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Environmental connections to public health >>

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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.

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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.  

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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: 
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. 

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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

Monday, September 30, 2013

McDonald's restaurants finish the job of eliminating polystyrene containers as they switch to paper cups for hot beverages.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a major bill that promises to regulate fracking in California for the first time. But don’t get too excited. Sen. Fran Pavley’s fracking bill, known as S.B. 4, is part big win, part big loss, with an incredible amount of mess thrown in.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Michael Bradley of Tunnel Hill, Georgia has spent the past 17 months in and out of surgery  fighting peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare and usually fatal abdominal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  He has lost 150 pounds and must wear a colostomy bag.  Chemotherapy has failed. He has no health insurance. He is now undergoing experimental treatment and hoping for a miracle.

He is 29 years old.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I had two challenging pregnancies filled with uncertainty and stress. Thankfully, the end result was two healthy kids. One thing was certain, though – I could handle the truth. I wanted all the facts and I wanted to make my own decisions about what to eat, when to exercise, when to sleep.  When it comes to our health and the health of our kids, most of the parents I know will choose the advice and opinions of doctors over the chemical industry’s false reassurance every day. 

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Monday, September 23, 2013

There are safe, affordable alternatives to the dangerous chemicals like the ones used in the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded in April. But instead of making the switch, the chemical industry has chosen to spend its money lobbying Congress so that it can keep putting millions needlessly at risk. And up until now, that strategy was working.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Toxic “fracking” fluids that spilled into a Kentucky creek after they were used to drill four natural gas wells were the cause of a major fish kill that included a threatened species, a new federal study has concluded.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There are more than 12,000 chemical plants that put Americans at risk with large amounts of chemicals, and 89 of those endanger more than 1 million people. Unfortunately, those most at risk in the examples below live in low-income communities of color.

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