EWG News Roundup (12/20): Congress Fails on PFAS, Trump EPA’s Bear Hug for Hormone-Disrupting Pesticide, and More

In the News

Friday, December 20, 2019

This week, the Trump Environmental Protection Agency proposed reapproving atrazine – a hormone-disrupting weedkiller linked to birth defects and cancer in people. The proposal weakens safeguards for children’s health and the environment, allowing 50 percent more atrazine to end up in U.S. waterways.

“Restricting the spraying of atrazine is essential for protecting human health,” said Olga Naidenko, the Environmental Working Group’s vice president for science investigations. “Instead, the Trump EPA’s proposal would increase atrazine discharges, endangering children’s health and harming communities.”

The defense spending bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday excluded key provisions designed to reduce ongoing releases of the toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS, remove PFAS from tap water and clean up legacy PFAS contamination.

“The right way to tackle PFAS in our tap water is to stop further discharges into our drinking water, and force polluters and the Pentagon to pay their fair share of cleanup – and none of that will happen until Congress acts,” said EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs Scott Faber.

An explosive report this week showed some of America’s biggest polluters, including Duke Energy, paid less than zero in federal taxes in 2018, courtesy of President Trump’s corporate tax cuts. Earlier this year, EWG published results of a year-long investigation into Duke, dubbing the utility “Public Energy Enemy No. 1.”

And finally, as the year closes out, EWG counted down our top 10 most read stories of the year.

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

Trump Administration Farm Bailouts

Des Moines Register: Finally, presidential candidates are talking seriously about CAFO problems

A report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group said most of the $8.4 billion given out in last year’s farm trade-relief bailout went to wealthy farmers, with the top one-tenth receiving 54%.

Real Clear Politics: 2020 Democrats Can’t Ignore Opportunities in Rural America

The Environmental Working Group discovered through the Freedom of Information Act that while 80% of the recipients received average payments of approximately $5,136, the top 1% of them received 13% of the aid payments at an average of $177,000. 

The Ring of Fire: Small Farmers Being Left Out Of Trump’s Farm Bailout

The environmental working group has released a report showing that the majority of Donald Trump’s farm bail out money is actually going to big industrial farms and not the small farmers that he promised would be the main beneficiaries of this bail out that United States taxpayers are paying for.

Sun Prairie Star (Wis.): Majority of trade aid goes to small number of farms

But a WisPolitics.com review of recipients, gathered from data obtained by the Environmental Working Group under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that over half of all first-round 2019 payments went to the top 11.1% of all recipients. Reprinted by Cambridge News & Deerfield Independent (Sun Prairie, Wis.)

Arsenic in Rice

Dr. Axe: Are These Cancer-Causing Foods in Your Diet?

According to the The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website, “Heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead are naturally present in water and soil.

BPA

Parentology: Is A Plastic-Free Nursery A Healthier Option For Kids?

Dr. Anila Jacob concurs with Mannion. A senior scientist who works with the Environmental Working Group, Jacob wrote an article for WebMD in 2008 revealing the discovery by scientists that BPA in plastics poses health concerns.

CAFOs

Food & Environment Reporting Network: Here are the rural residents who sued the world’s largest hog producer over waste and odors – and won.

The state’s 2,300 swine operations are responsible for most of the 10 billion gallons of wet livestock waste generated in North Carolina, according to a 2016 analysis by the Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance, an international clean water group. Reprinted byThe Nation

Cleaning Products

Ladies Want More: How To Protect Your Guests And Staff By Reducing Toxic Chemical Use In The Hospitality Industry

According to the Environmental Working Group, ingredients such as these can be harmful to your health.

EWG VERIFIED™

The New Paper: Beauty Boosts

It can be used as a moisturizing spray or cooling refresher throughout the day with 100 per cent Environmental Working Group-certified ingredients from Busan, South Korea.

The Zoe Report: 13 Eco-Friendly Face Wipe Alternatives That Are Just As Convenient As Your Go-Tos

Beautycounter’s biodegradable wipes are certified by the Environmental Working Group — so as long as they’re given ideal conditions (i.e., a compost bin), they’ll break down, no problem. Reprinted by Lady Click

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Henry Rose 

Fashionista: 2019: The Year In (Oh, So Many) Celebrity Beauty Launches

Of course, there were bright spots, like Pattern Beauty from Tracee Ellis Ross, a hair-care company that caters to the underserved curly and coily market; and Henry Rose from Michelle Pfeiffer, the first fragrance line certified by the Environmental Working Group and Cradle to Cradle. Reprinted by Yahoo!

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

In Style: The Best Organic Makeup Brands and Products of 2019

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), for example, has an extensive database where you can search by brand or product to find out if it contains potentially risky ingredients. Reprinted by Yahoo!

BuzzFeed: Just 26 Creative And Useful Gifts To Help Check Everyone Off You List

It’s vegan, cruelty free, and uses ingredients based on their Environmental Working Group (EWG) safety.

Clean Eating: Cultivate Your Healthiest Microbiome

Singh says that resources like EWG’s Skin Deep database will point you in the right direction as to which beauty and household items to reach for and which to steer clear of.

Medical News Today: Are some makeup ingredients toxic?

Carbon black is present in mascaras, eye liners, and lipsticks, as it gives these products their coloring. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) link this chemical with cancer, and researchTrusted Source has reported that carbon black is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Reprinted by Lady Click

Psychology Today: Consequences of Beauty

Organizations such as the Environmental Working Group https://www.ewg.org/ work to fight for tighter regulations by providing resources such as databases in which people can research cosmetic products and learn more about the ingredients in them. 

Dark Waters Release (PFAS)

Star Tribune (Minneapolis): EPA says new testing will expand number of PFAS measured in drinking water

An education campaign by health advocates such as the Environmental Working Group and the new feature film “Dark Waters,” based on a PFAS pollution case, aim to raise public awareness of the problem. Reprinted by Santa Maria Times; La Crosse Tribune (Wis.); Madison.com (Wis.); The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.); The Fresno Bee (Calif.); 30+ other media outlets

EPA’s Atrazine Proposal

Agri-Pulse: EPA approves hemp pesticides, proposes atrazine renewal

The Environmental Working Group criticized the EPA action, alleging that it will weaken safeguards for children’s health and the environment and allow 50 percent more atrazine to get into U.S. waterways. Reprinted by Progressive Farmer

Ethanol

Competitive Enterprise Institute: Flex-Fuel Vehicles and Ethanol No Panacea for Energy Independence

The most prominent environmentalist critics of corn ethanol are Friends of the Earth, Environmental Working Group, National Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club. 

EWG’s Consumer Guides

She Knows: Exclusive: Alicia Silverstone’s Advice for Finding the Right Vegan, Cruelty-Free Products for You Family

If you are really intrigued by a product, do a quick easy search on the Environmental Working Group’s consumer guide database. 

Glyphosate in Cereal 

Collective Evolution: Cancer Linked Monsanto Chemical Discovered In ALL Tested Children’s Foods Made From Oats

This was made even more evident by a report released in June by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) which confirmed previous reports that America’s breakfast cereals, consumed primarily by children, are contaminated with the toxic herbicide, glyphosate. Reprinted by Get Healthy

Natural News: The top 10 most important health stories of 2019

In a story that doesn’t get the attention it deserves in the mainstream media, new data from the Environmental Working Group showed alarming levels of toxic glyphosate in several popular breakfast cereals. Reprinted by BruDirect

Real Farmacy: Cancer Linked Monsanto Chemical Discovered In These Tested Children’s Foods Made From Oats

This was made even more evident by a report released in June by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) which confirmed previous reports that America’s breakfast cereals, consumed primarily by children, are contaminated with the toxic herbicide, glyphosate.

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

Curious Desk: Everything you have to know about ‘Sustainable diet’

The Environmental Working Group positioned which protein sources contribute the most to ozone depleting substances in a report on creature items and sustainability.

Medical News Today: Sustainable diet: Everything you need to know

The Environmental Working Group ranked which protein sources contribute the most to greenhouse gases in a report on animal products and sustainability.

PFAS Contamination of Military Installations

Dover Post (Del.): Carper meets with military family impacted by PFAS contamination

Nationwide, Environmental Working Group data shows there are nearly 300 military installations with known contamination, including two in Delaware, at Dover Air Force Base and New Castle Air National Guard Base. Reprinted by Community News (Hockessin, Del.); The Milford Beacon (Del.); Middletown Transcript (Del.); Sussex Countian (Georgetown, Del.); Smyrna-Clayton Sun-Times (Del.)

Nashoba Valley Voice (Lowell, Mass.): At least one source of water Nashoba Valley water contamination pinned down

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. focusing on civic action for a healthy environment, reported earlier this month that firefighting foam made with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, was used at the former Fort Devens military base. Reprinted by The Sun (Lowell, Mass.)

Nation of Change: Toxic chemicals found in rainwater and drinking water throughout the US

The Department of Defense spending bill that Congress passed last week dropped key provisions that were written to reduce ongoing releases of the toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS, remove PFAS from tap water and clean up legacy PFAS contamination, as the Environmental Working Group said in a press release. 

PFAS Contamination Legislation 

EcoWatch: Toxic Chemicals Found in Rainwater and Drinking Water Throughout the U.S.

The Department of Defense spending bill that Congress passed last week dropped key provisions that were written to reduce ongoing releases of the toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS, remove PFAS from tap water and clean up legacy PFAS contamination, as the Environmental Working Group said in a press release. Reprinted by Before It’s News

PFAS in Consumer Products

Mercola: These 3 Toxins Have the Largest Impact on Your Life Span

The Environmental Working Group’s “Guide to Avoiding PFCS” offers many helpful tips. Reprinted by Lew Rockwell

The Renewable Fuel Standard

Daily Torch: The Renewable Fuel Standard is the gift that keeps on taking

The RFS is so bad for the environment groups that once pushed for RFS are now calling it a failure. Scott Faber, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs of the Environmental Working Group, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public works in 2013

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Before It’s News: USDA report shows more than half of foods tested have pesticide residues

A consumer watchdog organization called the Environmental Working Group annually issues its own interpretation of the USDA’s pesticide report after the first of the year, historically.

Earth Island Journal: Monsanto Guilty of Spraying Banned Pesticide on Maui Fields

Organophosphates (OPs) are the main components of herbicides and insecticides, and methyl parathion “is the most hazardous OP allowed in the US food supply,” the Environmental Working Group reported in 1999. 

Eat This, Not That!: 50 Ways To Improve Your Health In 2020

An easy way to eat a little cleaner in 2020 is by studying the EWG.org’s “Dirty Dozen” list and omitting the most pesticide-contaminated foods from your diet.

Evolving Wellness: The Misleading Health Benefits of Drinking Red Wine

Each year grapes end up on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list and are one of the most important foods to buy organic.

Organic Authority: Vegan Crockpot Baked Apples [Vegan + Delicious]

Choose organic apples, as their conventional counterparts are frequently found on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.

EWG Guide to Sunscreen

The Wall Street Journal: Look Back at the Year in Numbers

“This process has dragged out for decades,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization that rates sunscreens and other products.

Marie Claire: 10 Natural Sunscreens (Available in Malaysia) That Are Kinder To Your Skin

Then, the Environmental Working Group shared their suncreen report which rated Badger Number One out of 750 sunscreens – they were sold out in a week! 

Tap Water Database Update

NJ Spotlight: Op-Ed: Better Public Drinking Water Standards Are a Must for New Jersey

But a recent scathing report by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group contends that government water standards are outdated and do not adequately address the health threats posed by myriad contaminants.

Patch Patchogue, N.Y.: Residents Start Petition Opposing Suffolk Water Authority Fee

The fee comes after the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, performed a study which found six contaminants exceeding its health guidelines and 40 total contaminants across the water supply between 2012 and 2017. Reprinted by Patch Lindenhurst, N.Y.

The Appalachian Voice: A High Price for Low-Quality Water

More than 1,600 communities across the country, including Martin County, have drinking water that is contaminated with unsafe levels of trihalomethanes, a byproduct of chlorine disinfectant used in water treatment, according to a 2017 report by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. 

Before It’s News: A high Price for Low-Quality Water

More than 1,600 communities across the country, including Martin County, have drinking water that is contaminated with unsafe levels of trihalomethanes, a byproduct of chlorine disinfectant used in water treatment, according to a 2017 report by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. 

Maryland Independent (Waldorf, Md.): Nonprofit calls out state water systems for high levels of contaminants

Tap water at the majority of Maryland utilities, or public water systems, had levels of contaminants that exceeded health guidelines established by the Environmental Working Group.

ABC 7 (New York City): 7 On Your Side Investigates: What’s in your water?

An environmental activist organization based in Washington D.C. called the Environmental Working Group created a nationwide searchable database to illustrate the concerns expressed by their toxicologists.

PFAS in Tap Water

NBC News: A ‘forever chemical’ contaminates drinking water near military bases

“When your water is polluted with toxic PFAS, it’s not much comfort to know who is polluting it,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by MSN; From Press; Aol.

Charleston Gazette-Mail (W. Va.): Dangerous PFAS chemicals are unmonitored in WV’s waters. A 2020 bill aims to change that.

Outside of Parkersburg, the landscape of PFAS in West Virginia is essentially uncharted, according the national Environmental Working Group.

The Bullvine: Are ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Out Milk? Nobody Has Really Been Checking.

PFAS contamination is a critical concern across the U.S., as the nonprofit Environmental Working Group estimates it has affected over 1,300 locations in 49 states, based on an analysis of state and federal records.

Common Dreams: The Looming U.S. Water Crisis

Meanwhile, according to the Environmental Working Group, over 1,000 locations in 49 states have confirmed cases of contamination by highly toxic fluorinated compounds known as PFAS.

Insider NJ: NJ Needs to Act on PFAS – Can’t Afford to Wait for EPA

According to a recent report by the Environmental Working Group, there are 517 water systems in New Jersey that are contaminated with PFAS.

WITF’s Smart Talk (Harrisburg): How safe is Pa. drinking water?

The results highlight a growing debate over how much PFAS, if any, should be allowed in drinking water. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency has set a 70 parts per trillion “health advisory level.” 

Umbilical Cord Blood Study

Vogue: 5 farm-to-face skincare brands to know now

“For example, one study found parabens in 99 per cent of breast cancer tissue. Even more staggering, the Environmental Working Group found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord of newborn babies! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *