EWG News and Analysis

The latest from EWG’s staff of experts >>

EWG News Roundup (9/20): EWG Estimates 100,000+ Cancer Cases Stem From Tap Water Contaminants, Fairway Farmers and More

In the News
Friday, September 20, 2019

This week, a new peer-reviewed study authored by EWG scientists published in the journal Heliyon estimated chemical pollutants in U.S. drinking water could result in more than 100,000 cancer cases. The cumulative approach that EWG used for this study has never before been applied to a national dataset of drinking water contaminants.

“Drinking water contains complex mixtures of contaminants, yet government agencies currently assess the health hazards of tap water pollutants one by one,” said Sydney Evans, lead author of the paper and a science analyst at EWG. “In the real world, people are exposed to combinations of chemicals, so it is important that we start to assess health impacts by looking at the combined effects of multiple pollutants.”

EWG applauded governors from 15 states for sending a letter to federal lawmakers urging them to do something to help combat the crisis of toxic fluorinated chemicals, or PFAS, that many of their states face. This can be done through a number of vital provisions in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for Fiscal Year 2020, which will be sent to President Trump in the next few weeks.

Passing these PFAS provisions in the NDAA would go a long way toward protecting all Americans’ health – especially developing bodies.

As Trump’s trade war with China rages on, more and more farmer bailout money is being distributed across the nation. This week, EWG exposed 15 recipients who reside on golf courses – not farms – or, as we like to call them, “fairway farmers.”

We also gave props to lawmakers in New York who are pushing for ingredient labels on menstrual products; called out Kraft-Heinz for rejecting a movement by parents, students and activists to get phthalates out of their mac and cheese; and dispelled the myth that natural gas is “clean” energy.

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

Cumulative Drinking Water Cancer Risk Study

CBS News: Chemicals in tap water could cause 100,000 cases of cancer in U.S.

Water filters recommended by the Environmental Working Group range from relatively inexpensive filters like Brita pour-through filters that can cost as a little as $16 to more expensive gadgets that can screen out specific contaminants like arsenic, but which can set you back by as much as $5,000. 

USA Today: Can you get cancer from tap water? New study says even 'safe' drinking water poses risk

In a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Heliyon Thursday, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 22 carcinogens commonly found in tap water — including arsenic, byproducts of water disinfectants and radionuclides such as uranium and radium — could cumulatively result in over 100,000 cancer cases over the span of a lifetime.  Reprinted by The Cincinnati EnquirerDes Moines RegisterThe Detroit Free PressThe Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and 53 other media outlets. 

USA Today: New study from the Environmental Working Group says even 'safe' tap water is still a risk (VIDEO)

According to a new study from the Environmental Working Group, even tap water that has been dubbed 'safe' may not be and could increase cancer risk.

CNN Wire: Study: drinking tap water could increase risk for cancer

You might want to think twice about filling your glass from the sink because a new report indicates there may be cancer-causing products in tap water. Researchers with the Environmental Working Group say they found 22 carcinogens including arsenic, uranium and radium in tap water.

Business Insider: Contaminated tap water could lead to 100,000 cases of cancer in the US if people drink it their whole lives. Here's how worried you should be.

The watchdog Environmental Working Group set out to quantify this risk among tap water drinkers in the US. The researchers looked at 22 cancer-causing chemicals that were found in US drinking water from 2010 to 2017. Reprinted by Albany Times UnionAOLBusiness Insider IndiaConnecticut PostGreenwich TimeLaredo Morning TimesNew Haven RegisterNews-Times (Danbury, Conn.)San Antonio Express-NewsSeattle Post-IntelligencerMSN and 10 other media outlets. 

The Guardian: Tap water contaminants linked with 100,000 cancer cases, US study finds 

Contaminated tap water causes 100,000 cancer cases in the US over a lifetime, according to a new study from scientists with the Environmental Working Group.

Environmental Health News: US drinking water pollution could cause 100,000 cancer cases

"We're seeing cancer risk estimated at about 100,000 cases for the U.S.– due to drinking water contaminants at levels that currently meet requirements," lead author, Sydney Evans, a science analyst at the Environmental Working Group, told EHN. 

U.S. News and World Report: Study: Chemical Limits in Drinking Water Still Pose Cancer Risk

Researchers with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization, said the study is the first to project on a national level the cancer risk the combination of chemicals pose over a person's statistical lifetime – about 70 years. 

Yahoo! News: New study finds cancer-causing chemicals in tap water

Scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed pollutants in tap water from 2010 to 2017. They found 22 carcinogenic contaminants — including arsenic, disinfection byproducts, and radioactive contaminants, such as uranium and radium — in drinking water nationwide, which researchers estimate could, over the course of an average lifetime (about 70 years), lead to 100,000 cases of cancer. Reprinted by Yahoo! LifestyleYahoo! EntertainmentYahoo! MoviesYahoo! SportsYahoo! Singapore and AOL.

The Daily Mail: Toxic water pollution may cause over 100,0000 cases of cancer in the US, study suggests

Toxic chemicals in US drinking water may cause over 100,000 cases of cancer, a horrifying new study suggests. Researchers at the Environmental Working Group discovered 22 carcinogenic substances in water across the country. 

Healthline: Even ‘Safe’ Tap Water Can Have Cancer-Causing Contamination

To get a better sense of the true health risks, researchers from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a “cumulative assessment” — basically looking at the combined health effects of contaminants in the water. This is the same type of assessment the EPA uses to determine the health risks of air pollution.

IFLScience: Cancer Cases From Tap Water Contaminants On Par With Air Pollution

A combination of chemical pollutants in US drinking water will result in an estimated 100,000 cancer cases, according to a new assessment by the non-profit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG).

New York Daily News: So-called safe drinking water poses cancer risk, says study

An alarming new report claims that tap water contains nearly two dozen known carcinogens that will could kill thousands of Americans. The Environmental Working Group documented 22 potential cancer risks commonly found in water, including uranium, arsenic and radium. Ultimately, it could result in a staggering 100,000 new cancer cases.

New York Post: Contaminated tap water could cause over 100,000 US cancer cases: study 

The Environmental Working Group study, published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Heylion, analyzed contaminant occurrence in the nation’s drinking water from 2010 to 2017. Researchers determined that most of the cancer risk comes from arsenic, disinfection byproducts and radioactive contaminants.

Newsmax: Cancer May Be Lurking in Your Tap Water

The report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals that a toxic cocktail of chemical pollutants in U.S drinking water could increase your risk of cancer. The group identified 22 carcinogenic contaminants found in drinking water nationwide.

Newsweek: Trump Administration's Repeal of Clean Water Rule Raises Contamination Fears: 'Distinct Probability That Human Health Will Be Compromised'

scientists at the Environmental Working Group profiled more than 48,000 community water systems across the country between 2010 and 2017. Their calculations produce a figure that is equivalent to four cases of cancer in a lifetime for every 100,000 U.S. citizens—though this varies slightly state-to-state. (According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 38 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.)

Fairway Farmers

The Fence Post (Greeley CO): Democrats plan to include CCC ‘anomaly’ as republicans press case

The Environmental Working Group, which earlier noted that members of Trump’s agricultural advisory committee had received trade aid, today published a blog post on a trade aid recipient who lives near a golf course in Arizona but got aid from a farm in Indiana.

Environmental Protection Agency Repeals WOTUS

Alaska Native News: Trump Rollback of Key EPA Water Protection Rule Denounced as ‘Callous’ and ‘Immoral’ Giveway to Big Polluters

“Under President Trump, the EPA is no longer in the business of safeguarding our resources and protecting us from pollution, but is openly working to advance the agenda of those who profit from fouling our water and threatening our health,” said Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Citizen Truth: Trump Administration Repeals Clean Water Regulations

Research from the Environmental Working Group estimated that the removal of the Obama-era protections could threaten the drinking water of about 117 million people nationwide. Reprinted by Medium

Inhabitat: EPA repeals water protections, choosing industry over wetlands

Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group, said, “The EPA is no longer in the business of safeguarding our resources and protecting us from pollution, but is openly working to advance the agenda of those who profit from fouling our water and threatening our health.” Reprinted by A Green Living

The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide: Tump administration repeals a clean water law, putting the drinking water for millions of Americans at risk

Small streams are where big rivers start, and the best science confirms that dirty streams lead to even dirtier rivers, said Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources for the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Blogarama

Algae Blooms

Israel 21c: How an Israeli startup saved a lake in Ohio

According to the US-based Environmental Working Group, “In recent years, algae blooms – actually microscopic bacteria called cyanobacteria – have erupted in hundreds of lakes nationwide, putting at risk Americans whose drinking water comes from those lakes, or who swim, ski or fish in them.”

Algae Blooms and CAFOs

The Blade (Toledo OH): Poll results: Residents want moe CAFO contros, less Lake Erie pollution

The group also has published an online map which purports to show a 42 percent increase in Maumee River watershed CAFOs since 2005. The map is based on data generated by the national Environmental Working Group, according to the ELPC.

Algae Blooms and Dog Deaths

The Guardian: Slimy lakes and dead dogs: climate crisis has brought the season of toxic algae

“We believe climate change is really having a huge impact on the occurrence and growth of these blooms,” said Anne Schechinger, a senior analyst for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). “We know the incidence of blooms is just going to keep going up and up.” Reprinted by The World NewsDemocratic Underground

Body Burden

PopSugar: 10 Toxic Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Never Use in Their Beauty Routines

"We should avoid risky ingredients at all stages of our lives," said Paul Pestano, a senior database analyst for the Environmental Working Group, an organisation that researches and educates consumers about toxins in personal care products.

BPA in Consumer Products

HealthiNation: The Platic Problem: Is “BPA-Free” Good Enough?

For example, mice exposed to low doses of BPS negatively affected their maternal care, according to the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted byKTEN (TX, OK)ABC 6 (Providence RI)KUAM News (Guam)ABC 8 (Lincoln NE)News 9 (Oklahoma City OK); 6 other media outlets

Cleaning Products

The Seattle Times (WA): Cleaning products that are downright…adorable?

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.

Green & Clean Mom: Best Baby Detergent for Sensitive Skin

I have tried to find the best products, with the least chemicals that can harm sensitive skin. I have done that by using EWG’s guide to laundry detergents which show which products have those kinds of chemicals in them.

Mommy Potamus: How To Make DIY Hand Sanitizer With Natural Ingredients

That’s a big step in the right direction. Unfortunately, many products still include ingredients such as benzalkonium chloride, which is considered a moderate hazard by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They also often contain fragrances that the EWG ranks as moderate to high hazard.

EWG VERIFIED™

Mommy’s Memorandum: 3 MyChelle Skincare Products to Add to Your Beauty Routine Now

How it works: Sodium Hyaluronate(L) Sodium salt of Hyaluronic Acid: a natural component of human skin. Surges water deep into the skin helps improve skin pliability to relieve the appearance of fine lines, maintain hydration, and prevent transepidermal water loss.

This product is EWG Verified.

Kourtney Kardashian and Cosmetics

People: From Paying Tuition to Being Outspoken Advocates: The Kindest Things the Kardashian-Jenners Have Done for Others

Her older sister, Kourtney, teamed up with Environmental Working Group to lobby the United State Congress for the Personal Care Products Safety Act, which would set higher health and safety standards for cosmetic products.

The Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2019

Chemical Watch: US Congress considers bill to overhaul cosmetics rules, ban animal testing

NGOs, including the Environmental Working Group and Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, have applauded the bill’s introduction, pointing out that US cosmetics legislation has not seen a significant update in over 80 years.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

New York Times —Parenting: The Types of Plastics Families Should Avoid

The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a useful resource for identifying phthalate-free products.

Women’s Health: Clean Beauty: How Do You Know What’s Worth Your Money?

Proponents of organic beauty will argue that this uncertainty is precisely the point. US activist organisation the Environmental Working Group believes that information on the chemical content of beauty products should be freely available.

Romper: 9 Makeup Brands That Are Safe To Use During Pregnancy

The Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep" database is also an amazing tool for searching the safety of your makeup products.

Crop Insurance

The New Food Economy: What happens if we eliminate crop insurance altogether?

It’s not just farmers who take issue with crop insurance. The non-profit, non-partisan Environmental Working Group (EWG) published a report in 2017, arguing that crop insurance policy as it exists now could lead us into another Dust Bowl.

Duke Energy

CleanTechnia: Adventures In Anti-Renewables PR: North Carolina Duke Energy Solar Edition

Despite the latest wind generation technology making wind generation in the Carolinas — both onshore and offshore — economically viable, Duke Energy doesn’t like wind energy, as the Environmental Working Group reported in May of 2019.

WRAL (Raleigh NC): Duke Energy: ‘Net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050

The Environmental Working Group said it was, "far from a serious commitment to embracing renewable sources of electricity and combating the climate crisis."

Ethical Cloth

Best in AU (Australia): A comprehensive guide on Australia’s ethical clothing fashion

You may also get in touch with the NGOs like Environmental Working Group or Green Peace to verify the ethical cloth production of any specific brand. An annual Ethical fashion report is published that verify the brands in categories of ethical and unethical clothing.

EWG Consumer Guides

Business Insider: 9 things that aren’t helping the environment as much as you think they are, from recycling to carbon offsets

Plus, many cleaning products and foods that use these terms get poor scores from the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that researches the environmental and health impacts of ingredients in consumer products. Reprinted by Markets Insider (Business Insider)

Mic: How to read food labels when you’re looking for organic, ethical, or sustainable products

And because for many consumers it’s also unrealistic to read through every detail of these independent labels’ standards, other independent organizations — like Consumer Reports, FoodPrint, and the Environmental Working Group — publish guides that break them down on your behalf.

Whyy (Philadelphia PA): Does pretty hurt? A look at the health risks of hair dyes

Organizations like the Environmental Working Group or MadeSafe maintain databases that rate ingredients or products.

Farm Bailouts

Reuters: Size matters. Big U.S. farms get even bigger amid China trade war

The Environmental Working Group, a conservation organization, said in a recent study the top 1% of aid recipients received an average of more than $180,000 while the bottom 80% were paid less than $5,000 in aid. Reprinted by CompuServeLondon South East (Essex)WHTC Real News Now (Holland MI)KFGO (Fargo-Moorhead MN)WKZO (Kalamazoo MI)Yahoo!Ottawa Citizen (Ontario Canada)Regina Leader-Post (Toronto Canada)Business InsiderThe New York Times; 35 other media outlets

People’s World: Harvest of Discontent: Trump’s trade war and the rural fight for survival

For the second round, payments are distributed based on the overall impact on agriculture in a particular county, and even with a rule preventing corporate farms from disproportionally benefiting from the plan, “the USDA’s $16 billion bailout would still make rich farmers richer, thereby hurting small farmers,” says the Environmental Working Group.

Union of Concerned Scientist: USDA Report: Farm Payments Up 42%, Farm Debt Rising

According to a recent Environmental Working Group investigation the majority of these types of payments have gone to the largest, wealthiest farmers.

Farm Subsidies

Food Politics: Weekend reading: how farm subsidies really work

The Environmental Working Group does a good job of tracking government payments to agricultural producers.  This makes fascinating reading. Reprinted by Health Fitness Trends

Good Houskeeping Parenting Summit

Good Housekeeping: Tamron Hall Will Speak at ‘We Are Family 2019,’ Good Housekeeping’s First-Ever Parenting Summit

Speakers Include…Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG)

Reprinted by Yahoo!

House Oversight Committee Hearing on PFAS

EcoWatch: Lawmakers Take Manufacturing Companies to Task Over Toxic PFAS Chemicals in Drinking Water

"Exposure to PFAS at even the lowest concentrations has been shown to harm human health and puts people in communities with contaminated drinking water at risk," the Environmental Working Group found.

North Carolina Health News: Chemical company execs come under fire at congressional hearing on PFAS

According to the advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group, PFAS contamination has been found in tap water for 19 million Americans in 43 states.

Coastal Review Online (NC): ‘Forever Chemicals’ Execs Under Fire

According to the advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group, PFAS contamination has been found in tap water for 19 million Americans in 43 states. North Carolina is said to have the third-worst PFAS pollution problems in the country.

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

CNET: Impossible Burger 2.0: How does it taste, is it safe and where can you get it?

And according to the Environmental Working Group, the livestock agriculture process required for meat products releases those gases -- as well as manure, fuel and pesticides -- into our air and water.

Natural Flavors in Sparkling Water

303 Magazine: DRAM Apothecary Announces Partnership with Coors

“Most of the CBD sparkling waters we’ve seen entering the market contain natural flavorings, which the Environmental Working Group have confirmed are far from ‘natural.’ We’re thrilled to partner with Coors who will widen our reach and allow more people to enjoy a delicious, functional and truly natural beverage made from clean ingredients.”

PFAS in Consumer Products

MLive (Michigan): The Home Depot to stop selling carpet containing PFAS

At least 110 million Americans consume drinking water containing the chemicals, according to estimates from the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by The Patriot-News (Harrisburg PA)HughesNetGVTCTechnoratiWow WayCincinnati BellArmstrong My Wire; 11 other media outlets

Mamavation: Grocer Ahold Delhaize Bans PFAS Chemicals in Food Packaging & Beauty Products

When it comes to beauty products, PFAS chemicals were found in 200 different products from 28 brands according to a study done by the Environmental Working Group.

Mercola: Is This in Your Home? May Make Kitty Suffer

Your best bet is to avoid all products that contain or were manufactured using PFAS, which will typically include products that are stain-resistant, waterproof or nonstick. From the Environmental Working Group

Private Well Contamination

Blog for Iowa: Contaimination of Iowa’s Private Wells Poses Serious Health Hazards

But contamination from agricultural practices may be even worse for the estimated 230,000 to 290,000 Iowans whose drinking water comes from private wells, an investigation by Environmental Working Group and Iowa Environmental Council finds.

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Salon: The common banana is trash and likely to go extinct: Try eatng these alternatives instead

All Cavendishes are clones of one another, meaning they have no genomic resistance. Hence, banana production is “pesticide intensive.” As the advocacy NPO Environmental Working Group reports.

EatingWell: How to Lose Weight on a Budget

If organic is important to you, the Environmental Working Group has identified the foods that are most contaminated (that you should consider buying organic), as well as the produce that is cleanest and most free of pesticides (that you can buy conventional).

PFAS in Tap Water

The Hill (Opinion piece by Scott Faber): It’s time for Congress to address the ‘forever chemical’ crisis

Scott Faber is the senior vice president for government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, a national environmental health organization.

The Independent (London England): 3M Says PFC Studies Are Misleading

The Environmental Working Group maintains 3M has known for decades — and deliberately concealed — that the product contained PFCs that found its way into drinking water.

MLive (Michigan): 15 U.S. governors lobby for provisions on toxic chemicals in defense bill

The advocacy nonprofit Environmental Working Group estimates the chemicals have been found in 712 sites in 49 states. Michigan has 66 of those sites. The state has also found at least trace levels of the chemicals in public water serving about 1.5 million people. Reprinted by Stars and Stripes

The Patriot-News (Harrisburg PA): For Indiantown Gap added to list of PFAS contamination sites

However, some advocates, such as the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, say not enough is known about PFAS, and “even the smallest doses” of the chemicals are linked to health problems.

The Sun-Times News (Chicago IL): PFAS Report Highlights Urgent Need for Carper’s Superfund Legislation

In case you missed it, last week, a report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) brought more attention to the problem of PFAS contamination in drinking water sources across the country, especially in communities near our nation’s military installations.

Times Union (Albany NY): EPA refuses to promise federal limit on PFOA exposure

PFAS contamination has been identified in nearly all states, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

90 New PFAS Detects on Army Bases

The Bulletin (Central OR): ‘Forever chemicals’ found in water at Oregon National Guard bases, school

The Environmental Working Group, the D.C.-based nonprofit, issued its findings on the PFAS levels on Sept. 11. The group obtained its information from newly released Department of Defense test results under the Freedom of Information Act. Reprinted by East Oregonian

The Columbus Dispatch (OH): Environmental group warns of lasting health effects of ‘forever chemicals’

“They are associated with various health effects like some kinds of cancer, reproductive and developmental harm, in some cases birth defects and lower birth weight, high cholesterol, and (they) reduce the effectiveness of vaccines,” said Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney for Environmental Working Group, a nonpartisan environmental and health nonprofit group. Reprinted by Akron Beacon Journal (OH)Times-Reporter (New Philadelphia OH)The Record-Courier (Kent, OH)

Michigan Advance (Charlevoix County MI): DOD data show 4 more Michigan military PFAS sites

The number of identified U.S. military installations with PFAS-contaminated drinking water has increased — and four affected sites are in Michigan, according to Department of Defense (DOD) data obtained by nonprofit activist organization Environmental Working Group (EWG).  

Military.com: List of Bases Contaminated with PFAS Chemicals Expected to Grow, Pentagon Says

On Wednesday, environmental advocates from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that 90 more current and former Army and Army National Guard installations had levels of ground or drinking water contamination than previously indicated.

Military Times: This is the Pentagon’s plan for dealing with toxic chemical contamination on bases

The chemicals have been linked to various types of cancers, and according to the Environmental Working Group, the 70 parts-per-trillion measurement deemed safe by the EPA may still be dangerous, considering how little exposure is required to cause health issues, and how much it can build up for service members and their families living in military housing over years and decades. Reprinted by AirForce TimesArmy TimesMarine Times

Stars and Stripes: Chemical cleanup at bases could cost more than $2 billion, new task force determines

The Environmental Working Group, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization that specializes in environmental research and advocacy, announced this week that it has increased the number of military installations where it has identified PFAS in drinking water.

 

comments powered by Disqus