EWG News and Analysis
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EWG News Roundup (4/24): PFAS Cleanup Will Be Costly, But Necessary, Farm Workers Deserve Protections and More
This week, EWG published a study in the European water industry journal Water Solutions that found that the removal of the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS from drinking water costs local communities millions of dollars.
“This research reveals that escaping PFAS pollution is nearly impossible,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG vice president for science investigations. “Communities across the world are bearing the burden of removing these toxic chemicals from their drinking water. This crisis calls for immediate action to ensure that all people have safe water.”
The Trump administration indicated this week that it may cut the minimum wage for some seasonal farm workers who travel to the U.S. on guest worker visas. EWG strongly disagrees, making the case that farm workers should be getting a pay raise instead of a cut – since they are at serious risk when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, EWG concluded a partnership with the PFAS Project at Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute that maintained a joint map that showed the scope of PFAS contamination throughout the nation. The project brought significant public, media and legislative attention to the issue of widespread PFAS contamination. Since 2017, the project has led to more than 600 news stories and more than 860,000 map views.
For decades, PFAS-based firefighting foams have been widely used by the military, fire training centers and airports. EWG made the case that it is now time for these operations to leave the toxic product behind and adopt alternatives.
Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.
The Environmental Working Group publishes an annual Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues when grown conventionally.
Mercury Pollution from Coal Fired Power Plants
The Environmental Working Group’s president, Ken Cook, called the rule ‘beyond stupid’, and former EPA director Gina McCarthy, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, dubbed the rule ‘an absolute abomination’.
“It’s beyond stupid to repeal a rule that has contributed so much to cleaner air and protecting children from a potent neurotoxin,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said in a statement.
COVID-19 and Food Workers and Restaurants
And then right after that, I get a phone call from a friend of mine who is a lobbyist in DC who works for the Environmental Working Group, but he has also worked with us at Food Policy Action among lobbying efforts.
COVID-19 and Farmworkers
Scott Faber, Senior V.P. of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group, criticized S.A. 1578 in a statement: “As more and more become sick, food supply chains could quickly unravel, causing food prices to spike…”
The national Environmental Working Group on Thursday warned that a rash of sickened food industry workers could trigger soaring food costs, making it more difficult for families to put food on the table. Reprinted by Daily Republic (Fairfield-Sun City, Calif.); Lincoln Journal Star (Neb.); Atlantic Broadband; WiscNews; ArcaMax; 1 other media outlet
COVID-19 and Farm Subsidies
However, according to the Environmental Working Group's Farm Subsidy Database, in 2019, 334 farms in Mountrail County received $6.9 million in federal farm subsidies, suggesting many farms with many crops to harvest. Reprinted by The World News; Erie News Now
Trump Administration Farmer Bailout
Because payments are linked to volume of production, large farmers got the major share of trade war aid, said the Environmental Working Group, which prefers land stewardship spending. EWG said its analysis of USDA records showed that Smith and Sons, a cotton and grain operator in Texas, received $1.45 million trade war aid in 2019. Reprinted by Successful Farming
An analysis by Environmental Working Group found that 10 percent of recipients—many of them wealthy owners of large farms—received more than half of the allotted funds.
As Philpott explained at Mother Jones: During Trump's trade wars in 2018 and 2019, the administration handed a total of $8.6 billion in direct payments, mainly to soybean growers who had seen exports to China plunge because of high tariffs imposed by China. An analysis by Environmental Working Group found that 10% of recipients—many of them wealthy owners of large farms—received more than half of the allotted funds. Reprinted by Citizen Truth; AlterNet
Another helpful link for products like these can be found at the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit that links consumers to eco-friendly products.
he Williams sisters say they use the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning database to check ingredient by ingredient for environmental toxins when researching laundry products.
Gembar recommends using the Think Dirty App to scan specific products to see what is in them. The Environmental Working Group is a resource to do your research about cleaning supplies.
Beautycounter, Juice Beauty and W3LL PEOPLE have products that are EWG-verified, adhering to the organization’s list of over 1,500 “unacceptable” chemicals and limiting ones that are scientifically questionable for health. Reprinted by Yahoo!
Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness is hopelessly devoted to Biossance, an EWG-verified brand focused on sustainability and clean formulas.
Wear Attitude‘s Natural Care 30 SPF Mineral Sunscreen Face and Body whenever you go out this spring, an EWG-verified, cruelty-free and vegan brand committed to full transparency and operating in good manufacturing practices.
Biossance ships all of its products carbon neutral, thanks to the brand’s funding of tree planting and reforestation projects. All of the brand’s products are made with vegan, non-toxic, EWG Verified formulas and come in renewable sugarcane packaging and compostable boxes.
Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a useful resource for identifying phthalate-free products.
In the clean beauty space, nontoxic means that a product shouldn’t include any ingredient that’s been deemed toxic at any dose by a third-party resource like the European Union or Environmental Working Group.
“‘Clean beauty‘ is a much better term for the consumer as the products are non-toxic and still effective,” says King. “‘Non-toxic’ means free from undesirable ingredients listed by the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Lady Click
Champion safety status from the EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Reprinted by MSN
These ingredients are 100% clean, have gone through stringent efficacy tests, and have a transparent supply chain with an EWG rating between 1–3.
Caffeine is generally a very safe ingredient, Ciraldo notes. It earned a score of 1 on the EWG's Skin Deep scale, confirming that it's a low-hazard ingredient with a good amount of studies available on the topic.
It’s one of the nontoxic products, which she chooses based on their EWG cosmetic score, that she says she’s using every day.
EWG’s Consumer Guides
The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for learning about which products are healthy and which aren’t.
Healthy Living App
Look for keywords like “fragrance” and “SLS” and check your product safety on the Environmental Working Group Healthy Living App.
It meets certification standards set by GOTS, GOLS, Organic Exchange OCS100, MADE SAFE, GREENGUARD Gold, Rainforest Alliance, PETA, and Green America, and it’s been recommended by AllergyKids Foundation, The Ecology Center, Environmental Working Group (EWG), American Sustainable Business Council, and many more.
Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change + Health
Nearly 80% of all meat found in U.S. grocery stores contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Nearly 80% of all meat discovered in UNITED STATE food store consists of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, according to the Environmental Working Group. Findings suggest that these drug-resistant genetics spread out much more thoroughly as well as swiftly on ranches than researchers formerly believed.
Nitrate in Tap Water
Nearly three-fourths of those communities, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of its tap-water database, are in California and four other states where agriculture is big business: Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arizona.
PFAS Military Map
Current and former military bases have some of the nation’s highest PFAS levels, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Data compiled by the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group—and collected by the Department of Defense—shows 678 sites across the country where military bases were suspected of introducing PFAS contaminants into the water, and 328 where the chemicals were found in drinking water next to a base.
Sometimes called “forever” chemicals because they take so long to break down in the environment, PFAS have been confirmed or are suspected at 678 military installations in the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii, according to an analysis of Defense Department data published this month by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.
PFAS Polluters Map
But reporting is not enough. The Environmental Working Group estimates that at least 2,500 industrial facilities across the U.S. could be discharging PFAS into the air and water. Reprinted by Common Dreams
Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, said the Effluent Guidelines Program makes sure facilities are paying the cost to clean up their pollution and that financial burden does not fall on the utilities or water ratepayers.
Submitted April 9, the comments are signed by national and local groups, including Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, Natural Resources Defense Council, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Sierra Club and Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water.
PFAS Tap Water Contamination
Could your tap water be contaminated with forever chemicals? A new study by theEnvironmental Working Group found that potentially harmful "forever chemicals" known asperfluorinated chemicals or PFAs (PFOA & PFO) may be found in our drinking water at a much higher rate than previously estimated.
The chemicals, called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in nature, have permeated water reservoirs across the U.S., and at least trace amounts have been detected in the vast majority of drinking water samples recently tested by the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by The Journal Times (Racine, Wisc.)
Environmental Working Group lab tests found that PFAS is widespread in U.S. drinking water.
And a recent report by the Environmental Working Group detected widespread contamination of U.S. drinking water supplies with man-made "forever chemicals," including in cities such as Miami, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.
And a recent survey by the Environmental Working Group suggested that other sites such as airports or industrial spots may have similar deposits of PFAS from firefighting practices.
By leaving the SNAP increase out of a coronavirus relief bill that passed the Senate on Tuesday, Congress "missed an opportunity ... to help ensure every family has enough to eat," said Scott Faber, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, which advocates on food policy.
EWG Guide to Sunscreens
Scores tremendous protected score of 1 by the environmental working group’s pores and skin deep.
Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
EWG.org (the Environmental Working Group) publishes an annual "Dirty Dozen" list that highlights grocery store fruits and veggies that tested for the highest pesticide content.
Choose organic produce where you can, focusing on buying organic foods from the EWG's Dirty Dozen list and cutting yourself some slack with the Clean 15 foods list.
Strawberries once again tops the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list.
Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases an updated Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Reprinted by News 12 Long Island; News 12 The Bronx; News 12 New Jersey; other associated publications
Tap Water Database
Then in Jan of 2018, the EWG dropped a bombshell report demonstrating that more than half the country has been drinking carcinogenic radioactive tap water, the result of failing water infrastructure being piped into cities and peoples homes.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found nearly 50,000 American public water systems contaminated with hundreds of harmful chemicals.
Umbilical Cord Blood Study
The report highlights the game-changing Environmental Working Group studies on umbilical cord blood that I helped EWG develop and release, where we found 180 carcinogens in babies (and 217 chemicals that were toxic to the brain or nervous system), even before the babies were born – chemicals that could set a trajectory for disease much later in life.