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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

As a mom of an eight-year-old and a six-year old, I can’t escape Disney. But thankfully, my little princesses haven’t yet been exposed to the company’s pro-fracking campaign, “Rockin’ in Ohio.” 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On January 9, more than 7,500 gallons of a chemical used to process coal – crude MCHM – spilled into West Virginia’s Elk River at a facility owned by Freedom Industries. 

Key Issues: 
Friday, January 10, 2014

State regulators have confirmed more than 100 cases of well water contamination caused by oil and gas drilling over the past five years, an Associated Press investigation found.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The decision by General Mills reflects the growing pressure on food companies to provide more, not less, information about what’s in their products.

Key Issues: 
Monday, January 6, 2014

EWG’s New Year’s resolution for cosmetic manufacturers:  shed bad actor ingredients that disrupt the hormone system, cause allergies and may accelerate skin cancer.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The federal Food and Drug administration has announced proposed rules that could drive unnecessary and potentially dangerous products from the market -- antibacterial hand soaps like those marketed by Dial, Softsoap and CVS.

This is a big deal.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Supermarket shelves are loaded with products that display the label “natural.”  The food industry likes to use the word to persuade consumers that what they’re buying is somehow better for them, their families and the environment. But the fact is, many of the foods labeled “natural” contain ingredients that were genetically engineered.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How did I spend my summer?  I hung around department store makeup aisles, looking for the much talked about “miracle” makeup, BB and CC creams. You should have seen the looks I got as I dabbed the testers on my arm – mind you, I’m a 40-year-old man wearing cargo shorts and a ratty T-shirt.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich hasn’t always been a loaded weapon on a lunchroom table.

Friday, November 22, 2013

If a claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  If it’s a claim made by a company trying to sell you a wrinkle cream, the federal Food and Drug Administration probably isn’t checking it out. The FDA routinely requires drugs to be tested before they are sold to consumers to ensure that they perform as promised and are safe.  EWG has long sounded the alarm that the FDA does not subject cosmetics to similar premarket reviews for efficacy and safety. After you’ve read a few ads for anti-aging creams, you might be asking yourself, are these supposed miracle creams cosmetics or drugs?  When do regulators insist on testing?  Is there sufficient FDA oversight for anti-aging products?  The answer may give you worry lines.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am a millennial – one of the roughly 50 million Americans born after 1980 and coming of age in the 21st Century.  Generational theorists have called me lazy, narcissistic and entitled.  But they’ve also called me tech-savvy, politically active and entrepreneurial. A survey by the Nonprofit Technology Network reports that millennials are especially keen on non-profit engagement and hungry to get involved.

Which brings us to EWG:  40 percent of EWG staff belongs to the millennial generation, a diverse group of lobbyists, researchers and analysts that have been giving you the straight facts for 20 years. Why should millennials get involved with EWG?  Let me tell you the reasons I, as politically active young woman, want to stay connected with EWG.

Key Issues: 
Monday, November 18, 2013

Diesel fuels contain highly toxic chemicals, one of which is benzene, a known carcinogen.  Even very small concentrations of benzene can contaminate water supplies. If benzene and other toxic chemicals seep into a community’s water, that’s a serious and possibly irreparable problem.  Congress recognized diesel’s extraordinary dangers back in 2005 when it passed the federal Energy Policy Act.  It exempted most oil and gas hydraulic drilling and fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act – but not fracking with diesel. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Belgium recently adopted new cell phone regulations that bar mobile phone models designed for, and marketed to children ages 7 and younger.  Under Belgium’s new rules, slated to take effect next March, cell phone retailers will be required to disclose phones’ maximum emission levels, known as specific absorption rates, or SAR, at the point of sale.  Belgium becomes the latest in a rapidly lengthening list of nations to attempt to shield children from too much cell phone radiation and to inform everyone about the risks of exposure to these emissions. At least a dozen other nations have taken steps to protect children from cell phone radiation.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Keeping politicians on message can sometimes be difficult. That also holds true of corporate chiefs and movie stars. Even the most seasoned, media-savvy folks veer off their talking points on occasion. But that’s not the case with the pesticide industry and its clientele.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Today (Nov. 13) in Seattle, HBO will screen a disturbing new documentary, The Toxic Hot Seat, that highlights the growing risk to firefighters – and the general public – of fire retardant chemicals that have long been added to furniture and other consumer products as a result of deceptive chemical industry lobbying.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A landmark study led by Courtney Carignan of the Dartmouth Center for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research has found that the blood of 11 female collegiate gymnasts ages 18 to 22 contained a potentially hazardous flame retardant known as PentaBDE in average concentrations 4 to 6.5 times higher than average for Americans.The research team attributed the gymnasts’ extraordinary levels of PentaBDE to constant exposure to gym pads made of polyurethane foam treated with fire retardants.  Foam padding and furniture have been routinely infused with toxic fire retardants in large part because of outdated fire safety standards that have encouraged manufacturers to rely on chemicals instead of non-chemical ways to make foam products less flammable.  

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In the United States, the framework for safeguarding people and the environment against the dangers of toxic chemicals comprises three mutually reinforcing legal systems: federal regulation, state and federal civil justice systems, and state regulation.  Each part of the framework however, has been substantially weakened — the civil justice systems by years of tort "reform," and federal and state regulatory systems by outdated laws and an ongoing campaign by industry and its allies against protective regulation. 

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

People will go to great lengths to be “beautiful,” and cosmetics companies know it.   It was not until 1938 that Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which gave the FDA power to act against dangerous cosmetics through the Department of Justice and federal court system. But the agency’s ability to address unsavory beauty products was limited.  In 2004, EWG launched the Skin Deep cosmetics database, an online resource where EWG scientists have researched ingredients in popular cosmetics and personal care products.  It aimed to fill in where industry and government left off. Today, Skin Deep lists more than 78,000 items.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It is essential to take fully into account the long-term risks and costs to health, environment and communities of all energy resources and to adopt policies based on least cost to consumers and minimal risk.
 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What’s worth denying even a single child with cancer available and potentially life-saving treatment? Nothing – in my book.  By shuttering the federal government, the Tea Party wing of the House of Representatives has done exactly this

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