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EWG’s News Roundup (2/2): Lead Testing Failure in California, Nitrate Fouls Corn Belt Water and More

In the News
Friday, February 2, 2018

This week, EWG released an updated analysis of California’s blood lead testing of toddlers enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal health program. These children tend to be at the highest risk of lead exposure. The newly available data shows that nearly three-fourths of these high-risk children are not being tested as required by California law.

EWG also released a case study that found heavy nitrate contamination in the drinking water supplied to many throughout Illinois’ Corn Belt. Nitrate pollution tends to trace back to heavy use of fertilizer and manure on corn and soybean fields, which then seeps into the groundwater aquifers that provide drinking water to surrounding communities.

And for the first time since his confirmation hearing, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Pruitt spent much of the hearing dodging questions about his decisions to roll back public health safeguards and instead advance the agendas of the fossil fuel, chemical and pesticide industries.

“Scott Pruitt showed us all today that he should never hold any position where protecting public health and the environment is part of the job description,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “He’s only been administrator for a year, but it will take decades to rebuild EPA’s efforts to protect people, our water and our air from pollution in the wake of Pruitt’s crusade at the behest of polluters.”

Global trends show that while much of world is moving past coal power, the Trump administration is doubling down on the dirty, dying industry. So it should come as no surprise that President Trump will seek a nearly three-quarter cut to the government’s clean energy research budget.

Additionally, two close friends of EWG, Dr. Philip and Mary Landrigan, released a must-read new book for parents and parents-to-be, “Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®.”  EWG received an advance copy of the book and couldn’t recommend it more.

For coverage on these developments and more, here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

‘The Devil We Know’

Los Angeles Times: Should we be scared of Teflon? A new Sundance documentary investigates

If you're out shopping and you don't know what to buy anymore, a great resource is the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by eight media outlets.

California Lead Testing

Capital Public Radio Sacramento: KXJZ-FM 2/1/2018 7:23:51 AM

The Environmental Working Group says almost three-quarters of toddlers covered by Medi-Cal were not tested at their two years checkups even though it's required by state law. Lunder with EWG said toddlers from low-income families who are typically on Medi-Cal are more likely to be exposed to lead.

EPA and Scott Pruitt

The Villages Suntimes: EPA chief in 2016 called Trump a threat to US Constitution

In his Senate testimony today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt displayed complete contempt for the mission of the department he leads, as well as its efforts to protect human health and the environment, said EWG President Ken Cook. "I think executive orders with Donald Trump would be a very blunt instrument with respect to the Constitution".

Cleaning Products

Buzzfeed: 10 Gross Things In Your Home That'll Make You Think, "I Live Like This???"

Above all, you should always read labels and, according to the Environmental Working Group, try to stay away from cleaners with these potentially dangerous ingredients.

CNBC Africa: Op-Ed: The Power of Going Green in the Cleaning Services Industry

Chemicals that are not environmentally friendly can cause asthma, cancer and increased birth defects according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Cleaning Supplies and Your Health.

Cosmetics

Shape: What's the Difference Between Clean and Natural Beauty Products?

So how can you tell if a product is really clean or not? The safest way is to examine the ingredients list, then cross-reference it With the Environmental Work Group's website, according to David Pollock, a beauty industry consultant and formulator for carcinogen-free beauty products.

ABC15: KNXV (Phoenix, AZ): Toxic chemicals found in 'natural', 'organic' products

"It has very weak authority to even institute a recall," explained Sonya Lunder from the Environmental Working Group. "Some of these fixes will only come through Congress. "The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit that creates product guides to help consumers. They comb through studies and regulations on chemicals used in personal and household items.

CBS2: KBOI (Boise, Idaho): Cancer-causing chemicals? Why some hair products may be dangerous

According to organizations such as Safer Chemicals, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and the Environmental Working Group, various substances used in hair products could be considered unsafe.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Reader’s Digest: 31 Secrets the Beauty Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

The FDA in 2012 found that 400 shades of popular lipsticks contained trace amounts of lead. To find products without lead and other toxins, use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database at www.ewg.com/skindeep. Reprinted by Business Insider and MSN.

MindBodyGreen: Need A Hormone Reset? Here's The Exact Detox This Naturopath Recommends

Nix those toxic skin products and check your cleaning products. Check out the EWG Skin Deep Database to guarantee skin-friendly cosmetics.

YouTube: Using EWG's Skin Deep Database

There are over 80K chemicals used in products on the market today. What's in your products? Learn how EWG's Skin Deep database can be an ally in your efforts to #switchtosafer.

Energy

Hybrid Cars: Trump Administration Mulling Up To 72 Percent Cuts To Renewable Energy Spending

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit dedicated to protecting health and the environment spoke out against the draft budget. EWG President Ken Cook called it a sledgehammer to investments in the clean energy economy.

Farm Subsidies Database

Houston Chronicle: Hurricane relief snags on 'cotton fix' pushed by Texas farmers

In a blog on the eve of the 251-169 House vote for the disaster aid package last month, Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, warned that Congress was “once again… attempting to provide more subsidies to cotton farmers” under the guise of providing relief from the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. Reprinted by San Antonio Express-News and Politics of Hope.

KUNC: Which Side Are You On? When It Comes To Farm Bill Politics, The Lines Blur

That type of spending is inefficient and can benefit the wealthiest farmers, according to conservative think-tanks like The Heritage Foundation, Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon (who is sponsoring an alternative farm bill that would cap all safety-net subsidies like crop insurance at $125,000 annually) and the left-leaning Environmental Working Group.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Harvard Public Health: When should you consider buying organic?

A helpful tool for identifying products likely to have more pesticide residues is the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual list of produce ranked by the number of pesticides in them, called the Dirty Dozen. The group also provides a list called the Clean Fifteen. The lists are based on thousands of produce samples collected by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Mercola: How to Grow Blueberries

Please take note that blueberries are on the Environmental Working Group's list of 48 fruits and vegetables containing pesticide residue. Because both domestic and imported blueberries sold within the U.S. are sprayed with toxic pesticides, be sure to buy organic, or better yet, grow your own.

The Taos News: Eating 'clean'

Every year the Environmental Working Group analyzes tests conducted on 48 different types of conventionally grown produce by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration and releases a list of what it calls the Dirty Dozen -- the 12 fresh foods sampled that contain the highest concentrations of pesticide residues.

Sugar

Ask Men: Dietician Says Pizza More Nutritious Than Cereal For Breakfast

2014 study by the Environmental Working Group found U.S. children were consuming far more than their recommended daily allowance of sugar if they ate a typical morning bowl of cereal each day, contributing to obesity and other health problems.

Treehugger: When pizza makes a healthier breakfast than cereal

Consider this: Environment and health watchdog, Environmental Working Group, did a comprehensive analysis of more than 1,500 cereals, and found that, for example, a child who eats a bowl of cereal daily for a year ends up eating 10 pounds of sugar during that time. They found that a number of cereals contain more than 50 percent sugar by weight.

EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens

Female First: Top 10 Benefits Of An All-Natural Beauty Routine

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently conducted a study on the effects of our sunscreens, and other products using SPF such as foundations and day creams, identifying some of the ingredients we should look out for. 

National Tap Water Database

Orlando Sentinel: Check online for contaminants in your city's drinking water

 “When most Americans drink a glass of tap water, they're also getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, developmental defects, fertility problems or hormone disruption,” states a report from the Environmental Working Group, the nonprofit organization that prepared the database, which was released Wednesday.

ABC10: WALB (Birmingham, Ala.): What's in your water?

Everyone depends on and needs drinking water. The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit group which puts out consumer advice. You can go to their website, type in your zip code, and get an update on the water in your community. Reprinted by NBC12 WSFA and six other media outlets.

WHQR News: What's In The Water - 1,4-Dioxane

That’s what David Andrews believes. He’s a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group in Washington DC. The EWG reports that the Cape Fear River basin is one of the most contaminated areas in the nation for the likely carcinogen.

Keloland: Checking The Quality Of Tap Water

The Environmental Working Group or EWG, has an online tap water database that allows you to type in your zip code, select your city, and find out which contaminants are in your water. 

Nonstick Chemicals in Drinking Water

MLive: Rockford well may have highest PFAS level in U.S. drinking water

David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, said the elevated PFOA levels being discovered in some Kent County wells are much higher than those found in drinking water supplies near DuPont's factory in West Virginia, where public and private water supplies didn't exceed 3,000-ppt for PFOA.

AlterNet: Millions of Americans Are Ingesting a Chemical Some Experts Believe Has No Safe Exposure Level

In an attempt to better understand the breadth of the problem, Northeastern University has collaborated with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to create an interactive map identifying areas where PFAS contamination is apparent.  Reprinted by Before It’s News.

Radiation in Drinking Water

Water Online: Small, Rural Utilities Missing Out On State Funding Radiation, Lead, Arsenic Challenge Texas Utilities

“The latest identified 37 water utilities serving nearly 25,000 Texans in violation of federal standards for radium — a known carcinogen that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says isn't safe for human consumption at any level,” the report said, citing a study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group published in January.

Creators Syndicate: The Sad State Of Water, The Driver Of Nature

A new report by The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, examined the levels of six radioactive contaminants in drinking water, including radon, radium, and uranium. Its primary focus was radium, a naturally occurring though dangerous carcinogen.

CBS4: KCNC (Denver, Colo.): Study: Radium Found In Some Drinking Water

The Environmental Working Group studied the water in thousands of cities nationwide and found that 170 million people are exposed to radium in their drinking water. Reprinted 11 times.

WKBT (La Cross-Eau Claire, Wisc.) Drinking water quality not a concern in La Crosse

There is growing concern about the quality of drinking water in communities across the country. An environmental database found seven cancer-causing contaminants in the drinking water of La Crosse and Onalaska. The data provided by the Environmental Working Group is accurate but the contaminants found are below dangerous levels.

Water Filters

Mercola: Properly Filter Your Water

For a more objective view of your water quality, check out the Tap Water Database10 created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). In a 2017 analysis, water samples from nearly 50,000 water utilities in 50 states revealed more than 267 different kinds of toxins in U.S. tap water. Reprinted by NewsDog.

 

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