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EWG News Roundup (9/27): ‘Forever Chemicals’ in California, Electric Cars Draw Ire of Big Oil and More

In the News
Friday, September 27, 2019

This week EWG reviewed and analyzed new state data showing that drinking water sources for 74 community water systems serving 7.5 million Californians are contaminated with the highly toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS. EWG has now documented PFAS contamination in more than 800 communities, military bases, airports and industrial sites nationwide.

“The PFAS crisis has raised alarms nationwide, but it’s been under the radar in California,” said EWG President Ken Cook, a Bay Area resident. “This new data shows that PFAS pollution in California is much more widespread than we knew, with almost one in five Californians served by a utility with at least some of its drinking water supply contaminated with PFAS.” Our analysis comes as the state is working toward setting its own PFAS regulations to supersede the inadequate health advisory level of the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

EWG also broke down how the oil industry has been cooking up schemes to undercut the electric car market. As a recent Politico exposé found, “Groups backed by [oil] industry giants like Exxon Mobil and the Koch empire are waging a state-by-state, multimillion-dollar battle to squelch utilities’ plans to build charging stations across the country.” Our take: “Big Oil’s fight against electric vehicles is doomed to failure, and the industry knows it.”

Summer has officially ended. But that doesn’t mean folks enjoying fall nature are out of the woods when it comes to insect-borne illness. We laid out some simple steps folks can take to stay safe outdoors.

And finally, over on our Children’s Health site, we provided tips for new parents to protect newborns from toxic pesticides, flame retardants and chemical ingredients in personal care products.

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

PFAS in California Water Report

Associated Press: Report details extent of water contamination in California

A report released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group found variants of the chemicals known as PFAS in 74 community water systems between 2013 and 2019, according to data from state and federal regulators. Reprinted by CBS SF Bay Area (San Francisco)KUSI News (San Diego );The Modesto Bee (CA)Santa Maria Times (CA)Hanford Sentinel (CA)Lompoc Record (Santa Maria CA)Napa Valley Register (CA); 38 other media outlets

ABC News: Potentially harmful ‘forever chemical’ PFAS found in drinking water for 7.5 million California residents: Report

A report released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group found variants of the chemicals known as PFAS in 74 community water systems between 2013 and 2019, according to data from state and federal regulators. Reprinted by ABC 7 (Los Angeles)ABC 30 (Fresno CA)850 WFTL (West Palm Beach FL)WFIN (Findlay OH)MSNMacomb News Now (Macomb IL); 31 other media outlets

CNN: Drinking water serving 7.5 million Californians has been contaminated with toxic PFAS, new report says

Chemical contaminants were detected in water sources serving more than 7 million Californians, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by KTLA 5 (Los Angeles CA)

Fox KTVU (San Francisco): Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ detected in CA drinking water

A review by the Environmental Working Group shows drinking water sources for 74 community water systems are contaminated with the highly toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS.

Daily Mail: 7.5 million Californians are drinking water tainted with highly-toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ study finds

A new Environmental Working Group (EWG) study of water systems in 74 California communities found that at least one sample taken from 40 percent of those systems was over the EPA's suggested limit - and even that, EWG says, is too high. Reprinted by News GrooveHealth Medicine Network

New York Daily News: ‘Forever chemical’ found in drinking water serving 7.5 million people in California

The review by the Environmental Working Group detected PFAS, a “forever chemical” that does not break down, in 74 different communities’ water.

Newsweek: California Water Sources Contaminated With Potentially Deadly ‘Forever Chemicals’

A review of state data by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows that over 40 percent of the water systems included in the data contained an amount of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that was over 70 parts per trillion.

KHTS (Santa Clarita CA): Santa Clarita Water Nears Top Of Statewide List For PFAS Contamination, Highest In LA County

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization, reviewed data from the EPA outlining drinking water sources contaminated with “highly toxic” chemicals called Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, according to the study.

Chemicals in Water Result in 100,000 Cancer Cases

Cancer Health: Is Your Tap Water Raising Your Cancer Risk?

Break out your water filters. A new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Heliyon, warns that a potentially “toxic cocktail” of chemicals in U.S. drinking water contributes to increased lifetime risk that adds up to more than 100,000 cases of cancer.

Chemicals News: Cancer risk from tap water much higher than previously believed…is your water truly clean?

Over the course of a lifetime, warns the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the study’s author, simple exposure to carcinogenic tap water could be cumulatively linked to some 100,000 cancer cases over the course of a lifetime.

Medical Daily: Does Your Tap Water Contain Cancer-Causing Contaminants?

A new scientific paper published by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found people with substandard water systems are exposed to a toxic cocktail of chemicals -- including atrazine, arsenic, flouride and lead -- found in their drinking water. Reprinted by MSN

Medical News Today: Scientists evaluate cancer risk of US drinking water

Researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, DC, used a new approach to analyze cumulative cancer risk due to cancer-causing chemicals in tap water across the U.S. Reprinted by VIPortal

Natural News: Caner risk from tap water much higher than previously believed…is your water truly clean?

Over the course of a lifetime, warns the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the study’s author, simple exposure to carcinogenic tap water could be cumulatively linked to some 100,000 cancer cases over the course of a lifetime. Reprinted by Montreal Le Canadian

ABC 11 (Raleigh NC): Chemicals in tap water may cause cancer, study suggests

According to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, there may be cancer-causing products in tap water. 

Algae Blooms

KUNC (Greely CO): Warming Drives Spike In Algae Blooms Across Wyoming

So far this year, the Wyoming Department of Health has issued algae bloom advisories for 16 lakes and reservoirs across the state, a spike that mirrors the record number potentially toxic blooms across the country in 2019, as counted by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Wyoming Public MediaBoise State Public Radion (ID) 

Algae Blooms and Dog Deaths

Osprey Observer (Valrico FL): Toxic Algae Blooms Linked To Dog Deaths

According to the Environmental Working Group, 2019 is seeing a record-breaking number of algae blooms when compared to the years prior. 

BPA in Consumer Products

Taipei Times: EDITORIAL: New thinking on receipts required

In tests conducted by US-based non-profit organization the Environmental Working Group, it was found that cashiers have 30 percent more BPS in their bodies than the average person, making them a particularly high-risk group for reproductive issues.

Cleaning Products

Reader’s Digest: What Are Dryer Balls and How Do They Compare to Dryer Sheets

“When it comes to skin safety, people should be aware of all the ingredients in any type of product they are using—regardless of any ‘natural’ claims made—as everyone’s skin reacts differently,” says Johnson, noting that P&G’s products are tested for those with skin sensitivities in mind. Since dryer balls are chemical-free, however, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) endorses them as safe for babies and those with sensitive skin.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Goop: What a Scientist Drinks, Does, and Wears for Beauty and Wellness

Start with the episode “Why Are There Still Toxic Ingredients in Beauty Products?”—goop beauty editors Jean Godfrey-June and Megan O’Neill talk with Nneka Leiba, the VP of healthy living science at the Environmental Working Group, about the toxic chemicals we are exposed to in cosmetics, what you need to know about spray sunscreen, and how to choose the products you use.

Poosh: Pick of the Week: $10 Non-Toxic Baby Oil

On top of being EWG (Environmental Working Group) verified and formulated with squalane, Pipette’s Baby Oil is safe, non-toxic, and mineral-free.

Woman’s Day: How to Grow Stronger, Healthier Nails, According to Dematologists

Popular non-toxic nail polish brands include ZoyaButter London, and Deborah Lippmann. (If you’re not sure whether your go-to nail polish brands are non-toxic, you can always search for them in the EWG’s cosmetics database.) Reprinted by PreventionYahoo!

Dr. Axe: What Is Stearic Acid? Top Uses for Skin & Beyond

For example, the Environmental Working Group and PETA list it as a “substance of animal origin” since it’s derived from rendered fat of farm animals.

Itsy Bitsy Indulgences: Wellness Wednesday || A New Shaving Experience

They use grapefruit, coconut, rosa canina, and aloe vera in both products + they have a top rating in the EWG Skin Deep Database.

Little Southern Life: A Crunchy Mom’s Guide To Kid’s Bath Time

Type them into google, go to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep page and type them in there or download the Healthy Living app and scan them. Let me know if I can help you in any way to #switchtosafer.

Duke Energy

Inside EPA: Duke Engergy draws scrutiny over carbon neutrality goal

For instance, a release from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) quotes Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizen Action Coalition in Indiana, as saying, “Duke has displayed no commitment to transitioning their Indiana generation away from fossil fuels. . . . When you review what Duke has actually filed before state regulators and compare that with this announcement’s intended media splash, it feels like a whole lot of greenwashing.”

Eating Well on a Budget

ABC News: Are American adults getting smarter about what they eat?

One way to combat this may be through adding resources through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan (SNAP) for healthier eating. Weinandy shares that the Environmental Working Group also has resources for eating well on a budget. Reprinted by Mogaz News1540 WADK (Newport RI)Regional Daily News (Kewanee IL)WOND (Linwood NJ)KRVN Rural Radio (Lexington NE); 11 other media outlets

Farm Bailouts

Compton Herald (CA): Rep. Maxine Waters response to Trump tariffs

According to a recent analysis of USDA data by the Environmental Working Group, more than half of the farmer aid payments have been doled out to the top one-tenth of recipients.

Creators Syndicate (Hermosa Beach CA): Cronyism Yields a Bumper Crop with Farm Bailouts

According to the Environmental Working Group, an outfit that has long opposed farm subsidies, one-tenth of the bailout recipients last year have received over half of the bailout payments, and 82 farmers have each received more than $500,000. Reprinted by ReasonThe American SpectatorTownHallBefore It’s NewsConservative AnglePatriot PostTyler Morning Telegraph (TX) 

Farm Subsidies

Medium: Corn: The Welfare Crop

Map representing which states receive the most corn subsidies, courtesy of the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database, with darker colors indicating more monies received.

Glyphosate in Food

The Good Men Project: Glyphosate In Food – Is it Bad for You?

This was proven in a 2016 study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which found that 43 of 45 oat-based products contained glyphosate, while almost three-fourths of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what the EWG considers safe for children.

Yellowstone Public Radio (Montana State University): Public Scrutiny Of Roundup Affects International Grain Markets

At the same time the Environmental Working Group released test results in 2018 showing glyphosate residues in Cheerios and other popular cereals and snacks. Reprinted by Montana Public Radio

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

Live Kindly: Copenhagen Schools Urged to Ban Red Meat From Lunches

Lamb also has a significant environmental impact. One report by the Environmental Working Group states it’s even higher than beef, this is because much of the meat produced by a lamb is not edible and goes to waste.

PFAS in Consumer Products

KYW (Philadelphia): Home Depot to phase out products containing chemical linked to cancer and serious health issues

"This is huge because carpets have been contaminated with these chemicals for decades, starting back in the eighties," Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group explained. 

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Bella Online: Can Fruits and Vegetables Help Endometriosis?

If you are planning to increase your fruit and vegetable intake to minimize your endometriosis risks you may want to become aware of the 'dirty dozen' list. This is an annually updated list of the most pesticide-laden produce compiled by the Environmental Working Group. 

Coeur d’Alene Press (ID): Advertising: Advertorial – Dr. Wendy Cunningham: Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) mentioned that kale is newer to the list and has pushed bell peppers out of the number 12 spot, even though they are still high in pesticide residue.

Mercola: Why Is The Celery Juice Trend Exploding?

Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization aimed at protecting health and the environment, publishes a guide to pesticides in produce. 

Reprinted by HealthgluHealth Nut News

Natural News: Delicious, nutritious, health-promoting: There are many reasons to eat an apple every day

It is worth noting that apples belong to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list, which includes the produce with the most pesticides. Reprinted by Bru Direct

Weil: Eating To Prevent Prostate Cancer

A key way to optimize your produce from chemicals is to pay regular attention to the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and prioritize purchasing those items in their organic forms.

KCEN-TV (Temple TX): Your Best Life | National Organic Month

Linzy said there are certain foods that should always be eaten organic such as strawberries, spinach, and tomatoes. This is according to the 2019 Environmental Working Group's 2019 Dirty Dozen List.

EWG's Guide to Sunscreens

Johnny Jet: These Are the Best Sunscreens for Kids

And so I was happy to look over a new list of best sunscreens for kids, compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Future Derm: Paula’s Choice Smooting Primer Serum SPF 30 Review

However, in 2010, the Environmental Working Group reviewed results from the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and proposed retinyl palmitate in sunscreens may accelerate the risk of skin cancer.

Market Watch: How a big FDA review of sunscreen ingredients is prompting industry lobbying

Several advocacy groups said in a joint comment that the big review is “long overdue,” adding that the FDA shouldn’t weaken standards “at the bequest of industry.” Public Citizen, Environmental Defense Fund and the Environmental Working Group were among the outfits submitting that joint comment. Reprinted by Morning Star

Tap Water Database

The Guardian: ‘What they put on the fields contaminates our water’: Iowa’s pollution problem

A report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that, across the US, 1,700 municipal water utilities – most of them rural – regularly have nitrates above the 5mg/l safe limit.

Before It’s News: Why There is No Such Thing as ‘Safe’ Tap Water

The Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water database allows you to search by state for relevant information about the safety of tap water in your area.

San Antonio Current (TX): Lating Harm: The Contamination Around the South Side’s Air Force Facilities Remains, and Residents Say It’s Still Taking a Toll

Contamination levels near military bases can reach up to 680,000 parts per trillion, according to a 2018 EWG and Northeastern University study.

Santa Ynez Valley News (Solvang CA): Ron Colone: What’s foolish is not having clean water

Data compiled by the Environmental Working Group from 2010 - 2015 showed this: 19,000 public water systems contained lead, and there is no safe level of exposure to lead; more than 170 million Americans are exposed to radioactive radium in their water… Reprinted by Santa Maria Times (CA)Lompoc Record (Santa Maria CA)

High Plains Public Radio (Garden City KS): High Plains Tap Water: Is It Safe to Drink?

According to the Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database, when most Americans drink a glass of tap water, they're also getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, brain damage, hormone disruption and other concerns.

WGVU (Grand Rapids MI): $1 million grant will fund PFAS research in West Michigan

According to the Environmental Working Group, or the EWG, recent data shows that Michigan leads the nation in the number of confirmed PFAS contaminated water supplies in the nation.

PFAS in Tap Water

NM Political Report: Army: No PFAS contamination at White Sands Missile Range

Our article was based on a report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that specializes in chemical contamination and drinking water issues.

Stars and Stripes: Two House Democrats hoping to add chemical contaminant reform in annual defense bill

More than 100 Army installations were discovered to have drinking water contaminated with PFAS, according to a recent report from the Army conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization.

Urban Milwaukee (MN): Evers, Governors Push Congress on PFAS

Wisconsin Examiner’s sibling news outlet, the Michigan Advance, has detailed a new report that shows more Michigan military sites that tested positive for PFAS contamination, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Water Filter Buying Guide

Ladies Want More: Lead In Tap Water: What Parents Should Know

Visit EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide to find a filter that meets your ne and budget.Choose a model certified for lead removal by NSF International, the California Environmental Protection Agency or the Water Quality Association.

 

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