Environmental Working Group found Michigan has 192 PFAS contamination sites, the most in the country. Reprinted by The Sault News (Marie MI); Ionia Sentinel-Standard (MI)Stars and Stripes

State Impact Pennsylvania: Fort Indiantown Gap added to list of PFAS contamination sites

However, some advocates, such as the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, say not enough is known about PFAS, and “even the smallest doses” of the chemicals are linked to health problems. Reprinted by 90.5 WESA (Pittsburgh PA)

Waste Dive: PFAS: New efforts to put the genie back in the bottle

In 2018, an analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed up to 110 million Americans may have PFAS in their public water systems and 99.9% of Americans have some

 

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