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Toxics

Industry doesn’t have to test chemicals for safety before they go on the market. EWG steps in where government leaves off, giving you the resources to protect yourself and your family.

Highlights

Senate Panel Votes to Tighten U.S. Chemicals Regulation Law Read More
BPA May Put Kids at Greater Risk of Obesity, Study Says Read More

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The Latest on Toxics

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Department of Public Health today announced its final drinking water standard for the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium made infamous in the film Erin Brockovich. The state’s new Maximum Contaminant Level of 10 parts per billion is 500 times greater than the level identified as safe by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

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News Release
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) recently authored the Chemicals in Commerce Act, a discussion draft of legislation purporting to reform our nation’s weak and outdated chemicals management law, the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Monday, March 31, 2014

Should chemicals we encounter every day be safe?

You’d think the answer would be an obvious and resounding “yes.” But if you ask chemical companies – or some lawmakers – they say that “safe” is relative. In their view, chemical companies should be able to use dangerous chemicals if restricting their use to protect people would be too costly. 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When 300,000 West Virginians went without water for three weeks earlier this year, most Americans were shocked to learn that health officials and the government didn’t know much about the licorice-smelling chemical that had leaked from a storage facility into the Elk River near Charleston. Hundreds of residents contacted the state’s Poison Control Center to report nausea, vomiting and rashes. Weeks after officials lifted the water ban, complaints of the licorice odor continue and the long-term health effects of the coal-processing substance – 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (Crude MCHM) – are still unknown.

 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Toxic substances in drinking water, food, food packaging and personal care products, as well as exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays, have all been linked to serious health problems that affect many American men. Now a new guide from Environmental Working Group offers simple steps that men can take to reduce the risks.

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News Release
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Most men know by now that good lifestyle choices – such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and drinking in moderation – make a big difference in staying healthy. Men may too often ignore these sensible recommendations, but it’s not because they’re not aware of them.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Friday, March 14, 2014

In June of 2003, Linda Reinstein found out that her husband Alan had a type of lung cancer called mesothelioma, caused by breathing asbestos. “I can treat it,” the surgeon told her, “but I can’t cure it.” 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, March 13, 2014

The state of California has launched an important initiative to protect its residents from exposures to toxic substances by calling on industry to find safer alternatives for three widely used chemicals, Environmental Working Group said today in a statement.

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News Release
Friday, March 7, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a voluntary "repellency awareness graphic” that would be displayed on bug repellents. It represents a small step forward but falls short of providing the full measure of information that consumers need to make informed decisions about products that provide the greatest benefit while minimizing the risks of exposure to toxic chemicals. After more than a year of research on bug repellents, EWG concluded that the lack of consistent efficacy testing and labeling of skin-applied repellents unnecessarily put consumers at risk from diseases borne by mosquitoes and ticks. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,650 American were infected with West Nile virus in 2012 and 286 of them died. Confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease rose to more than 30,000 in 2012, but the CDC has estimated that the true number of newly-diagnosed cases is probably 10 times greater. Currently, there is no convenient way for consumers to compare the general efficacy of different repellents. The efficacy testing of various products against tick species is inconsistent. Consumers have no easy way to evaluate the efficacy of botanical pesticide products, technically called minimum-risk pesticides.

Read EWG's Comments to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (PDF).

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Renee Sharp, research director at the Environmental Working Group said today that the cosmetics industry’s legislative proposal to reform cosmetics law would deprive the federal Food and Drug Administration of the power to keep hazardous substances out of personal care products.

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News Release
Friday, February 28, 2014

Legislation proposed by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) to reform federal chemicals management law would leave the public at even greater risk of exposure to toxic substances than under the outdated current law, said Environmental Working Group in a statement today.

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News Release
Thursday, February 27, 2014

If you’ve planked on a yoga mat, slipped on flip-flops, extracted a cell phone from protective padding or lined an attic with foam insulation, chances are you’ve had a brush with an industrial chemical called azodicarbonamide, nicknamed ADA. In the plastics industry, ADA is the “chemical foaming agent” of choice. It is mixed into polymer plastic gel to generate tiny gas bubbles, something like champagne for plastics. The results are materials that are strong, light, spongy and malleable. 

 
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Consumers have the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered. However, the U.S. government does not require labeling of GE foods or ingredients so that shoppers can make informed decisions. 

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Thursday, January 30, 2014

 The departure of environmental and public health champion Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., “will be an enormous loss to anyone who cares about safe drinking water, clean air, food safety and children’s health,” EWG president Ken Cook said today.

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News Release
Monday, January 27, 2014

Washington, D.C. – EWG executive director Heather White said that personal care products giant Johnson & Johnson has taken a major step forward by reformulating about 100 of its baby products to remove a potentially harmful chemical and to reduce levels of a second problematic substance. 

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News Release
Monday, January 27, 2014

When EWG’s staff voted on the most important environmental health stories of 2013 that didn’t directly involve agriculture, it turned out that antibiotic overuse was at the top of the list. Of course, that issue does involve agriculture. Oh, well.   In fact, three of the year’s biggest stories cited by EWG’ers focused on antibiotic overuse and the resulting rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that threaten to make many vital bacteria-fighting medicines useless. here are EWG’s Top Ten:

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

People who follow the federal government’s guidelines on seafood consumption are likely to consume too much mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin, or too few beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, according to a new EWG analysis of fish contaminant and nutrient data.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
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. 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, January 13, 2014

EWG executive director Heather White assigned much of the blame for the devastating chemical spill in West Virginia to the nation’s lax chemical safety laws.

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News Release
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.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post

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