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EWG News Roundup (10/25): 2019 National Tap Water Database, Nonstick Chemicals Taint Louisville Drinking Water and More

Friday, October 25, 2019

This week EWG released the 2019 Tap Water Database, which documents the contaminants detected in nearly 50,000 water utilities in every state. First published in 2005, and the only one of its kind, the database aggregates utility drinking water tests from across the nation into one easy-to-use, searchable online database.

“Most Americans assume the federal government ensures their tap water is safe to drink,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Our Tap Water Database shines a light on an ugly reality: The Safe Drinking Water Act is broken, and the water millions of Americans drink is contaminated with unhealthy pollutants like PFAS, pesticides, arsenic, hexavalent chromium and more.”

Drinking water contamination can be especially harmful to children, so EWG broke down why we developed our own tap water standards, which put children’s health first, and provided tips for helping you decide when a reverse osmosis water filtration system is the right choice for your family.

Laboratory tests commissioned by EWG found 10 different toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS, in drinking water samples from Louisville, Ky. The combined total for all PFAS tested in the Louisville sample was 45.2 parts per trillion, or ppt. Independent experts say PFAS exposure in drinking water should be limited to just 1 ppt.

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

Tap Water Database Update

Business Insider: An environmental group found arsenic and chromium in tap water in all 50 US states. Here’s how to check what’s in your taps.

In 2017, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a database of all the known contaminants lurking in US drinking water. After compiling data from 50,000 public water utilities across the country from 2010 to 2015, the group found 267 chemicals that they dubbed concerning to human health. Reprinted by Yahoo! NewsMSNUSA online journalLatest Nigerian NewsWorld News NetworkVidMidLong Room

The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.): Is Baton Rouge’s drinking water safe? Feds say yes but environmental group questions standards

The Environmental Working Group released an updated version of its Tap Water Database on Wednesday detailing the levels of chemical and radioactive contaminants in nearly 50,000 water utilities across the country.

American Daily Post: The Water Standards Need to be Stricter to Save People from Risk of Cancer

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has said that the federal drinking water standards need to be much stricter than what they really are if people want to protect the community especially pregnant women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Asbury Park Press (N.J.): New Jersey, your tap water may be contaminated with carcinogens

Millions of New Jersey residents are drinking tap water contaminated with carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by My Central JerseyCourier Post (South N.J.)North Jersey Record & Herald

Bustle: Is Your Drinking Water Safe? This Tool Gives You The Answer In Seconds

On Oct. 23, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released an updated national drinking water database that lets you to plug in your zip code and find out what contaminants exist, if any, in your local drinking water. Reprinted by Who.What.Why.97.1 WASH-FM (Rockville, Md.)

Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News (Canton, Ga.): Official disputes nonprofit’s claim that Cobb water is unsafe

The Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group updated its tap water database this week. Reprinted by Marietta Daily Journal (Ga.)Rome News-Tribune (Ga.)

Florida Today (USA Today): Environmental group pushes for stricter U.S. water quality standards

Today, EWG, based in Washington, D.C., released an updated version of its tap water database, detailing contaminants in almost 50,000 utilities nationwide.

LAist: Why You Might Be Hearing Scary Things About What’s In LA Tap Water

Environmental Working Group, an activist environmental group, just updated its public database of tap water test results. And it's making some local water systems' drinking water look problematic.

Longmont Daily Times-Call (Colo.): Longmont, Boulder water quality good, but advocacy group says room for improvement

As part of a new drinking water database compiled using data from state water utilities and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Working Group found trace amounts of chromium, radium, and trihalomethanes in Longmont’s drinking water — all three of which can increase the risk of cancer if consumed in high quantities. Reprinted by Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo)Colorado Daily

MindBodyGreen: The EWG’s Latest Database Reveals Disturbing Trends In Our Tap Water

Do you know what's in your tap water? I sure didn't, and I was met with a surprise when I entered my ZIP code into the Environmental Working Group's just-updated database.

Monroe News Star (La.): ‘Meets all government standards’: Tap water study results might surprise you

The Environmental Working Group released its 2019 tap water database. It includes data for almost 50,000 water utilities around the United States and ranks water systems with the highest levels of contaminant in a Top 10.

Nature World News: This New Database Could Tell You How Safe Your Tap Water Is

Have you ever wondered how safe your tap water is? You can now find out through a database. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) unveiled its newest Tap Water Database on Wednesday, October 23, which enables people to determine which contaminants are in their faucet water and how it may affect their health.

The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.): Delaware Water Drinkers – How Does Your Utility Rank for Safety? (Subscription)

“Legal doesn’t necessarily mean safe,” said toxicologist Alexis Temkin, who works with the nonprofit, nonpartisan Environmental Working Group.

Newsweek: Millions of Americans are Drinking Water That is Contaminated Yet Legal: Environmental Working Group Analysis

Millions of Americans are drinking unsafe water because the federal drinking water standards are outdated, according to the latest analysis from the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by USA NewsMSNDaily Read ListFrom Press

NJ Spotlight: NJ Drinking Water Contaminants Increase, Survey Says

The advocacy organization Environmental Working Group used data from the state Department of Environmental Protection on drinking water quality at New Jersey’s 579 utilities, as part of its national U.S. Tap Water Database, a biennial report.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly water exceeds Environmental Working Group limits for 5 chemicals

Though Philadelphia tap water meets federal standards for safe drinking, it exceeds guidelines set by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group for five chemical contaminants including hexavalent chromium and chloroform, according to the group’s updated tap water database released Wednesday.

The Revelator: Tap Water Safety: There’s Good News and Bad News

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group wants to help you answer that question. It has collected all the water-quality information that utilities in the United States submit to their state environmental or public health agencies. Reprinted by EcoWatchEnvironmentGuru

The Science Times: How to Know If Your Tap Water is Potable; Find Out from the EWG Database

Recently, the Environmental Group (EWG) released an updated database on tap water, allowing people to find out for themselves "which contaminants are found in their local tap water and how it may impact their health."

Staunton News Leader (Va.): How safe is your tap water? Tests identify contaminants in the area

Just because your community’s tap water gets a passing grade from the government does not mean it’s safe, warns the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that works to protect human health and the environment.

Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.): How safe is your tap water?

The nonprofit Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy group promoting clean drinking water, updated its zip code-searchable website of public water-supply records nationwide on Wednesday. Reprinted by World News Network

Treasure Coast Palm (Fla.): Environmental Working Group, Erin Brockovich: Drinking water may be unsafe, even if it meets EPA standards

Tap water from Treasure Coast utilities is contaminated with unhealthy pollutants, including arsenic and chromium-6, the chemical made (in)famous in the movie "Erin Brockovich," according to a study by the Environmental Working Group.

Truth Out: New Data Show Severity of Water Contamination in Poor Neighborhoods

Curious to know exactly what’s in the water that flows from your taps? Then simply plug your zip code into the latest iteration of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database.

Yahoo!: How safe is your tap water? This database can tell you

If you’ve ever wondered how safe your tap water really is, you can now find out. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its updated Tap Water Database on Wednesday, which allows people to discover which contaminants are in their local tap water and how it may affect their health. 

Patch (National): Reprinted by MSN.

174 hyperlocal stories

Arizona Public Media (NPR): Low-level contaminants in drinking water still harmful, report says

Tucsonans are getting low levels of carcinogens like arsenic, nitrate and chromium in their drinking water supply, according to a report released today by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

Delaware Public Media (NPR): Nonprofit releases new data on Delaware’s tap water quality

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released its updated U.S. drinking water quality database for public utilities covering 2012 through 2017.

KELO (Sioux Falls, S.D.): Contaminants are common in S.D. drinking water, mostly within legal limits

The Environmental Working Group studied test results from tap water provided by 50,000 water systems across the country and found widespread chemical contaminants, including many carcinogens. The group found only five water systems in S.D. that violated federal legal limits over the past five years, for nitrates, radium, and uranium. But state-level violations are far more common.

KMA Land (Shenandoah, Iowa): Iowa News Headlines Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Sydney Evans, a science analyst with Environmental Working Group, says the comprehensive consumer resource is user-friendly and it's free.

KRCC, Southern Colorado’s NPR: Drinking Water Database Calls Attention To Contaminants

The Environmental Working Group on Wednesday updated its Tap Water Database, which aggregates data from nearly 50,000 water utilities across the country to spotlight dangerous levels of contamination. Reprinted by KUNC (Greenly, Colo.)KUER (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Ohio Valley Resource: Advocacy Group Finds Traces Contamination in Many Regional Water Systems

Tap water delivered by more than 2,000 water systems across the Ohio Valley contain pollutants, many harmful to human health, even though they mostly meet federal drinking water standards. That’s according to a newly-updated database released by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. Reprinted by Murray State NPR (Ky.)West Virginia Public BroadcastingWOUB Public Media (Athens, Ohio)WKU (Western Kentucky NPR)WEKU (Richmond, Ky. NPR)Morehead State Public Radio (Ky.)

New Hampshire Public Radio: Dozens of N.H. Water Systems May Need New Arsenic Treatment Under Lower Limit

Sampling data between 2015 and 2017, newly analyzed in the nonprofit Environmental Working Group’s Tap Water Database, showed around 70 New Hampshire water systems with arsenic levels above 5 ppb, which would put them out of compliance with the new standard.

New Jersey 101.5 (Trenton, N.J.): Jersey: See Which Contaminants Are in Your Town’s Drinking Water

A nonprofit environmental group, unfortunately named the Environmental Working Group, collaborating with outside scientists, analyzed data from almost 50,000 local water utilities in all 50 states.

New Jersey 101.5 (Trenton, N.J.): What’s in NJ Tap Water? Report Says Legal Limits Don’t Equal Safe

Environmental Working Group said it found 107 contaminants in NJ drinking water after analyzing data for 579 water utilities for 2012 through 2017.

Radio Iowa: National database shows information on water testing

Sydney Evans, a science analyst with Environmental Working Group, says the comprehensive consumer resource is user-friendly and it’s free. “If you go to the Tap Water Database, all you have to do is type in a zip code,” Evans says.

Santa Fe Public Radio: Santa Fe Tap Water Study: “Legal” Isn’t Necessarily Safe

KSFR’s Tom Trowbridge spoke with EWG Science Analyst Sydney Evans about what it discovered in 2019’s sampling of Santa Fe’s tap water…

WCBU (Bradley University and Illinois State University): Is Your Tap Water Safe? EWG Database Could Help You Find Out

The Environmental Working Group created a searchable database of more than 50,000 water utilities across the country. The utilities are rated based on the EWG’s recommendations for safe contaminant levels — not on federal or state regulations.

WGBH (Boston): National Report Highlights Chemicals In Massachusetts Drinking Water

A new study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says drinking water in many Massachusetts communities contains a range of chemicals that, while meeting federal safety standards, could still lead to health concerns.

WTOP (Washington, D.C.): How contaminated is your drinking water? Find out

“Legal doesn’t necessarily equal safe,” said Sydney Evans, an analyst with The Environmental Working Group, which describes itself as a “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.”

WAFV-TV (Baton Rouge, La.): How safe is Baton Rouge tap water? Water company and environmental group disagree.

A new 2019 database report released Oct.22 by the national environmental non-profit, Environmental Working Group (EWG), says Baton Rouge tap water contains four different contaminants that are over EWG’s health guidelines, but well below federal limits (where applicable).

WXIA: 11 Alive (Atlanta, Ga.): A group says metro Atlanta water is contaminated: Are their numbers legitimate?

The study was done by a nonprofit called Environmental Working Group. The group said it collaborated with scientists and analyzed data from water systems in 50 states.

Trump Administration

Successful Farming: EPA Proposal Would Shrink Buffer Zones Around Farm Pesticides

Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group said smaller buffer zones will mean more risk of exposure. “Not a single farmworker justice, environmental, or public health group supports [administrator Andrew] Wheeler’s latest capitulation to the pesticide lobby,” he said.

Trump Administration Animal Testing

Bloomberg Environment: Trump EPA Forges Unlikely Ties With Animal Rights Groups

Environmental watchdogs including the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) claim that while ending animal-based testing may spare animal lives in the lab, it risks exposing many more to harm in nature.

Trump Administration Farmer Bailout

The Hill: West Virginia shines a spotlight on absurdities of tariff bailout program

Most of the tariff bailouts are being paid to the biggest farms that don’t need the help, according to the Environmental Working Group, which opposes farm subsidies.

Manitoba Co-Operator (Canada): Big U.S. farms get even bigger amid China trade war

The Environmental Working Group, a conservation organization, said in a recent study the top one per cent of aid recipients received an average of more than $180,000 while the bottom 80 per cent were paid less than $5,000 in aid.

BPA in Receipts

Natural News: 10 Effective ways to reduce exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals in personal care products

A report by the Environmental Working Group showed that thermal paper receipts contain a measurable amount of BPA. Reprinted by Chemicals.News

California Chlorpyrifos Ban

California Health Report: As California Bans Chlorpyrifos, Activists Turn Attention to Other Pesticides

Olga Naidenko, vice president of science investigations at the Environmental Working Group, said California’s action will benefit people living in the state, and also those who buy produce grown here that might otherwise carry chlorpyrifos residue. Reprinted by California Health Line

Cleaning Products

Business Insider: The best dish soap you can buy

When writing this guide, we consulted the website of the Environmental Working Group, a neat organization that seeks to "empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment." Reprinted by Latest Nigerian News

EWG VERIFIED™

Milk and Coco: Sun Care that is Good for Us and the Environment

What is EWG Verified you ask?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American activist group that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability.

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose 

Good Housekeeping: The 2019 Good Housekeeping Sustainable Packaging Awards

We also like how transparent the brand is about the five scents’ ingredients, a rarity in the fragrance world. It has earned certifications from the Environmental Working Group and Cradle to Cradle too.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Business Insider: The best natural makeup you can buy

An easy way to check product safety is to visit the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and verify the safety ratings of more than 73,000 beauty products. Reprinted by Latest Nigerian News

Business Insider: The best natural skin-care products you can buy

It's important to check ingredients and watch out for parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and formaldehyde, as well as mineral oil, artificial fragrance, and silicones. You can also check the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for more detail. Reprinted by Latest Nigerian News

Parade: Everything You Need to Know About Retinol Alternatives – Including 5 That Dermatologists Recommend

The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database is an amazing resource that can help you determine which ingredients might be a potential irritant so you don’t accidentally frustrate your skin.

Whole Foods Magazine: Hot Products: October 2019

Formulated for sensitive skin, these are rated ONE on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, the lowest hazard rating a product can achieve.

Endocrine Disruptors

Cilisos: This Rare Condition Makes Some Malaysian Kids Reach Puberty When They’re In Standard 2

The Environmental Working Group says that exposure to hormone-altering chemicals is one of the things that may increase a child’s chances of early puberty and they’re all over our home!

EPA’s Children’s Health Centers

The Washington Times: ‘Waste’ disposal: EPA’s defunded children’s health centers accused of stoking ‘junk science’

Alex Formuzis, spokesman for the Environmental Working Group, blasted the CEI report. He said he would expect “nothing less from the flat Earth swarm at CEI” and called the grants “an extraordinarily wise use of taxpayer funds.” Reprinted by Times of News

Farm Subsidies

Bluestem Prairie (Greater Minn. and S.D.): More than Dayton induced fantods: is soybean grower’s mid-life crisis worse than she thinks?

We were curious about the acreage, and so visited the EWG's Farm Subsidy Database.

Food Policy Action

Food Tank: 19 Organizations and Initiatives Winning in the Food Movement

Food Policy Action was founded in 2012 through a collaboration of national food policy leaders, including Chef Tom Colicchio, Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group, and Gary Hirshberg, the Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, to hold legislators accountable on legislation effects food and farming.

Guide to Bug Sprays

Business Insider: The best bug sprays and repellents

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) does not recommend using any bug spray on children under six months of age, but suggest treating clothes with permethrin.

Cumulative Cancer Risk Tap Water Assessment

Fox 47 (Lansing & Jackson, Mich.): Toxic cocktail of chemicals in tap water could lead to cancer, study finds

The Environmental Working Group or EWG for short calculated the combined health impact of 22 carcinogens in over 48,000 community water systems nationwide.

Iowa Wells Report

The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa): America needs farmers, but not the Iowa Farm Bureau

While the average level of nitrate contamination in Iowa’s private wells has nearly doubled since 2002, according to the Environmental Working Group, the IFB continues to lobby for farming practices that poison our water and land.

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

Ponoco Records (Stroudsburg, Pa.): A pig plague spreading worldwide

As for the U.S. pork industry, which uses thousands of tons of antibiotics: According to the Environmental Working Group, 71% of pork chops carried antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The same was true for 79% of ground turkey.

Monsanto’s Glyphosate

Charleston Gazette-Mail (S.C.): WV Culinary Team: Breakfast cereals without the grains

According to the report, all but four of the products tested had glyphosate levels higher than what the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental health advocacy organization, considers safe for children.

Nutrition

Martha Stewart: The Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Pumpkin

The three most appealing health benefits of incorporating more pumpkin into everyday dishes are the squash's elevated vitamin A, fiber, and potassium levels, according to Webster, who flagged its vitamin A content (believe it or not, more than 40 percent of American adults aren't eating enough for optimal health, according to the Environmental Working Group) as particularly noteworthy: "Vitamin A is essential for maintaining good vision and a strong immune system, and it's also important for healthy reproductive systems."

Organics

Ag Daily: Bayer set to release its latest in organic crop production

Activists with March Against Monsanto and Stoneyfield and the Environmental Working Group like to remind us of that. But what often goes unsaid is that the Bayers and Monsantos of the world have long been involved in many non-genetically engineered products, too, from seeds to pest controls.

Overload Documentary

Spectrum News 1 (Lexington, Ky.): Louisville Filmmaker's Documentary Explores Chemical Levels in the Body from Everyday Products

The documentary’s idea came from a 2005 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit featured in the film. It showed the 10 newborn babies tested had an average of 200 chemicals in them.

Plastics

Mind Body Green: Why It Might Be High Time To Swap Out Your Shower Curtain

"It's not as egregious [as PVC], but I still don't think it's a good alternative," Tasha Stoiber Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group who specializes in environmental chemistry, says of PEVA curtains.

ShiftCon Health and Wellness Conference

Turning the Clock Back: My ShiftCon Health and Wellness Conference Experience

The Environmental Working Group had a large presence at the ShiftCon Health and Wellness Conference this year. In addition to the EWG, there were a number of beauty brands from makeup to lotions, who are passionate about using safe ingredients.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticide in Produce™

Jackson Hole News & Guide (Wyo.): Rich in antioxidants, apples make 10 healthiest foods list

It is best to buy organic apples if possible, since apples are listed on the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” produce items most likely to contain high levels of pesticides.

The New Food Economy: Why is celery powder so controversial?

(In another bit of dark irony, an extensive Environmental Working Group study found that, among vegetables, non-organic celery absorbs the highest level of pesticides and other chemicals.)

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

Business Insider: The best eco-friendly mineral sunscreen you can buy

Except for All Good’s kids’ spray sunscreens, the brand receives a top rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on their ingredient list.

Tap Water Database

New York Magazine: The Best Shower Water filters, According to Experts

According to Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., a senior science adviser at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), chlorine, a by-product of water disinfection, is commonly found in municipal water supplies, as are hazardous volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including the carcinogenic trichloroethylene.

PFAS in Tap Water

Los Angeles Times: Here’s what you can (and can’t) do about PFAS contamination in your water

According to the Environmental Working Group, or EWG, a public health advocacy organization that has called for more regulation of PFAS, the gold standard for in-house filtration is a reverse osmosis filter, commonly called RO. Reprinted by Head Topics

E&E News: A new target for federal action: PFAS-tainted food

Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, said that because PFAS doesn't break down in the environment, it's easy for the chemicals to leach into wastewater.

WFPL News (Louisville KY): ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found In Louisville Drinking Water

The Environmental Working Group, an organization that tracks environmental pollutants in consumer products, found 10 PFAS compounds in a sample of Louisville drinking water taken from a home in July, according to data from the group. Reprinted by WKU (Western Kentucky NPR)

 

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