Industry doesn’t have to test chemicals for safety before they go on the market. EWG steps in where government leaves off, giving you the resources to protect yourself and your family.
Since March 1996, when the California Legislature moved to overturn the state ban on methyl bromide, the issue of unsafe levels of the pesticide drifting from agricultural fields into nearby communities has grown from a local concern to a statewide controversy. In concert with community groups from across the state, Environmental Working Group has released a series of reports detailing the results of EWG air monitoring and documenting the flaws in methyl bromide safety standards set by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.Read More
Residents of communities of color in California will be among the prime beneficiaries of an embattled EPA proposal to cut toxic airborne particle pollution by half. An Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of air pollution data from 161 locations across the state shows that residents of communities of color are nearly three times more likely to breathe dangerous levels of air pollution than Californians living in predominantly white communities.Read More
Approximately 109,000 children in California breathe unhealthy air at school, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) computer analysis. These children attend one of the 147 schools in the state located in areas where monitored air pollution levels exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new standards for microscopic toxic airborne particles.Read More
Tens of thousands of people die prematurely each year from microscopic toxic particles in the air we breathe. To reduce particle pollution to safe levels, EPA has proposed updating the decade-old health standard for so-called “particulate matter”. According to the EPA, updated health standards, in combination with other ongoing pollution control initiatives, will save 35,000 lives each year (EPA 1997).
Testing in suburban California neighborhoods revealed methyl bromide in the air well beyond state mandated “buffer” zones at 12 out of 16 locations tested. The levels detected ranged from less than 1 part per billion to 294 parts per billion (ppb) on average over 12 to 24 hours. Single point measurements were as high as 1,900 ppb. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has estab- lished rules that allow individuals, including pregnant women and children, to be exposed to an average of 210 ppb of methyl bromide in the air over a 24 hour period as a result of agricultural application. Methyl bromide is known to cause birth defects (CCR 1994, OEHHA 1993) and is extremely toxic to the nervous sys- tem (CDPR 1995a, Pease 1996).
During the past two years, anti-environmental corporations vigorously attempted to convince the U.S. Senate to undo environmental health and safety standards. EWG searched public disclosure records to determine whether generous contributions from PACs associated with an anti-environmental agenda were an effective tool to help them persuade senators to support such an agenda.Read More
Under existing federal pollution control laws, the American people are kept in the dark about the vast majority of toxic pollution spewed into the environment by U.S. industry. Even the most comprehensive toxic pollution reporting system in the nation, the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), accounts for only about 5 percent of all toxic pollution of the environment each year (GAO 1991, EPA 1996c).
Testing of air in two California neighborhoods adjacent to agricultural fields receiving applications of the soil fumigant methyl bromide revealed high levels of this extremely toxic pesticide outside state mandated buffer zones. Buffer zones are recommended based on the size of the field and the rate of methyl bromide application and are intended to protect the public from exposure to unsafe levels methyl bromide. Air monitoring was conducted using a state-of-the-art remote sensing device, the open-path FTIR. This system is approved by the US EPA to monitor toxic gas emissions and to measure air pollution releases from factories and refineries. It is recognized as superior to testing methods used by the state of California for monitoring pesticide gases like methyl bromide.
To determine the extent of pesticide contamination of baby food, we tested eight foods (applesauce, garden vegetables or pea and carrot blend, green beans, peaches, pears, plums, squash and sweet potatoes) made by the three major baby food producers that account for 96 percent of all baby food sales -- Gerber, Heinz, and Beech-Nut. All samples were purchased at retail from grocery stores in three major metropolitan areas; Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. They were tested for pesticides using the Food and Drug Administration's standard pesticide analytical methods.
Four of every 10 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and two of every 10 will die of it. But there are some things you can do to reduce the risk. First, talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that are known to make a difference – stopping smoking, reducing drinking, losing weight, exercising and eating right.