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EWG News Roundup (3/13): AspenClean Earns EWG VERIFIED™ Mark, Landmark Cosmetics Legislation Advances and More

Friday, March 13, 2020

This week AspenClean announced nine new cleaning products that meet EWG’s rigorous standards for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency to earn our EWG VERIFIED™ mark.

“We are very proud that AspenClean is the first home cleaning brand to participate in this initiative,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Earning the EWG VERIFIED mark isn’t easy, as anyone who has read our exacting criteria can attest. We are delighted to add healthy cleaners to the growing list of EWG VERIFIED products.”

EWG Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber testified on Wednesday before the House Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies about the impact of exposure to PFAS on service members and veterans.

On Thursday, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced legislation that would provide $20 billion in grants to states to help finance water treatment and to clean up contamination in groundwater from the fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS. Actor and environmental advocate Mark Ruffalo weighed in and applauded the introduction of the legislation.

“No senator has done more to sound the alarm and address the threats posed by PFAS pollution than Sen. Jeanne Shaheen,” said Ruffalo. “By spending $2 billion a year over the next decade to get PFAS out of our drinking water and groundwater, Sen. Shaheen is once again making PFAS pollution a priority.”

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health approved landmark cosmetics safety legislation – a massive step toward protecting people from toxic chemicals in their personal care products.

The Food and Drug Administration released laboratory testing results that show asbestos in roughly 20 percent of tested talc-based cosmetics products.

“A .200 batting average in baseball is borderline bad, but it’s downright deplorable when it comes to asbestos in cosmetics,” said Faber. “The results of the FDA’s tests should be all the evidence needed for Congress to act quickly to pass legislation mandating all talc-based personal care products are rigorously tested and the cosmetics industry is required to put the public’s safety first.”

EWG also broke down recent studies by the FDA showing that PFAS chemicals commonly found in food packaging and stain-resistant carpets and textiles were more toxic than previously believed.

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

Children’s Health

Business Insider: The best baby wipes

Made Of wipes received the Environmental Working Group's EWG Verified seal of approval thanks to their "good manufacturing practices" and for avoiding "EWG's ingredients of concern."

Popsugar: Stock Up For the Summer! 23 of the Safest Sunscreens For Kids and Babies

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)'s recommendations for the best sunscreens for kids is considered the definitive list of safe options, and according to EWG Senior Scientist David Andrews, inactive ingredients like retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and oxybenzone are the ones that parents need to look out for. Reprinted by MSN

Truth Out: White House Rewrites EPA Assessment of Chemical Linked to Fetal Heart Damage

It’s in tap water, too, in public water systems in 41 states that serve 19 million people, according to an analysis of EPA data by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. 

AspenClean EWG VERIFIED™ Products

HAPPI: AspenClean Verified by EWG

AspenClean is launching a collection of nine cleaning products that meet the Environmental Working Group’s criteria for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency. These are the first cleaning products to earn the EWG Verified mark.

Congressional Hearing on the Impact of PFAS Exposure on Servicemembers

Bloomberg Government: Military Blamed for Cancers, Illnesses Over Forever Chemical Use

Because some PFAS have a long half-life in the body, they build up in blood serum and organs, according to testimony written by Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health organization. Reprinted by 10z US Politics

Bloomberg Government: What to Know in Washington: Fight Against Virus Enters New Phase

Perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, is a component of “lightwater” foam, which can break down into many PFAS. That’s according to written testimony reviewed by Bloomberg Government from Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health organization.  

Inside EPA: DOD Says PFAS Cleanup Will Likely Top $3 Billion But Braces For More

Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, testified at the hearing that he was pleased to see DOD conducting periodic testing on bases, but noted there is no similar requirement for nearby communities.

Military Times: Advocates: Pentagon failing to communicate dangers of firefighting foam chemicals to troops, families

While it may be difficult to pinpoint the cause of an illness like Kaela’s, Patrick is the third most PFAS-contaminated base in the U.S., with groundwater readings of 4.3 million parts per trillion, according to the Environmental Working Group, a D.C.-based advocacy organization. Reprinted by Air Force Times and Army Times.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.): Military's use of disputed firefighting foam scrutinized at U.S. House hearing

PFAS have been identified in drinking-water systems at 328 military bases across the country, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy organization. Reprinted by 10z US PoliticsConservative Angle

Stars and Stripes: Retired Army pilot testifies that daughter’s death likely linked to firefighting foam used by military

Scott Faber, the senior vice president for the Washington-based Environmental Working Group, called on Congress to address other products commonly used in the military that contain PFAS, including food packaging, sunscreen and textiles.

13 News Now (Norfolk, Va.): Lawmakers learn extent of water contamination issues near U.S. military bases

Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group said action is needed.

"In particular, we must do much more to ensure that people living on bases and near bases have clean water," he said. "We must do much more to remediate legacy contamination.

Providing Financial Assistance to States for Testing and Treatment Act

Inside EPA: Senate Democrats Seek $20 Billion EPA Grant Program For PFAS Cleanups

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a long-time advocate for strict PFAS regulations, applauded the bill, which it says will offer “critical relief” to communities contaminated by PFAS.

EWG’s Short-Chain PFAS Report

Politico: Coronavirus may undercut China’s phase-one farm purchases

“The findings indicate that the human health risks of this important short-chain PFAS have been significantly underestimated,” the Environmental Working Group, which highlighted the studies on Monday, said in a statement. 

The Progressive Pulse: FDA says chemical replacements for PFOA, PFOS more toxic than thought

But two new FDA studies show that theory isn’t true. The results were recently published in peer-reviewed, independent journals Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology and Food and Chemical Toxicology The Environmental Working Group announced the results of the studies.

Trump Administration Farm Bailouts

Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa): 2 years into trade war, Quad-City area farmers continue to seek sustainable markets

But the MFP itself has undergone criticism, such as when the Environmental Working Group found in a July 2019 study that more than half of the first two payments went to bigger, wealthier farms. Reprinted by The Dispatch Argus (Davenport, Iowa)

Asbestos

Chemical Watch: US FDA releases results of asbestos tests for talc-containing cosmetics

Nevertheless, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) was quick to seize on the findings as evidence that…

Top Class Action: Can a Single Exposure to Asbestos Be Harmful?

According to research from the Environmental Working Group, asbestos diseases could kill as many as 10,000 Americans every year.

Cleaning Products

Business Insider: 11 natural cleaning brands that don’t use harsh or harmful chemicals

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), these are common but problematic ingredients you should look out for and avoid while shopping for cleaning products: 

  • Formaldehyde (respiratory irritant, carcinogen)
  • Sodium hypochlorite (respiratory irritant)
  • Ammonium hydroxide (respiratory irritant)
  • Borax and boric acid (possible reproductive or developmental irritant) 

Reprinted by Long Room

Sierra: 8 Ways to Green Your Laundry Routine

Of the over 1,300 laundry detergents and products studied and ranked by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit working to eliminate toxicity in consumer products, a whopping 68 percent receive a failing grade, meaning we’re washing our clothes in chemicals that are harmful to human health or the environment.

EWG VERIFIED™

Byrdie: 22 Beauty Brands That Empower Women With Every Purchase

"But I really missed it and eventually realized that if I wanted a safer, beautiful quality perfume, I would need to create it myself." Since inception, Henry Rose has offered genderless fine fragrances that are EWG Verified and follow healthy manufacturing processes.

She Finds: These Are The New March Launches You Need To Know Now!

The fresh, woody scent is free f all endocrine disruptors, parabens, phthalates and carcinogens and is EWG Verified by the Environmental Working Group and Cradle to Cradle certified by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

The Washington Post: ‘Clean’ beauty has taken over the cosmetics industry, but that’s about all anyone agrees on

By contrast, the United States — where the average woman uses 12 such  products containing 168 chemicals on her body each day — bans and restricts only 11, according to the Environmental Working Group, a health advocacy group that has helped spearhead the clean beauty movement along with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

InStyle: 11 of the Best Clean Beauty Products You Can Find at the Drugstore

The Environmental Working Group's cosmetics database is a good place to start.) Thanks to the demand from beauty shoppers who give a damn, there are more clean product options than ever — and that includes on the shelves of your favorite drugstore. Reprinted by MSN

Refinery 29: 15 Conscious Beauty Buys You Can Score At The Drugstore

Sites like the Environmental Working Group's cosmetics database and the product review site Good Guide, as well as ingredient-comparison apps like Think Dirty can help you better understand what exactly is in the products you’re buying. 

Women’s Wear Daily: EWG and Mainstream Beauty Are Starting to Work Together

EWG President Ken Cook’s presence as PCPC underscores the importance of clean beauty.

Daily Beast: Makeup Wipes, I Love You, But You're Bad for the World (And My Face)

The Environmental Working Group charts the safety of various personal care products through a database called Skin Deep; it’s recommended reading for anyone who wants to enter a shame spiral regarding what they put on their face. Reprinted by Yahoo!

The Globe and Mail (Toronto): Five eco-friendly household cleaning products that actually work

Apps such as Think Dirty, the GoodGuide and the EWG Database offer consumers information on specific brands, their ingredients and their claims, she says. 

Her Campus at Florida International University: Eco-friendly beauty depends on the consumer

Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep makes it easy to do your research. It gives users a simplified explanation of what side-affect the ingredients in their products may have on their skin and the environment.

Food Scores

Food Ingredients Brasil: EWG Berates Cereal Manufacturers

Children who eat a bowl a day of the most popular pre-sweetened cereals could consume five to nine pounds more sugar a year than parents might think from reading nutrition labels, according to a new analysis by EWG, the non-profit US-based Environmental Working Group.

Glyphosate

Business Insider: Toxic chemicals in your home could be linked to cancer, autism, and reproductive issues. Here are 4 of the most concerning.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group even discovered what they considered to be harmful levels of weed-killer — a common pesticide — in Cheerios and Quaker Oats products (There's been some debate about whether these low levels are actually toxic. Reprinted by Yahoo!MSNThe World NewsAol.

Kourtney Kardashian

Health: Kourtney Kardashian on Changing Her Lifestyle to Be More Healthy: From Vampire Facials to Giving Up Calorie Counting

You’ve been a vocal supporter of transparency in the beauty industry, even going to Washington to lobby on behalf of cosmetics safety legislation with the Environmental Working Group.

Minnesota State Water Well Testing Bill H.F. 3950

Bluestem Prairie (Greater Minn. and S.D.): Buyer's remorse? Torkelson frets about well testing mandates, ethanol mandates not so much

The bill was praised by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in a press release, EWG Applauds Introduction of Minnesota State Water Well Testing Bill H.F. 3950

New PFAS Testing Report 

Carolina Public Press: Forever chemicals: PFAS regulation lags in NC as more evidence emerges

He said that a recent nationwide study by the Environmental Working Group that ranked Brunswick County and the Wilmington area first and fifth respectively in the amount of PFAS in the public water supply likely understated the extent of contamination there. Reprinted by Asheville.com News (N.C.)

HuffPost: Michigan Is Facing An ‘All-Out Assault On Water.’ Will It Swing The State In 2020?

Of the 610 PFAS contamination sites the Environmental Working Group identified in 43 states as part of a study published last year, 192 were located in Michigan, more than in any other state. Reprinted by Yahoo!10z US PoliticsAol.The World News

National Wildlife Federation Blog: Black Officials Steward Community Solutions to Environmental Injustices

In their analysis of water quality in urban areas, the Environmental Working Group ranked Charleston as one of the U.S. cities with the highest amount of toxic PFAS chemicals in its drinking water.

Nitrate in Minnesota Tap Water

The National Groundwater Association: Report shows nitrate levels increasing in drinking water in rural Minnesota

Nitrate contamination of drinking water has increased across Minnesota’s farm country according to an analysis from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Winona Daily News (Minn.): Nitrate contamination in Minnesota water supply worse than initially thought

Nitrate contamination in Minnesota’s drinking water is worse than originally believed and is reported to be getting worse, according to a new study by Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by News BreakThe Pilot-Independent (Walker, Minn.)

Pesticides’ Effect on Bees

Natural News: Crop chemicals are preventing the brains of baby bees from developing

“Today’s announcement underscores that the Trump administration’s willful ignorance of science and abject fealty toward the chemical pesticide industry knows no bounds,” stated Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook after learning the unfortunate news about Trump’s collusion with the chemical industry.

PFAS Chemicals and Cancer Study

Truth Out: PFAS “Forever Chemicals” Found in Tap Water Linked to Cancer Risks

Now a new study released by the Environmental Working Group suggests more than at least a dozen different PFAS compounds display some of the same “key characteristics” of PFOS and PFOA that are linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Workers Compensation: Workers Comp Blogwire

new study released by the EPA and the Environmental Working Group suggests that a dozen different polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds display some of the same key characteristics of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. 

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Popsugar: Am I F*cking Up My Kid by Not Feeding Them Organic Food?

You should also strongly consider buying coffee — which is considered to be one of the most chemically treated foods in the world — before moving onto the produce listed on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list.

Reader’s Digest: 13 Things You Never Knew About Organic Farming

At the top of the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” list: avocados and sweet corn, with less than 1 percent of the samples showing any pesticide residue. 

Bakersfield Now KBAK (Calif.): Organic vs. non-organic: What to know for your next grocery store run

Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide residues. It's called the Dirty Dozen.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

Eat This, Not That!: Should I Pop My Pimple? (and Other Skin Questions Answered)

Look at the Environmental Working Group's zip code by zip code tap-water database to learn more about the water in your area, and check out this comprehensive shopping guide for filters!

News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.): People’s Pharmacy: Canadian online pharmacies can offer savings on drugs expensive in U.S.

We’d suggest looking for a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group rates these as safe and effective. Reprinted by Tri-State Neighbor (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Tap Water Database Update

New Paper 24: Most Faucet Water Is a Poisonous Soup of Chemical compounds
Outcomes from exams carried out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) from 2010 to 2015 on 50,000 water utilities in 50 states discovered 500 totally different contaminants.

 

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