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Environmental connections to public health >>

EWG News Roundup (Dec. 2): EPA Action, the Farm Bill, Food and Toxic Detergents

Friday, December 2, 2016

Heading into the holiday season, there was some good news out of the EPA. The agency listed the first batch of toxic chemicals it will tackle, which includes asbestos. Also this week, EWG took part in a forum to discuss how Congress and the Trump administration will shape the next farm bill.

You can read all about those events and more below.

The Trump Transition:

Huffington Post: Donald Trump Keeps Draining Swamp By Replacing Food Lobbyist With Former Food Lobbyist

Scott Faber, vice president at the Environmental Working Group, described Leftwich’s past connections to industry as an asset given that many companies, including PepsiCo, are working to better cater their products to consumers’ demand for healthier, more sustainable choices.

Year-End Giving:

U.S. News & World Report: 9 Creative Gifts for the Health Junkies on Your List

I would love to receive gift donations to organizations such as the Environmental Working Group and the Natural Resources Defense Council that work to protect and support organic and sustainable food systems and educate the public about the best choices for human and environmental health. It's a gift that can make a difference today – and for our future. Reprinted by WTOP.

EPA’s Top 10 Chemicals:

Associated Press: EPA begins process to regulate toxic, widely used chemicals

“Today's historic action by the EPA will finally begin the process of restricting the remaining sources of asbestos, which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans,” said Sonya Lunder of the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, which studies toxic substances. “We expect the incoming Trump administration to uphold the EPA's commitment and honor the past, current and future victims of asbestos-triggered diseases.”

BuzzFeed: EPA Names Asbestos To New List Of Dangerous Chemicals That May Be Banned

“While this is an important milestone, this list is just the first 10 of 1,000 chemicals in need of urgent EPA review,” Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group said in a statement. He noted the June law also doesn’t cover cosmetics and similar consumer chemicals.  

International Business Times: Is Asbestos Still Used? EPA To Review 10 Chemicals Under New Federal Analysis Of Toxic Substances

“Asbestos has long been held up as the poster child of why our chemical law has been broken and if the EPA couldn’t even ban asbestos than it means that our federal regulations of chemicals is really broken,” Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney at the Environmental Working Group, an environmental advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., told International Business Times.

Chemical Watch: EPA names first ten chemicals for new TSCA evaluations

But Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs at NGO the Environmental Working Group (EWG), wants businesses to act sooner: “Consumers and workers should not have to wait five years or more for the EPA to complete reviews and regulations. Manufacturers should act now to replace these chemicals with safer alternatives.”

 Farm Policy:

Agri-Pulse: Farm bill wheels starting to turn

Crop insurance is the number one priority in any farm bill,” Gordon Stoner, president of the National Association of Wheat Growers, said in an interview with Agri-Pulse. “The long knives are out. EWG (Environmental Working Group) and the Heritage Foundation would tear the entire program down. Not only crop insurance, they are coming after conservation.” Coincidentally, Scott Faber with EWG and Daren Bakst with the Heritage Foundation were scheduled to speak at a Farm Foundation forum today in Washington. Both groups are vocal opponents of a number of programs strongly supported by ag groups.

POLITICO – Morning Agriculture: Remember the Farm Bill?

The Farm Foundation will dig into the issue again on Wednesday, with a forum on potential priorities for the legislation's reauthorization, which is expected in 2018. Also set to speak are Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, and Daren Bakst, agricultural research policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Details on the forum are here.

Think Progress: The coming fight to deregulate farms

Fellow panelist Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group was less oblique. “It is more likely that I will be the next secretary of Agriculture than that we’ll split the farm bill,” Faber, whose left-leaning group is usually at odds with Conner’s National Council of Farmer Cooperatives on policy issues, said to chuckles from the farm policy wonks in attendance.

Children’s Health:

Fox News - Health: Jillian Michaels writes 'one-stop shop' for expectant mothers

For example, did you know that according to a study commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, the umbilical cord blood of babies born to women in the study contained more than 200 chemicals that shouldn’t be there? Yikes!

Toxic Cleaning Products:

Bustle: 9 Surprising Ways To Know You're Probably Not As Hygienic As You Should Be

While it's important to do laundry on a frequent basis, it's also important to take note of which detergents and chemicals you are using, as some can be incredibly dangerous to your health and wellbeing, explains Traines. Traines recommends looking online, at EWG, Environmental Working Group, for insight into safe and risky brands.

Before It’s News: 10 Dangerous Dishwashing Products to Avoid Altogether

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released 10 low-scoring dish-cleaning products from its database of cleaners. Find out what makes these dishwashing products the worst of the worst.


Cheat Sheet: Hair Dye: How Badly Does It Damage Your Hair?

It’s not just your hair that hair dye can damage, either. The Environmental Working Group recommends minimizing your use of dark, permanent hair dyes. This is because many such hair products contain coal tar ingredients like aminophenol, diaminobenzene, and phenylenediamine, which have been linked to cancer.

Chemical and Engineering News: Restrictions on cosmetic preservatives ramp up

A 2013 SCCS review of parabens, compounds the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group has targeted as endocrine system disruptors, found they were safe to use. SCCS did recommend new, lower concentration limits for propylparaben and butylparaben, both of which it judged to have “a weak endocrine-modifying potential.” 7 Dangerous Ingredients in Everyday Cosmetics and Toiletries

Parabens are a group of ingredients (such as propylparaben, ethylparaben, and more) that often extend a product’s shelf life. The Environmental Working Group breaks down each of these parabens and labels them by toxicity. Some, such as potassium or calcium paraben, are low hazard. But others, such as butylparaben and isopropylparaben are a high hazard.

Mogul: The Case Against Petroleum in Your Skin Care Products

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization specializing in recording the effects of toxic chemicals on human health and the environment, has labelled petrolatum as a moderate hazard due in part to a 2009 study.


True Viral News: Top 10 toxic ingredients in children’s cereal

A child who eats one bowl of cereal each day for one year consumes a total of 10 pounds of sugar, according to a report issued by the Environmental Working Group, based on the analysis of over 180 children’s breakfast cereals. In addition to causing tooth decay, refined sugar has no nutritional value, and when consumed in excess, it can lead to obesity and diabetes

True Viral News: 15 Foods You Should Never Eat. Ever.

“It doesn’t mean you’ll get sick, get cancer, or die if you eat a dangerous food once,” says Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which catalogs studies on potential toxins found in specific brand-name foods and ranks their safety in a massive database. “But there are certain foods you should avoid as much as possible if you have a choice.”


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