EWG News and Analysis
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EWG News Roundup (12/6): Key PFAS Legislation in Jeopardy, the Trump-Wheeler ‘Red Wedding’ and More
Congressional sources say key provisions to reduce discharges and clean up the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are likely to be scrapped from the final national defense spending bill.
“Congress may once again fail to protect us from toxic PFAS chemicals,” said EWG Senior VP for Government Affairs Scott Faber. “If the reports are accurate, the defense spending bill will largely fail to reduce PFAS discharges into drinking water supplies and keep it out of our tap water, and will let the Defense Department and others off the hook when it comes to cleaning up legacy PFAS pollution.”
Next year, the Environmental Protection Agency will mark its 50th anniversary. Former top fossil fuel lobbyist-turned-EPA-head Andrew Wheeler announced plans for a year-long “celebration,” promising “to build on our progress for future generations” – a boast that invites skepticism, given the Trump administration’s continued rollback of environmental protections.
“President Trump and Administrator Wheeler will spend a full year saluting the EPA’s 50 years of environmental protection?” asked EWG President Ken Cook. “We haven’t seen a celebration this joyous and heartfelt since the Red Wedding episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’”
Cities across the nation, like Berkeley, Calif., are working toward banning natural gas hookups in new homes and buildings. Cities adopting such policies are citing deep cuts in their emissions of carbon and other global warming gases as reason for these changes.
An investigation by EPA’s acting inspector general found that disgraced former agency chief Scott Pruitt directed staff to ignore potential impacts to children’s health as the agency moved to roll back the Obama-era pollution rules for dirty diesel engines in new freight trucks.
And finally, EWG welcomed environmental attorney Jamie Konopacky as EWG’s Midwest director, based in Minneapolis. “Jamie’s appointment signals our commitment to improving public health and the environment in the upper Midwest,” said Craig Cox, EWG senior VP for agriculture and natural resources. “She will be a great and timely addition EWG’s Midwest team.”
Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.
House Hearing on Cosmetics Regulation
On average, women use 12 products a day containing a total of 168 unique ingredients, while men use six products daily with 85 unique ingredients, according to an Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by WFIN (Findlay, Ohio); KSRO (Sonoma County, Calif.); KNEB (Scottsbluff, Neb.); 104.9 Max Country Radio (York, Neb.); Cenla Broadcasting (Alexandria, La.); 14 other media outlets
With this in mind, the Environmental Working Group's Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber faced the Subcommittee on Health on the morning of Dec. 4 to argue that the Federal Drug Administration needs to be empowered to crack down on the wild, wild West that is the U.S. personal care products industry.
Scott Faber, senior vice president of Government Affairs with the Environmental Working Group, says companies like Johnson & Johnson need more oversight. Reprinted by News Channel 8 (Tampa, Fla.); ABC 27 (Harrisburg, Pa.); CNY Homepage (Utica, Ny.); News Channel 11 (Johnson City, Tenn.); 20+ other media outlets
Trump Administration Farm Bailouts
The latest round of the payments issued in October pushed the value of 2019 payments to $92 million, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which compiled Market Facilitation Program payment data from each state. Reprinted by Ravalli Republic (Hamilton, Mont.); KPVI (Pocatello, Idaho);Missoulian (Mont.); Montana Standard; Independent Record (Helena); Billings Gazette (Mont.); 30+ other media outlets
An advocacy group, the Environmental Working Group, released a study that asserted big farms so far have been the main beneficiaries of the billions of dollars in aid payments. Reprinted by Yahoo!; Daily Magazine; Latest Nigerian News; MSN; My San Antonio; Beaumont Enterprise (Texas); The Middletown Press (Conn.); 20+ other media outlets
(Video report by Kayla Tausche.) Reprinted by My High Plains (Amarillo, Texas)
A report from the Environmental Working Group, which analyzed documents received through the Freedom of Information Act, says the top 1 percent of beneficiaries received 13 percent of the funds from the first round of payments. “America’s farm safety-net is broken,” senior analyst Anne Weir Schechinger said. Reprinted by The Wenatchee World (Wash.)
The Environmental Working Group, analyzing about $6 billion in payments, said the bailout is mostly helping large producers, with about half the payments so far going to just 10% of producers.
The top 10% of operations — the “largest, most profitable industrial-scale farms in the country” – got half of the $14.5 billion in aid paid out from Aug. 19 through October, according to an analysis of data by the Environmental Working Group. The findings were nearly identical for the $8.4 billion paid outfrom January 2018 through April 2019. Reprinted by Yahoo!; USA News Hub
According to the agriculture and product research and advocacy nonprofit Environmental Working Group, the federal government pays out a majority of farm subsidies to those growing corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice.
As it happens, LaMalfa’s family farm had collected $5.1 million in government crop subsidies from 1995 through that year, according to the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.); Lexington Herald-Leader (Ky.); Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Ga.); Sun Herald (Gulfport, Miss.); Bradenton Herald (Fla.); 30+ other media outlets
It’s the “fat cats” who are benefiting most from President Trump’s taxpayer bailout to farmers hurt by his trade war, according to Anne Weir Schechinger, a senior analyst with Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Morning Star; The Burning Platform
“Above certain levels, this is going to be a health concern for certain groups of people, notably pregnant women or children,” says Doctor Tasha Stoiber. She works for the Environmental Working Group, a global non-profit.
“The Trump administration will be partly to blame when the next worker is injured or dies as a result of being exposed to this extremely dangerous chemical,” said Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney at the Environmental Working Group, in March.
"The comments make it clear that most Americans not only oppose but are utterly repulsed by this plan to punish the poorest among us by denying them help to feed themselves," Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), said in a statement in April. Reprinted by Raw Story; Before It’s News; TruthDig; Truth Out; Democratic Underground; Native News Online; 1 other media outlet
An estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people nationwide die from asbestos exposure each year, according to the EWG Action Fund.
“Bottled water is no safer than filtered tap water, but the industry doesn’t have to disclose the results of its testing,” according to the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Reader Supported News
“Evidence suggests the developing fetus and young child are most at risk, but adolescents also appear uniquely vulnerable,” reports the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a leading non-profit research and advocacy group.
Chemicals in Food Packaging
According to the Environmental Working Group, toxic chemicals from the containers can seep into the food, exposing people to these toxins. Reprinted by Chemicals.News
For more house-cleaning products, Browne recommends taking a look at the Environmental Working Group’s top-rated products list (ewg.org). Reprinted bySF Gate (San Francisco); The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.); Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)
The cocktail can trigger migraines, asthma attacks, and breathing troubles. To keep air smelling clean, the Environmental Working Group suggests a simple solution: Open a window or run a fan. Reprinted by MSN
Branch Basics is one of my current favorite house cleaning brands out there. Not only does the concentrate used for the line test pretty clean according to the Environmental Working Group, but they system is pretty damn brilliant when you think about it.
Lowen’s is PETA certified cruelty free and all products have been thoroughly evaluated by the Environmental Working Group, most of which carry the EWG Verified logo, establishing Lowen’s as an industry leader in transparency, environmental impact and safety.
Purito is a Korean brand dedicated to using clean, natural ingredients in its skin care products and has received EWG Green Level certification, so you can rest assured that this serum is free from mineral oils, PEG, ethanol, artificial fragrances, silicones, triclosan, petrolatum, parabens and polyproprene glycol.
C’est Moi is a clean ingredients brand with makeup, skincare and body products EWG verified, free of toxic hormone-disruptive or allergenic ingredients such as parabens, pythalates, mineral oil, talc and chemical sunscreens.
All the products from this Taiwanese-born brand are both EWG and COSMOS certified organic, meaning you can expect nothing less than the cleanest, most non-toxic formulas no matter which product you decide to try first.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose
Naomi Watts co-founded Onda, a clean beauty retailer with a store in Sydney’s Paddington, while Michelle Pffeifer has put the focus on clean perfume with her own fine fragrance label Henry Rose, the first to be verified by America’s Environmental Working Group.
While the Environmental Working Group-certified scents aren’t yet available to buy in Australia, we’ve rounded up a few alternative products that you can shop right now (NB. none of these products have been recommended by Michelle Pfeiffer).
Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database
As I was searching for reliable resources to help me find safer products, I came across Skin Deep, a database founded by the Environmental Working Group, where products are rated by their hazard levels.
According to the Environmental Working Group, mineral oil is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum. This ingredient, which is commonly used in cosmetics, can be a possible human immune system toxicant or allergen, according to EWG.
It’s important to remember that an ingredient’s source does not always determine its safety, that is why all of our products are rated on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.
You can always find safety ratings for skincare products at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website or shop at a clean-beauty site like the Detox Market or Credo.
Having earned a “super safe” rating from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep organization, Mad Hippie offers consumers an effective option that also leaves a minimal footprint.
But wait! Before you rush towards your own bathroom cabinet and investigate your product ingredients, save yourself some time and check out the Environmental Working Group’s special site “Skin-Deep Cosmetics Database.”
Hair dyes, in particular, contain many chemicals (over 5,000 different ones are currently in use, according to the National Cancer Institute), so it's worth checking out the ingredients in any dye or relaxing products you use at home, using a reputable resource like the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database or Cosmeticsinfo.org.
Based in Fort Collins and owned and operated by a licensed esthetician, WildBloom Skincare offers a wide range of products that were created along the guidelines of the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.
EWG’s Healthy Living App
The Environmental Working Group, Earthjustice and the Animal Legal Defense Fund are among those working hard to check the worst practices of these factory farms. Reprinted by EcoWatch; Citizen Truth; Nation of Change
It’s a tactic she’s seen employed by advocacy organizations like the Environmental Working Group, whose food rating system is aimed at helping “consumers make healthier, greener food choices,” and companies like Care/of, which sells vitamins and supplements online with ratings assuring consumers about their effectiveness. Reprinted by The Beachwood Reporter (Chicago)
If you’re unsure about the furniture you’re looking at for your new house, ask the company for more information or check the Environmental Working Group suggestions.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) uses the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.
Glyphosate in Cereal
Strickland, writing for the website Medium.com, analyzed lab results for glyphosate in popular foods from the Environmental Working Group, and said he trusted their tests, noting they used an independent lab with a “modern, very accurate testing method.”
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has compiled fresh data on the levels of toxic glyphosate (Roundup) found in several popular oat-based breakfast cereals, and the verdict is this: All of them contain at least trace amounts of the cancer-causing herbicide, while most of them are loaded with it. Reprinted by Signs of the Times; Chemicals.News
Importing less cheese across the Atlantic means less greenhouse gas emissions. Cheese is one food with a rather intense carbon footprint, and importing it via air increases its footprint by nearly fifty percent according to report from the Environmental Working Group.
In April 2018, Kourtney traveled to Washington D.C., and testified at a briefing for Senate staffers with the Environmental Working Group, which is backing a piece of legislation sponsored by Dianne Feinstein of California.
Lead in California Schools
Nearly 20% of California schools had at least one water fixture that dispensed water containing more lead than is allowed, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Reprinted by Patch Los Angeles
Mark Ruffalo House Testimony for PFAS
Scott Faber, an attorney with EWG and adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, sat beside actor Mark Ruffalo; both urged lawmakers to force the EPA to regulate PFAS chemicals and crack down on manufacturers responsible for the contamination.
Pennsylvania PFAS Court Case
“This is a cynical attempt by the Navy to stall this litigation and continue the Pentagon’s long history of avoiding responsibility for knowingly putting military personnel and civilians at serious risk from these toxic chemicals,” Melanie Benesh, an attorney for the Environmental Working Group, said in a Wednesday release. Reprinted by 10z US Politics; News Dog
PFAS Contamination Legislation
It’s time for Congress to finally address the growing PFAS contamination crisis,” Scott Faber, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at Environmental Working Group.
For some insight into what’s going on, the Environmental Working Group’s Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin in the studio.
PFAS in Consumer Products
One example: David Andrews of Environmental Working Group said early this year that the chemistry for many of those wrappers is based on a type of PFAS called 6:2 FTS.
Additionally, PFAS were found in products that resist grease, water and oil, the Environmental Working Group said. Several studies have linked the chemicals to negative impacts on human health.
Nonstick cookware is by far one of the most concerning forms of cookware. In just two to five minutes on a conventional stovetop, nonstick cookware containing perfluorochemicals can exceed temperatures that cause a break down in its coating and hence the release of toxic particles and gases linked to bird deaths and human illnesses, according to tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
“So many people across the country are exposed to it. It’s in everyone’s blood,” said Dr. David Andrews, the senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group. “We’re only now uncovering how widespread this contamination is.”
Earlier this year, Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist with Environmental Working Group, explained, "What we’re beginning to learn with more scientific evidence on PFAS is that PFAS can virtually impact every system in the body." Reprinted by FOX 42 (Omaha, Neb.); KMTR 16 (Springfield, Ore.); WBMA (Birmingham, Ala.); ABC 3340 (Birmingham, Ala.); CBS 4 (El Paso, Texas); 13 other media outlets
Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
Like many other fruits and vegetables, potatoes are on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen list.
According to the EPA, over 1 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States every year, and per USDA data analyzed by Environmental Working Group, up to 70 percent of produce sold in the United States contains pesticide residue.
Keep in thoughts that grapes are listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen record of the most pesticide contaminated fruits and greens.
EWG Guide to Sunscreens
Therefore a safe bet is to look for sunscreens that are known to use particles too big to be absorbed such as zinc oxide, which is the most reliable ingredient according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Tap Water Database Update
One fairly good source for data on radon in drinking water is the Environmental Working Group.
Tap water at the majority of Maryland utilities, or public water systems, had levels of contaminants that exceeded health guidelines established by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit focused on environmental health issues. Reprinted by Capital News Service; CBS Baltimore; Bradenton Herald (Fla.); Idaho Statesman; The News Tribune (Takoma, Wash.); The Washington Times; 20 other media outlets
“Bottled water is no safer than filtered tap water, but the industry doesn’t have to disclose the results of its testing,” according to the Environmental Working Group.
Nonprofit Environmental Working Group has published drinking water contamination data for nearly 50,000 communities nationwide, and the results for Maryland are...not great.
Across the 10-county Barren River region, utilities complied with the EPA’s federal drinking water standards in recent years but possessed at least one contaminant at a level that exceeded health guidelines recommended by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group that recently released its 2019 annual report on tap water.
In October, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy group, released its annual Tap Water Database detailing a host of contaminants in nearly 50,000 water utilities in all 50 states.
Atrazine in Tap Water
An analysis of annual drinking water quality reports by the Environmental Working Group revealed that drinking water systems in the Midwest have seasonal exceedances of the allowable limit for atrazine.
PFAS in Tap Water
One advocacy group, the Environmental Working Group, has tracked government testing that shows up to 16 million Americans could have amounts of PFOS and PFOA in their drinking water sources, above the EPA's recommended health limit. Reprinted by KTIC (West Point, Neb.); WSBT (Mishawaka, Ind.); WEIS (Centre, Ala.); WFIN (Findlay, Ohio); My Central Oregon; 14 other media outlets
Yet it’s positive that Tucson is actively testing wells for PFAS and has been monitoring for these pollutants for at least a decade, said David Andrews, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.
There are only a few states, such as Michigan and California, that have begun to comprehensively test for PFAS contamination, according to Dave Andrews, a scientist at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, an organization that advocates for more stringent PFAS health standards.
Advocacy groups say that no amount of PFAS is safe; the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that has been sounding the alarm on the problem, says that 1 part per trillion is the maximum safe level, based on independent studies.
The state water board says the notification level has been set “conservatively” as it further assesses health effects. However, the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental health organization, has developed a health guideline of 1 ppt for PFAS in drinking water.
The advocacy organization Environmental Working Group estimates 110 million Americans drink water with dangerous PFAS levels. Reprinted by West Virginia Public Broadcasting; WOUB (Athens, Ohio); WFPL (Louisville, Ky.); WKMS (Murray State University); 3 other media outlets
(Reprint of EWG’s map of military bases contaminated by PFAS)