EWG News Roundup (7/26): EWG’s Two Decades of PFAS Research and Advocacy, Ohio Bails Out Nukes and More
This week, EWG documented our nearly two decades of groiundbreaking work exposing the toll that toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS, take on our everyday lives. EWG’s research and advocacy highlighting PFAS exposure and the chemical industry’s decades-long coverup of its hazards have raised national awareness of a growing contamination crisis, culminating this week with a congressional oversight hearing marked by eloquent testimony from people harmed by exposure to these ‘forever chemicals.’
In other PFAS news, the Pentagon announced on Wednesday it will create a new task force that will address drinking water contamination from PFAS at military facilities and in nearby communities.
“The military is one of the primary sources of PFAS contamination in drinking water, so it is now up to [Defense Secretary Mike Esper] to keep his commitment and end the Pentagon’s years-long foot-dragging and its repeated efforts to weaken federal cleanup standards,” said EWG Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber. “It’s time the Defense Department becomes part of the solution instead of the problem that has caused widespread PFAS contamination in communities across the country.”
Ohio legislators passed a bill this week that will continue the state’s pricey bailout of the nuclear energy industry. Numbers compiled by EWG show taxpayers across the nation have footed a $15.5 billion bill on state-level nuclear bailouts since 2016. An investigative report by The Intercept revealed how the nuclear industry worked to elect Ohio legislators who approved the bailout.
And finally, now that summer is in full gear, EWG provided some helpful reminders when it comes to using bug repellant to protect one’s self and their loved ones from pesky insects.
Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.
The Environmental Working Group, using data received under the Freedom of Information Act, found individual farmers in five states — Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas — received more than $900,000 in 2018, largely through a loophole that allowed each member of a farm-owning family to apply for relief. Reprinted by Beaumont Enterprise (TX); Culpeper Star-Exponent (VA); Bangor Daily News (ME); The Malone Telegram (Northern Franklin County NY)
The Trump administration has sought to offset some of the harm to farmers with bailout funding to selected producers. Using data received under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law, the Environmental Working Group last month reported that many payments exceeded a planned $125k limit.
One independent test performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2011 revealed 38 low-level contaminants in bottled water.
If you're looking to avoid bisphenols, Samara Geller, of the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, offered this advice: Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh ones; choose frozen or dried foods over canned, or foods sold in glass or other alternatives to cans and plastic; avoid hard, clear plastics with the recycling code 7 or marked "PC"; ask for electronic receipts; wash your hands after handling paper receipts. Reprinted by Healing Well; Doctors Lounge; U.S. News & World Report; WebMD; 14 other media outlets
[Catherine] Karr [a pediatric environmental medicine specialist at the University of Washington] and environmental advocates like the Environmental Working Group say buying organic produce can reduce exposure to pesticides for pregnant women and children, but that higher prices for organic products can be a problem for many households. Reprinted by GMA; Yahoo! News;WPHM-AM (Detroit); Regional Daily News (IL); KTIC Rural Radio(Omaha NE); KLGR-AM (MN); KNEB-AM Online (NE); 13 other media outlets
The Environmental Working Group reports that “the evidence is overwhelming that even small doses of chlorpyrifos can damage the parts of the brain that control language, memory, behavior and emotion.”
Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said current EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler ignored the advice of EPA scientists who supported a ban. Reprinted by Blacklisted News
Conservation on Private Land
In some cases, having detailed knowledge about conservation initiatives on private land can be a matter of public health, says Craig Cox, vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group.
In 2018, the Environmental Working Group extended its EWG Certified label to home care products.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose Launch
This scent was crafted following health, safety and environmental standards of the Environmental Working Group and Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
Parabens in Cosmetics
While the FDA says that some of these ingredients of concern, including phthalates and parabens, are safe as used, some research points to these as potential endocrine disruptors, or chemicals that affect your hormones and may increase risk for cancer or fertility problems, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database
In a major step towards transparency, every single ingredient is listed with its EWG (Environmental Working Group) rating on the Prose website.
If a product can achieve that using clean, non-toxic ingredients (for Koreans, the popular measuring standard being EWG’s Skin Deep Database and also the ingredient rankings in the cosmetics app 'Hwahae'), it is a holy grail," [Brian] Oh [co-founder and CEO of VENN Skincare] says.
The thinking behind the movement is that the over-use of chemicals – some of which may be harmful, according to the non-profit Environmental Working Group, who have put together a database where users can check the ingredients of their cosmetics – renders the hair unable to naturally clean itself.
Dirty Dozen Endocrine Disruptors
According to the Environmental Working Group, EDCs have been shown to mimic estrogen, mess with periods and fertility, infiltrate breast milk, cause thyroid irregularities and tumor growth, lower sperm count, and, uh, shrink testicles.
The Environmental Working Group, using data received under the Freedom of Information Act, found that some individual farmers in five states -- Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas -- received more than $900,000 in 2018, largely under a loophole that allowed each member of a farm-owning family to apply for relief. Reprinted by Arkansas Democrat Gazette
The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that tracks farm subsidy payments, released data to the Observer this week showing that some large farms in Texas also received payouts well above the limit. Reprinted byUSA New Updates
In a 2018 survey, glyphosate residues were present in all but two of the 45 oat-derived products sampled by the Environmental Working Group.
According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, Bayer has a history of “spreading misinformation about pesticide residues.”
Various oat-based products like cereals, trail mixes and snack bars tested positive over the past year for a chemical in a widely used weedkiller that is linked to cancer, according to the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. Reprinted by NBC affiliates in Boston; Chicago; Connecticut; Dallas-Ft. Worth; Miami; Los Angeles; New York; Philadelphia; San Diego; Washington; New England Cable News Online
Goop “The Beauty Closet” Podcast
Upcoming guests, in no particular order, include Nneka Leiba, a scientist at The Environmental Working Group; model and Kora Organics founder Miranda Kerr; and, makeup artist and entrepreneur Bobbi Brown.
The series will see a diverse range of guests including Nneka Leiba, a scientist at The Environmental Working Group, Miranda Kerr, and Bobbi Brown.
Green New Deal
But Scott Farber, a vice president at the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization, said Democratic candidates cannot simultaneously support the Green New Deal and the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard, the 2005 federal law that requires ethanol and other biofuels to be blended the nation’s fuel pool. Reprinted by Yahoo!
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group said [N.C. Republican Senators Richard] Burr and [Thom] Tillis in the past have shown they are willing to “protect North Carolinians from toxic chemicals.”
"I can't underscore how little law is on the books regards to PFAS chemicals. We don't know about most of the contamination. We don't know most of the sources of contamination. There are no requirements to restrict new PFAS discharges into the air and water," said Scott Faber, who is with the Environmental Working Group, which has compiled a map of PFAS contamination across the country.
Nitrate Cancer Risk Study
Non-profit Environmental Working Group warned that drinking California's water for a long time could lead to cancer due to harmful contaminants.
In the paper in Environmental Research, five scientists from North Carolina's Duke University and the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC used national nitrates data and risk ratios to work out how many adverse birth cases and cancers could be related to nitrate-contaminated drinking water.
Nuclear Power Subsidies
According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit devoted to research and advocacy, five cash-strapped states across the country have foisted more than $15 billion in subsidies on failing nuclear power plants since 2016, the latest sign that nuclear is unable to stand in a competitive energy market against lower-cost renewables.
PFAS in Clothing Treatment
David Andrews, a senior scientist with the nonprofit Environmental Working Group who has investigated the use of chemicals in the textile industry, says clothing is often treated with stain-repellents, color-fasteners, anti-wrinkle agents, softness-enhancers, and any number of other chemical treatments. Reprinted by att.net; Press From; MSN; MSN Ireland
PFAS in Firefighting Foam
David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, believes the use of these chemicals has been one of the most overlooked environmental issues in the country. Reprinted by US Politics
PFAS in Sewage Water
Even the Environmental Working Group, a national group that has fought for very strict limits on those compounds in drinking water, says that skin contact with PFAS in the low parts-per-trillion range isn’t likely to be a major source of exposure.
PFAS Pentagon Task Force
“EWG applauds Sen. Shaheen for getting Sec. Esper to commit to a comprehensive and aggressive plan to clean up PFAS at military bases,” said Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber, in a statement. Reprinted by The Intelligencer (Doylestown PA); Burlington County Times (Westhampton PA)
The Environmental Working Group says that harmful levels have been detected in groundwater or drinking water sources of the fluorinated compounds, known collectively as PFAS. Reprinted by Air Force Times Online; Army Times Online; Marine Corps Times Online
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that specializes in environmental research and advocacy, has identified 175 military installations where PFAS has been found in drinking water.
2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
The EWG, you should know, is a reliable research and advocacy nonprofit that "uses the power of information to protect public health and environment.” Reprinted by ArcaMax
Based on this information, the Environmental Working Group lists strawberries, spinach, and kale as the top three most contaminated produce items atop its annual Dirty Dozen list. Reprinted by Cornucopia; Before It’s News
A handy way to make sure that you are consuming a low pesticide load while maximizing fruit and vegetable intake is to use the Environmental Working Groups app which is updated annually to identify the ‘dirty dozen.’
Check out the “Clean Fifteen” and the “Dirty Dozen” of the Environmental Working Group to help prioritize which foods to buy organic to avoid pesticide contaminants. Reprinted by Press-Telegram (Long Beach CA); Orange County Register (CA); Los Angeles Daily News; Daily Breeze (Torrance CA); Redlands Daily Facts (CA); 4 other media outlets
EWG's Guide to Sunscreens
Nearly two-thirds of all sunscreens evaluated by the Environmental Working Group would probably not be considered safe and effective under standards proposed by the US Food and Drug Administration, the consumer advocacy group will announce this week. Reprinted by KITV4 ABC (Honolulu)
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has reviewed data about human exposure and toxicity for some of the most commonly used sunscreen ingredients and found that the following were cause for concern: [homosalate, methylisothiazolinone, octinoxate, octocrylene, oxybenzone]
You can check with the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) 2019 Guide to Sunscreens for assist in discovering the very best sunscreen for you.
PFAS in Drinking Water
According to a recent study by the Environmental Working Group and Northeastern University, these chemicals threaten the drinking water supplies of an estimated 19 million Americans.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would monitor PFAS contamination, eliminate a major source of it, require manufacturers report PFAS discharge, according to the Environmental Working Group.
However, chairman Harley Rouda (D-California) submitted the Environmental Working Group’s statement that includes information on DuPont and 3M Co.’s knowledge of PFAS. Rouda said he will make sure these two companies provide answers to the public.
In June, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would monitor PFAS contamination, eliminate a major source of it, require manufacturers to report PFAS discharge, and more, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Schaap wants to make sure that what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else. In May, he went to Washington with the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group, to lobby Congress for strong PFAS limits.
By limiting its testing to just two compounds, the DEC is no longer screening for others — such as PFHxS — which in February had been one of the drivers for declaring a Yakutat drinking water source contaminated. “Which is really incredible,” said David Andrews. a chemist with Environmental Working Group in Washington D.C. Reprinted by Alaska Public Media (NPR)
Umbilical Cord Blood Study
The Environmental Working Group tested the umbilical cord blood of ten babies in 2009 and found more than 230 industrial pollutants across the samples.