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EWG News Roundup (3/20): Test, Test, Test! Lessons Learned From COVID-19, Defense Department PFAS Contamination Sites Grow and More

In the News
Friday, March 20, 2020

This week EWG detailed the public and environmental health lessons learned at this stage of the coronavirus crisis. The biggest takeaway so far is the importance of testing early and often. The rate of new cases of the virus within different countries has varied considerably and has seemed to depend on how much testing is being done.

The Department of Defense released new data showing that more than 600 military sites and surrounding communities could be contaminated with perfluorinated chemicals, or PFAS. This new number of potentially contaminated facilities is far more than previously disclosed by Pentagon officials.

“The Defense Department has failed to treat PFAS pollution with the urgency service members and their families rightly deserve,” said EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber. “We’ve all known for decades that PFAS are toxic, but the Defense Department is still trying to understand the scope of the problem.”

EWG also took a look at the global electric car boom and how U.S. domestic energy policy is holding back that growth in the States.

Finally, EWG is very proud to announce that Barbara Paldus, a leading entrepreneur and innovator in the clean beauty sector, has joined the Environmental Working Group board of directors.

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

Children’s Health

Business Insider: The best sunscreen

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.

Mummy Matters: Is the Tap Water in Your House Safe For Your Baby?

According to the EWG, tap water contains some of the most harmful contaminants linked to adverse effects upon children.

Traveling Mom: Best Sunscreens for Babies and Kids

When looking for a sunscreen with natural ingredients check out the EWG (environmental working group) their website helps you understand all the ingredients in sunscreens and which ones you’ll want to avoid. Here are two that we recommend.

Trump Administration Farm Bailouts

Los Angeles Times: Column: Citing coronavirus, judge blocks Trump plan to take food stamps from 700,000 people

LaMalfa’s family farm had collected $5.1 million in government crop subsidies from 1995 through that year, according to the Environmental Working Group. At the time, 11% of the residents of Butte County, LaMalfa’s home county, were receiving SNAP benefits. Reprinted by kinetic by windstreamHawaiian TelecomTechnoratiArcaMax; 2 other media outlets

WGLT (Illinois State University): McLean County's USDA Trade Relief Payments Climb To $68 Million

McLean County is among the top recipients of any county in the U.S. It was No. 1 as of October 2019, according to the Environmental Working Group’s online database of payments.

Asbestos

Hype Hair: Report: Nearly 20 Percent Of Talc-Based Cosmetics Contain Asbestos

The EWG released a new report last week showing that nearly 20 percent of talc-based cosmetics products contain asbestos.

Medical Health News: FDA Tests Raise Concerns About Asbestos in Cosmetics

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) published an article about the test results. The report stated there is “concern over the presence of asbestos in cosmetics, particularly those marketed toward children and that include talc as an ingredient.”

AspenClean EWG VERIFIED™ Products

Global Cosmetic Industry: EWG's Update on FDA Talc Testing and More

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

Green Lodging News: AspenClean Brings First EWG VERIFIED Cleaners to Consumers

AspenClean announced its collection of nine cleaning products that meet the Environmental Working Group’s rigorous criteria for health, ingredient disclosure and transparency.

California's Cleaning Product Right To Know Act 

The Washington Times: Cleaning products can kill COVID-19, but consumers should know what's in them

The Environmental Working Group added that the law “will help protect the health of consumers and workers yet be workable for business.” Women’s Voices for the Earth called the law “groundbreaking.”

Cleaning Products

Women’s Health: Are Natural Disinfectants Effective? Experts Debunk Common Cleaning Myths

"Only disinfectants or sanitizers registered with the Environmental Protection Agency can legally make sanitizing or disinfecting claims," says Samara Geller, a senior research and database analyst for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). "Those products will bear an EPA registration number on the label."

Business Insider: The best dish soap

When writing this guide, we consulted the website of the Environmental Working Group, an organization that seeks to "empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment." Reprinted by Fresh News NowUSA online journal

Vox: How Mrs. Meyer’s took over the hand soap aisle

Some of Everspring’s products have received mixed reviews from the EWG, due to synthetic ingredients like methylisothiazolinone, a possible allergy trigger that could also present a hazard to aquatic life — and Mrs. Meyer’s has gotten pushback on this issue as well. Reprinted by MSNThe World News

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Prettified homemade cleaners having a moment

When the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization, reviewed more than 2,000 cleaning products, it found that more than half contained ingredients that irritate the lungs.

Before It’s News: These 6 Dangerous Dish Soaps That Are Full of Cancer-Causing Chemicals (Video)

It’s also contained in a few other soaps and household cleaners. According to research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), formaldehyde is dangerous and causes skin allergies, irritations, and cancer.

Congressional Hearing on the Impact of PFAS Exposure on Servicemembers

NGWA The Groundwater Association: House Appropriations Committee holds hearing on impact of PFAS exposure on service members

Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, asked Congress to address other products commonly used by the military that contain PFAS, which include food packaging, sunscreen, and textiles.

Consumer Product Safety Commission and Nancy Beck

JD Supra: Trump’s pick as top consumer product watchdog? Chemical industry insider

But the head of the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit public health advocacy organization, denounced her, saying, “Nancy Beck is the last person who should be in charge of safeguarding the American people from dangerous products.” Reprinted by LexBlog

EWG VERIFIED™

Yahoo!: 833 Beauty Products Now Have This Nontoxic Label

If your goals for 2017 include moving toward greener, less toxic beauty products — which is likely, since a recent survey found that half of American women are leaning towards more natural salves and makeup — then you may want to take a peek at the Environmental Working Group‘s  updated EWG Verified database, which lists products that are considered toxin-free.

Viva: Do Primers Really Work? Why This Makeup Must-Have Belongs In Your Beauty Bag

Revlon has scored a coup in having the US-based Environmental Working Group verify this latest of its products to be a first from a global brand in the mass cosmetic market to meet its rigorous beauty evaluation standards around ingredients and transparency.

Beauty Packaging: MyChelle Marks 20 Years with A New Modern Look

MyChelle is a founding member of the Environmental Working Group's "Verified for Your Health" program. The brand is also listed as one of PETA's certified cruelty-free companies and certified by Leaping Bunny.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Women’s Health: The 16 Best Natural Nail Polishes That You'd Never Know Were Natural

A study done by Duke University, Boston University, and the Environmental Working Group that was published in Environment International further proved this idea. In the study, they had women paint their nails.

Martha Stewart: Hypoallergenic, Fragrance Free, and Unscented: How to Tell If There's Truly No Fragrance in Your Skincare

And, he adds, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has an extensive online database where you can see if there's fragrance in the products you use. Reprinted by MSN

Collective Evolution: 11 Commonly Used Chemicals In Conventional Shampoos That May Be Detrimental To Your Health

EWG Skin Deep lists this as a moderate overall hazard, associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis. 

Get Healthy: 11 Commonly Used Chemicals In Conventional Shampoos That May Be Detrimental To Your Health

Learn to read labels. This can be a challenge, since many ingredients are listed by a chemical name. Two great resources to help you get started are EWG’s Skin Deep database and Ruth Winter’s book A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, which has a wealth of information.

Whole Foods Magazine: Cleaner, Greener Household Cleaners

The caution from EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning (www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners) raises alarms: “Hazardous industrial chemicals lurk in far too many bottles and boxes under Americans’ sinks and on laundry room shelves.”

EWG’s Guide to Avoiding PFCS

Mercola: PFAS Chemical Producers Under Criminal Investigation

The scientists recommended avoiding any and all products containing PFAS. You may find additional helpful tips in the Environmental Working Group's "Guide to Avoiding PFCS." Reprinted by New Paper 24

EWG’s Healthy Living App

Skinny Fitalicious: Branch Basics Non Toxic Cleaning Products

I use the EWG (environmental working group) app to determine if a product is clean. If you’re not using this app, I highly recommend it! It rates the product and tells you what chemicals are in a product. 

Healthy Living Home Guide

Eco Child’s Play

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers the following cautions when choosing a mattress…

Lead in California Drinking Water

Natural News: Don’t drink the water: Testing shows at least 20% of schools in California have LEAD-CONTAMINATED drinking water

In an email to the Environmental Working Group, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) confirmed that 1,166 out of 6,595 schools that participated in a recent test had at least one fountain that served water with more than 5 parts per billion (ppb) of lead.

New PFAS Testing Report 

The Washington Post: Fred Tutman sees himself as the voice of the Patuxent, and he says the river has a warning for us

A report in January issued by the Environmental Working Group, a D.C.-based environmental activist organization specializing in chemical research, concluded that drinking water in the District and Prince George’s County contained levels of PFAS that the EWG considered unsafe.

The Columbus Dispatch: Coronavirus stalls testing for forever chemicals in Ohio’s public water systems

“If these are testing results and not below the detection limit, we would raise concern that the total concentration of PFAS is nearly 200 ppt,” said David Andrews, a researcher in chemistry and nanotechnology at Environmental Working Group, a health and environmental nonprofit. “Many states have or are in the process of setting limits near 10 ppt for PFOA/PFOS and other [forever chemicals].”

Indianapolis Star: 'Forever chemicals' were found in Indianapolis' tap water. Here's why that matters.

The long-lasting "forever chemicals" also known as PFAS showed up in Indianapolis tap water at a level of 15 parts per trillion, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group, a national research and advocacy organization.

PFAS and Cancer Paper

Chemical Watch: PFAS study pointing to carcinogenicity sparks debate (subscription)

Earlier this month, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) announced that its scientists, alongside those at Indiana University, had conducted a review of 26 PFASs and determined that all displayed at least one ‘characteristic’ of known human carcinogens.

Nitrate in Minnesota Tap Water

Water Online: Minnesota's Nitrate Problem Is Getting Worse

The nonprofit research organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) tracked nitrate levels in Minnesota source water from 1995 to 2018 and uncovered the issue.

Providing Financial Assistance to States for Testing and Treatment Act

Water Online: Shaheen, Carper & Schumer Introduce Landmark Legislation To Fund PFAS Cleanup

“We applaud Sen. Shaheen for introducing the PFAS Testing and Treatment Act, which will provide critical relief to communities in New Hampshire and around the country that have been hardest hit by the PFAS contamination crisis,” said Colin O’Neil, legislative director for the Environmental Working Group.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

The Epoch Times: The Surprising Health Benefits of Potatoes

The answer to this question is clear. If you are familiar with the Environmental Working Group’s yearly report called the Dirty Dozen, you probably already know that potatoes, while not part of the dozen, are not far behind.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

AZ Big Media: Here’s why you shouldn’t slack on sunscreen

The Environmental Working Group has a full list of harmful sunscreen ingredients at ewg.org/sunscreen and Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics recommends the following…

AZ Foothills: 5 Sunscreen Ingredients You Should Stay Away From

The Environmental Working Group has a full list of harmful sunscreen ingredients at ewg.org/sunscreen and Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics recommends the following…

Natural News: The unwanted side effects of sunscreen, and some natural alternatives

One particular study, analyzed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), found a significant drop in testosterone levels in men during a one-week period of applying three different active sunscreen ingredients – namely 4-MBC, octinoxate and oxybenzone. Reprinted by Chemicals News

Tap Water Database Update

Business Insider: 12 cities with the worst tap water in the US

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently tested for PFAS in the tap water of 44 different communities across 31 states. Miami had one of the highest concentrations: 57 parts per trillion. Reprinted by Yahoo!E-News USAEasy Branches

 

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