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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Friday, May 31, 2013

A lot of people assume a company can’t sell a chemical until it is has been proved safe.

They’re wrong. Under current law, the Environmental Protection Agency is charged with determining that a chemical is not likely to present an unreasonable risk before it goes on the market. Yet an analysis of the EPA’s approval process has found that the agency has been making that critical decision even though it has not received health and safety data for 85 percent of the new chemicals concocted by the chemical industry.  The federal government’s regulatory framework places the burden on EPA to show that chemicals are unsafe instead of forcing chemical companies to show that their creations are safe. 

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

It came like a bolt out of the blue last week (May 21) when two influential senators announced they had come up with a bipartisan “compromise” proposal to update the outdated federal law that’s supposed to govern the use and safety of toxic chemicals. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.), lead sponsors of the new bill titled the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act,” called it the long-sought solution to fixing the notorious weaknesses of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, the only major U.S. environmental law that has never been brought up to date. Their proposal has garnered widespread praise from the chemical industry and lukewarm support from some members of the environmental community.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

As we welcome a new U.S. Secretary of Energy, we want followers of Enviroblog to know more about EWG’s partnership with the Civil Society Institute and our work in the energy field, especially when it comes to grassroots organizing and mobilization. Alarmed by current U.S. energy policy, 60 Americans from grassroots organizations all over the country came together in the spring of 2012 and again in 2013 in Cambridge, Mass., to explore alternatives to the dangerous and misleading course taken by industry and the nation’s political leaders. In days of intense discussion, they came up with the “American Clean Energy Agenda,” nine principles to put us on a course toward truly renewable, non-polluting energy. In this, the first of a series, we focus on Principle 1:

“We must generate the political will to create a sustainable healthy energy future by 2030 by accelerating the phase-out of nuclear power, natural gas, coal and industrial biomass and driving a grand transition to efficient use of renewable, non-polluting resources.”

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This spring Lysol introduced the world to “healthing,” a perfect buzzword to launch their new marketing ploy/public safety campaign. By blending the words healthy and helping, the campaign is apparently trying to send the message that it is doing something revolutionary for your mind, body or soul.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Earlier this month, a New York appellate court upheld a lower court ruling that cities and towns in New York state have the right to ban drilling and hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas. According to news accounts, more than 100 communities in the state have passed bans or moratoriums on the practice.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

We need safe cosmetics reform now!

Mercury in mascara? Lead in lipstick?  Scientific studies  have shown that many common personal care products contain dangerous chemicals.  EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database evaluates nearly 80,000 personal care products and close to 10,000 ingredients in these consumer products. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

The federal Food and Drug Administration has proposed new regulations that would require tanning beds to bear warning labels and tighten agency controls on their operations.

Monday, April 29, 2013

 

As drilling operations for natural gas and oil in the U.S. have expanded into shale and other unconventional underground formations, so has the list of public health threats associated with hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technology developed to extract these resources. 

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

 

Last week, the Environmental Working Group released a report analyzing antibiotic resistance of bacteria detected in supermarket meat. We unearthed data buried deep in the annual report of theNational Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, a federal food safety effort run by the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our report struck at nerve at FDA.  The agency issued a statement calling it “misleading” and “alarmist.”  You can read our full response here.  Essentially, the FDA argued that antibiotic resistance to only one drug is not that big of a deal because there are still some other antibiotics that could treat bacterial infections – for now.

Friday, April 12, 2013

 

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is only the latest of a number of commentators who have been advancing the dubious argument that expanding use of natural gas is mitigating climate change. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

 

Earlier this year, when Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) announced his plans to retire, he listed several issues he wants to see through to a successful conclusion before the end of his term. One of them is passage of the Safe Chemicals Act.

The senator has been a champion for consumer safety throughout his Senate career, and this vital bill to reform the outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and ensure that chemicals in consumer products are safe is a prime example.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shot through a legal loophole with the speed of a Major League fastball, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved roughly 11,000 pesticides intended for use in agriculture, inside homes, on lawns, in hand soaps, on clothing and other consumer goods with little or no safety tests, according to a multi-year investigation by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Marking a major victory for efforts to protect the iconic Grand Canyon National Park and the Colorado River, a U.S. district court judge last week upheld the Obama administration’s moratorium on new mining claims on a million acres surrounding the Canyon.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When EWG released its Guide to Healthy Cleaning in 2012, some of our scores and findings surprised not only our viewers but us, too. Who knew Lysol made a product EWG can recommend, while many cleaning products marketed as “natural” or “green” don’t pass? We were also shocked to find out how common it is in the cleaning product industry to hide ingredient information from consumers.

Monday, March 25, 2013

March is Women’s History Month, when the nation honors the many women who have had a lasting impact on American culture, history and women’s rights. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the first women’s suffragist march in Washington, DC in 1913. At EWG, we applaud the early suffragists who fought so valiantly for equality and would also like to take the opportunity to highlight women scientists today who fight to create a safer environment.

Friday, March 22, 2013

 

EWG's 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce will be coming out soon. Stay tuned.

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

As drilling for natural gas pushes more and more into shale formations in populated areas, the problem of gas bubbling into drinking water is occurring with increasing frequency. Several homeowners have reported flaming tap water and have feared explosions. The danger is not just a theoretical one: a home in Bainbridge, Ohio, exploded in 2007 because the hydraulic fracturing and cementing of a nearby gas well was done improperly.

 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

You remember the final scene: Butch and Sundance, hopelessly cornered and surrounded by the Bolivian army, are stubbornly confident that they’ll escape to make their way to sanctuary in Australia. It came to mind when I heard about the lawsuit filed by the chemical industry in a last-ditch effort to keep the notorious plastics and packaging chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, off California’s official list of chemicals considered hazardous to human health.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A growing number of states – Texas, Montana, Colorado and South Dakota, to name a few – are requiring oil and gas drilling companies to disclose the chemicals they use for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, through FracFocus, an online database partially funded by the drilling industry. 

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Monday, March 4, 2013

No matter where you live, the tap water is sure to contain some chemicals you don’t want to drink. For instance, we at Environmental Working Group recently reviewed the water quality tests of 201 big water utilities that serve 100 million Americans.  As our new report shows, every single one of them was polluted with unwanted chemicals called trihalomethanes, which are linked to bladder cancer and other serious disorders. 

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