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Chemical Policy

EWG is a leader in the effort to reform toxic chemical policy to ensure that all products are safe, especially for children. The government and consumers know little or nothing about the safety of more than 80,000 chemicals that can be used in consumer products.

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The Latest on Chemical Policy

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

According to The Associated Press, documents show that fundraisers for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) routinely identified legislative actions that would interest possible donors.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2005

As of March 7, 2005, National Institute of Health (NIH) employees are no longer allowed to accept consulting fees and stock options from pharmaceutical companies. A group of scientists have formed an association, the Assembly of Scientists, to roll back this commonsensical conflict of interest rule. (L.A. Times March 3, 2005 Home Edition).

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Tuesday, April 5, 2005

California will keep its recommendation for the legal limit of the toxic rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in drinking water at 6 parts per billion (ppb), despite EPA levels set over four times higher, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. California’s level takes into account rocket fuel exposure from multiple sources, including milk, lettuce and other foods. It was adjusted to protect the most sensitive populations, including pregnant mothers, infants and children.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Tests on household dust in seven states show that we’re breathing in a hodgepodge of chemicals from consumer products, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. On the shortlist of 35 toxic industrial chemicals found are phthalates, plasticizers that soften products with vinyl, including shoes, face and body lotions, upholstery, shower curtains, nail polish and garden hoses; PFOA, the Teflon chemical, in everything from pots and pans to Scotchguard and StainMaster carpeting, waterproof jackets, and stain-resistant clothing; flame retardants, found in mattresses, carpet and curtains; and pesticides.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Not content to pander to the cosmetics industry by requiring no safety testing on American personal care products, the Bush administration is now working to thwart Europe’s attempts at improving product safety. Government correspondence uncovered by staff of the House Committee on Government Reform shows that the administration mixed with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for a lobbying campaign to cripple Europe’s new laws, the Oakland Tribune reports.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Oakland Tribune devoted three days and thousands of words to telling the story of one local family's exposure to toxic chemicals. The paper's superb series presents a new and updated take on the pollution in people pioneered by the Environmental Working Group's ground breaking 2003 report, Body Burden, which tested the blood of nine Americans for more than 200 contaminants. EWG staff advised reporter Douglas Fischer on what to test for, where to test it, and what the results mean.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) took the EPA to task this week for using fuzzy math and ignoring health effects to bolster President Bush’s cap-and-trade proposal for mercury emissions from power plants, The Washington Post reports. The EPA skewed its analysis to indicate that the administration’s proposal would garner greater savings than enforcing pollution caps on all plants, the technology-based plan favored by conservationists.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

DuPont Corp. has agreed to pay a settlement of over $100 million to residents of Parkersburg, WV, after knowingly contaminating their drinking water with PFOA, a toxic chemical used to make Teflon.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

New tests by Toronto's Globe and Mail and CTV News show some of the world's highest levels of chemical fire retardants in common Canadian foods.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Texas legislature is poised to consider legislation limiting the ability of the sick or dying to get their medical bills covered by the asbestos companies.

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News Release
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

The Washington Post reports that half the fish consumed worldwide will be farm-raised instead of wild-caught by the year 2025, exposing Americans to more fish with plenty of healthy omega-3s and dangerous levels of toxic PCBs.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered a possible link between asbestos and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Monday, January 31, 2005

Newly uncovered documents from W.R. Grace show that the company exposed workers in at least 14 of its insulation factories around the country to lethal asbestos dust at levels above those in the now notorious Grace-owned mine in Libby, Mont.

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News Release
Monday, January 31, 2005

In her new book "It's My Party Too,” former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman's accuses the chemical industry's lobbying arm, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), of foiling her efforts to protect chemical plants from attack after September 11.

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

The international mining giant, Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., is under fire for dangerously polluting Indonesian communities in violation of US environmental standards. Now, an Environmental Working Group (EWG) search of US government electronic records it has posted on its web site (www.ewg.org/mining/) shows the company holds more acres of mining claims on Western public land than any other metal mining company. Newmont holds 347,458 acres of claims in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington.

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Monday, December 20, 2004

An investigation by the Riverside Press Enterprise documents how industries that make and use the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate have worked to undermine sound science on its health effects -- even rewriting an article in a federally funded journal. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein says widespread contamination of water and food makes a national rocket fuel safety standard an urgent need.

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Friday, October 29, 2004

An Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigation into a controversial pesticide study found that the chemical industry's lobbying arm, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), boasted to its members that a $2 million contribution it made to the study had gained the industry "considerable leverage" over the project.

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News Release
Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Washington Post reports that a toxic chemical component of rocket fuel, in concentrations 80 times what the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for human consumption, has been found near a reservoir that supplies drinking water to the District of Columbia.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

According to news reports, Teflon maker DuPont reported earning $331 million in the third quarter this year. That amount will just cover the possible $313 million fine it faces for illegally hiding from the EPA studies finding that their Teflon chemical moves from mother's blood to baby and that it had polluted drinking water supplies used by thousands of Ohioans and West Virginians.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

According to the Los Angeles Times, when confronted with criticism about the number of pollution lawsuits that EPA has filed during his tenure, EPA's Acting Enforcement Chief Tom Skinner asserted that EPA is actively pursuing settlements with polluters rather than lawsuits to punish violations of environmental laws.

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