EWG News and Analysis
The latest from EWG’s staff of experts >>
EWG News Roundup (1/10): Trump Threatens To Derail PFAS Action, California Fails To Test Infants for Lead and More
The bill would set deadlines for the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce ongoing releases of toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS, and to set a drinking water standard for two notorious PFAS chemicals.
“It’s never been clearer that it’s time for Congress to set tough deadlines to reduce PFAS releases into the air and water, set PFAS drinking water standards, and clean up legacy PFAS pollution,” said EWG Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber. “If the Trump administration won’t take the necessary steps to protect the public from PFAS, it’s up to Congress to act."
In other news about the PFAS Action Act, EWG broke down EPA’s history of inaction when it comes regulating PFAS and told the story of a military firefighter pushing for Congress to act on the PFAS crisis.
News broke this week that California was failing to test millions of children for lead exposure. The state auditor released a report finding that the state’s departments of Health Care Services and of Public Health failed to test more than 1.4 million 1- and 2-year-olds for whom testing was required.
“Although all children can be exposed to lead in drinking water and old paint, kids from lower-income families are considered most at risk of lead poisoning,” said Susan Little, EWG’s senior advocate for California government affairs. “These agencies need to improve the transparency of their lead-poisoning-prevention programs and make sure that useful information about lead exposure and sources of lead contamination is readily available to the public.”
Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.
California Audit of Lead Programs
Susan Little, senior advocate for California government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, agreed with the audit’s conclusion that low-income children aren’t being prioritized for leading screening, even though they are more likely to be poisoned by it.
But across the state, not enough children are being tested for lead exposure, said Susan Little, senior advocate for California government affairs for the advocacy organization the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Ladies Want More; VIPortal; The Union Journal
“Lead doesn’t have a smell, doesn’t have a taste, doesn’t change the taste of water," said Susan Little with the Environmental Working Group. "Well in fact, in paint, it’s sweet. So, children are more apt to chew on lead paint chips.”
And in 2018, the non-profit Environmental Working Group found, based on Health Care Services billing data, that about three-quarters of California toddlers on Medi-Cal had not undergone the required lead testing. Reprinted by Medical Health News; Public CEO; Lake County Record-Bee (Lakeport, Calif.)
H.R. 535: The PFAS Action Act
As many as 100 million Americans could have drinking water affected by PFAS, the Environmental Working Group estimates.
More than 100 million Americans in 1,400 communities have been exposed to PFAS-tainted drinking water, according to a database run by Northeastern University’s Social Science Health Research Institute and the Environmental Working Group.
Inclusion of the provision would have required the federal Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the PFAS chemicals, according to Alex Formuzis, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.
Known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluorooctanoic substances (PFAS and PFOS), the chemicals have been found in groundwater sites across the nation. The Environmental Working Group — an activist group focused on research advocacy of toxic chemicals — released a study in November that found nearly 110 million Americans had been drinking PFAS-contaminated water.
"Enough is enough," said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, in a statement. " Reprinted by Enjeux Energies; Water Quality Products; Before It’s News; Water & Wastes Digest
Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney with the Environmental Working Group, told Waste Dive that Superfund cleanup processes are typically slow and it is hard to predict how regulations might play out.
Trump Administration Farm Bailouts
A study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found that 60 percent of the money that flowed to New York state went to the top 10 percent of farmers. Reprinted by the Houston Chronicle; SF Gate (San Francisco); Laredo Morning Times (Texas); The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.); Chron (Houston); 30+ other media outlets
The Environmental Working Group has run an analysis on the MFP subsidies and says the top 10% of recipients—"the largest, most profitable industrial-scale farms in the country," according to the EWG—received half of all the dollars spent, in the form of multi-million dollar payments.
Chinese imports of US agriculture products fell by nearly 20 percent, and the Trump administration has responded with close to $28 billion in aid for farmers hurt by foreign tariffs. (The Environmental Working Group found that big, industrial-scale farms, rather than family farms, are getting the majority of those funds.)
According to the Environmental Working Group, one farm alone has received $2.8 million — more money than it actually lost during this crisis.
But big corporate farms, not yeoman farmers, benefit most from Trump’s taxpayer bailout, an analysis of government records by the Environmental Working Group found. Reprinted by Raw Story; The National Memo; Salon; AlterNet
According to the Environmental Working Group, the taxpayer subsidies have been disproportionately paid to wealthy landowners with the top 1% of recipients receiving, on average, $183,331 of taxpayer money and the bottom 80% receiving, on average, less than $5,000.
The Environmental Working Group maintains much of the money has gone to wealthy farmers and there’s no prohibition on double-dipping into the Market Facilitation Program and other farm subsidy programs for things like soil conservation. Reprinted by The Norman Transcript (Okla.); Farm Talk; The Journal Record (Oklahoma City); Enid News & Eagle (Okla.)
EPA’s Atrazine Proposal
The Environmental Working Group criticized the EPA action, alleging that it will weaken safeguards for children’s health and the environment and allow 50 percent more atrazine to get into U.S. waterways.
Without the continuing research, investigations, and litigation of such non-profit, public interest organizations as Earthjustice and the Environmental Working Group we would be at the mercy of powerful opponents to environmental health.
A recent Environmental Working Group report showed levels of cyanotoxins in lakes, rivers, and other water bodies across the country at levels higher than EPA health guidance standards. Reprinted by Township Journal; CNB News; Sparta Independent
In fact, the Environmental Working Group found that every single North American shows traces of over 100 known toxic chemicals.
In April, The Environmental Working Group and Environmental Law & Policy Center released a report showing the increase in livestock throughout the watershed in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.
The state’s 2,300 swine operations are responsible for most of the 10 billion gallons of wet livestock waste generated in North Carolina, according to a 2016 analysis by the Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance, an international clean water group. Reprinted by Food & Environment Reporting Network
Carcinogenic Chemical Exposure
In a report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), scientists identified more than 1,400 known or likely carcinogenic chemicals to which we are exposed on a daily basis.
Cell Phone Regulation
California has been distrustful of these limits and cell phones’ safety, as have expert groups like the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Chlorpyrifos in Water
Well over 50 tons of the chemical were spread in eight Finger Lakes counties between 2011 and 2015, led by Cayuga, Steuben, Ontario, Livingston and Tompkins, according to the non-profit Environmental Working Group.
Our employees use only products that have received a “Low Concern” or “Lowest Concern” rating from the Environmental Working Group. That means no fumes, no watery eyes, no coughing and no chemical smell.
And thanks to my non-toxic mom Instagram friend, I know about Environmental Working Group, whose evidence-based Guide to Healthy Cleaning gives Bon Ami an “A.”
I love the Environmental Working Group and they have a whole cleaning sectionwhere you can look for products or find the rating for products you currently have.
According to the Environmental Working Group, many everyday cleaners, beauty products, and home goods such as cookware often hide harmful chemical ingredients.
Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website for tips on how to clean up your life in the 4/5 categories mentioned above.
On top of that, all of their products carry the Environmental Working Group’s EWG Verified guarantee that they do not contain potentially harmful ingredients. Reprinted by USA News Post; Latest Nigerian News
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose
This was the late 1990s; consumers weren’t talking about safety much, so neither were companies. Pfeiffer eventually discovered an advocacy organization called the Environmental Working Group, which had a website, Skin Deep, that ranks cosmetics products based on the safety of their ingredients. Reprinted by Satoshi Nakamoto Blog; Connecticut Post (Bridgeport); Stamford Advocate (Conn.); Greenwich Time (Conn.); The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.)
Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database
According to the Environmental Working Group, there are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today but only about 30 (11 beauty ones) are banned by regulators in the United States.
"In the European Union, they take more of a precautionary approach, so if an ingredient is presumed to be hazardous, or thought to cause health harm, they'll restrict or prohibit it," says Nneka Leiba, Vice President of Healthy Living Science at the Environmental Working Group.
Of the 13,000 chemicals used in cosmetics, only 10% have been tested for safety. Environmental Working Group has an extensive database that can help you find personal care products free of potentially dangerous ingredients.
A better choice is to seek out safe makeup products from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and heed the expiration dates.
As a result the body must work harder to heal. According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group) women consume on average 168 chemicals (men about 90) through using personal care products on a daily basis.
To be stocked on Onda’s shelves, products must have limited toxins and have a low-hazard rating of one from Environmental Working Group, an activist group who research toxicity of cosmetic products. Reprinted by Yahoo!
No joke, I started searching the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep databasefor my most-used products that night, and it was an eye-opening experience.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a cosmetics database, called EWG Skin Deep that rates products for their levels of toxicity, as well as individual ingredients.
“The Environmental Working Group (EWG) estimates that the average adult uses 12 personal care products each day, exposing themselves to 168 unique chemical ingredients.
As the Environmental Working Group reports, that probability is high. Cosmetic and personal-care companies are "allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish" when formulating products, and "the U.S. government doesn't review the safety of products before they're sold," writes the EWG. Reprinted by Webs Favorites; Yahoo!
Dark Waters Release (PFAS)
I started working with the Environmental Working Group, and they were organizing a day to do lobbying on the Hill, and we were invited to testify before the House Science Committee.
According to a report by the Environmental Working Group, Desalitech makes about $6.5 million a year.
We should avoid them at all costs (the list includes BPA, fire retardants, lead, arsenic, mercury, PFCs, pesticides and other items). Learn more at www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors
EWG’s Healthy Living App
Already in the market are carbon neutral air safaris, zero-waste Airbnbs and apps like Green Globe, which help you find eco-friendly hotels, and Environmental Working Group’s ‘Healthy Living’ app which details how ‘clean’ and conflict-free a given food item or product in a given country is. Reprinted by Fooshya
Food Policy Action
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.
Good Food on a Tight Budget
He suggests price-conscious consumers read "Good Food on a Tight Budget" by Environmental Working Group.
Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health
According to a study published by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, beef can require more than 27 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kilogram of meat eaten (much, much more if you compare foods based on protein content per unit of weight). Reprinted by USA News Hub; The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)
An Environmental Working Group and CleanMetrics study found that chicken was the meat with the least impact on the environment (though still worse than plant foods and most fish and dairy). Reprinted by MSN
There are also less useful analyses, like this one from the Environmental Working Group, which measures the Kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of consumed food. Reprinted by Fooshya
According to the Environmental Working Group, a review paper found that artificial and natural flavorings can be unspecified mixtures of as many as 100 flavoring substances and solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives.
PFAS Contamination of Military Installations
As of the end of 2019, research by the U.S. military, the Environmental Working Group and others have documented PFAS contamination in more than 400 sites around the U.S.
Shaw is one of at least three South Carolina Air Force bases where high levels of PFAs have been found in groundwater, according to the Environmental Working Group, which has been studying the chemicals’ presence in communities across the country.
PFAS in Consumer Products
“Eyeshadow, foundation, facial powder, bronzer and blush account for nearly 80 percent of the products with PFCs,” according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.
Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list highlights produce that tends to have the most pesticides.
Our health-conscious readers are interested in the EWG's "Dirty Dozen" produce list every year. Reprinted by Yahoo!
Celery is also on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list of most-contaminated produce when it comes to pesticide residue.
If organic is important to you, the Environmental Working Group has identified the foods that are most contaminated (that you should consider buying organic), as well as the produce that is cleanest and most free of pesticides (that you can buy conventional).
EWG is a team of scientists, policy experts, lawyers, communication experts, and programmers advocating for the health of people and the planet. Reprinted byFooshya; Green Watch; Living on the Cheap; Imperial Valley News
We're all for loading up on fresh fruits and veggies, but some choices are safer than others. Stay up-to-date with the EWG's annual "Dirty Dozen" list to learn about which options have high pesticide residue levels. Reprinted by MSN
Look into the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen, Clean 15…
While you definitely have free reign in the produce section, there are still a few rules to consider when eating clean. "In the fruit-and-vegetable department, it's wise to follow the Environmental Working Group guide and adhere to the 'clean 15' and 'dirty dozen,'" advises Beckerman.
Smith says a great place to start if you are looking for information is through the Environmental Working Group. The website produces a group of foods each year called ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and the ‘Clean Fifteen’.
EWG Guide to Sunscreen
US nonprofit, Environmental Working Group (EWG), has raised concerns about a number of different ingredients found in sunscreens, including both active and inactive ingredients.
Tap Water Database Update
Perhaps those residents have scrutinized federal drinking drinking water standards--or simply read the EWG Tap Water Database, 2019 Update for Randall.
Although the EPA are responsible for setting tap water standards, not all contaminants are subject to regulation, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG also report that contaminant level limits have remained unchanged for over 20 years.
You can also check older data from a few years when EPA required testing or look at this map created by researchers from the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University based on that data. (For more, see this story, but don’t assume bottled water is safer.) Reprinted by USA News Hub
Nitrate in Drinking Water
That same study, headed by the Environmental Working Group, attempted to estimate the health and economic impact of nitrates in drinking water.
PFAS in Drinking Water
PFAS chemicals have been found in streams, rivers, military bases and in the drinking water of 1,361 sites across the U.S., according to information compiled from states and the U.S. Department of Defense by the Environmental Working Group advocacy firm. Reprinted by Insurance News Net; Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.); The Street; The Fresno Bee (Calif.); Bradenton Herald (Fla.); The Olympian (Wash.); 30+ other media outlets
The Environmental Working Group reports that detections of PFAS in water have been found in nearly 1,400 communities, including almost 300 military bases.
(The contamination at Wurtsmith could potentially reach people well beyond Oscoda because waterways in the area connect to Lake Huron, which supplies municipal water to more than 1 million people in the United States and Canada.) Since the discovery of PFAS in Oscoda, environmental regulators have confirmed 192 sites of PFAS contamination across Michigan— more than any other state, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group.
Outside of Parkersburg, the landscape of PFAS in West Virginia is essentially uncharted, according the national Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by The Independent Herald (Pineville, W.Va.)
The nonprofit Environmental Working Group has mapped hundreds of sites of PFAS contamination around the nation. Reprinted by The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)
Meanwhile, according to the Environmental Working Group, over 1,000 locations in 49 states have confirmed cases of contamination by highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS.
The Environmental Working Group along with the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern has released an interactive map which allows people to locate areas that are currently known to be polluted with PFAS chemicals. Reprinted by Fox 5 (Washington, D.C.); Fox 29 (Philadelphia); Fox 26 (Houston)
The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 495)
The good news is that California can act to protect our own residents’ health. The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 495), authored by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, and Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, and sponsored by CALPIRG, the Environmental Working Group and Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, would ban 13 toxic chemicals from all beauty and personal care products sold in California. Reprinted by USA News Post; East Bay Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.); The Mercury News
Volatile Organic Compounds
According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), most carpeting is made from synthetic fibers derived from non-renewable petroleum-based sources and emits harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.