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The Issue

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Industrial chemicals are everywhere in daily life — in personal care productsfurniturehousehold cleaners, toys, and even peanut butter. Because some chemicals once thought harmless have been linked to cancer, neurological problems, asthma, heart disease and other disorders, Americans deserve a strong federal law that ensures that the chemicals they encounter are as safe as possible.   

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Asbestos killed my grandfather, Roger Thomas Lunder. I was a graduate student and studying for a final on the night of December 6, 2000, when my father called to tell me that granddad had died.

At that moment I was reviewing a chapter on occupational lung diseases.  The textbook language -- "For decades asbestos has been known to cause cancer, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, and serious respiratory diseases…" –  seemed cold and clinical when I reflected on the slow, terrifying lung deterioration my grandfather had experienced over the past 14 years.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Independent lab tests of a sample taken from a tar sands oil spill earlier this year in Arkansas detected several highly toxic chemicals, according to a new report by Environmental Working Group commissioned by clean energy advocate and philanthropist Tom Steyer.

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News Release
Thursday, June 20, 2013
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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, June 17, 2013

Why would 34 lawyers and law professors, 24 national non-profit organizations and 13 California-based groups all write Congress to oppose something called the Chemical Safety Improvement Act?

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Friday, June 14, 2013

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Environmental Working Group, the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization, has established its own “genius” award to honor Chris Campbell, EWG Vice President of Technology, for his two decades of contributions to the public good. 

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News Release
Thursday, June 13, 2013

The industry-backed Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 could be worse for the public than the law now on the books — the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has warned Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act introduced in the Senate May 22 would undermine a California law aimed at protecting the public from toxic chemicals in consumer products.

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News Release
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

 Dozens of public interest organizations and legal scholars today sent letters to Congressional leaders expressing their unified opposition to the industry-backed Chemical Safety Improvement Act introduced last month by a bipartisan group of senators.

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News Release
Monday, June 10, 2013

Let’s call it like it is.  The Chemical Safety Improvement Act, introduced in the Senate two weeks ago, is no “bipartisan breakthrough,” as some have heralded it. 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, June 6, 2013

In a blog posted yesterday (June 5), Richard Denison, senior scientist at EDF, sought to explain why his organization supported the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013, introduced May 22 by the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Sen. David Vitter, R-La.  The Environmental Working Group opposes the bil. Dave Andrews, Ph.D.,  EWG Senior Scientist, has sent this response to EDF.  

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The names are close – but little else about the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and the late Sen.

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Monday, June 3, 2013

Environmental Working Group President and co-founder Ken Cook issued the following statement on the passing of Sen.  Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) whose long and distinguished career protecting the environment and public health “positively touched the lives of virtually every singleAmerican.”

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News Release
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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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Environmental Working Group's legal team has concluded that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act proposed last week (May 21) by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.) would provide far weaker protections for public health and the environment than either the ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act, federal law since 1976, or the Safe Chemicals Act, the legislation previously introduced by Sen. Lautenberg.

Would the Chemical Safety Improvement Act protect children and other vulnerable people?

Click here to see the overview Memorandum.

How does the Chemical Safety Improvement Act stack up against the Safe Chemicals Act?

Click here to read the side-by-side comparison.

EWG's section-by-section comparison concludes that the Chemical Safety Improvement Act:  

  • Uses a weaker safety standard;
  • Opens the door to heightened judicial review;
  • Lacks minimum data requirements;
  • Includes broad preemption language that would undermine states' ability to set their own standards;
  • Lacks fee and cost-sharing provisions;
  • Fails to focus on vulnerable populations and biomonitoring data.


 

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Testimonies & Official Correspondence
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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EnviroBlog
Blog Post
Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act introduced by Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., is an “unacceptably weak response to the chemical exposure problems American families face every day,” Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said today.

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News Release
Thursday, May 23, 2013

 

The Canadian government has proposed sunscreen rules much stronger than those governing U.S. sunscreens.  Because numerous companies are major players in both the Canadian and United States markets, if Canada’s planned rules take effect, they could prompt welcome changes in sunscreens sold in the U.S.

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News Release
Monday, May 20, 2013

Ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, Environmental Working Group today released its 7th annual Sunscreen Guide rating the safety and efficacy of more than 1,400 sunscreens, lotions, lip products and makeups that advertise sun protection.

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News Release
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. 

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EnviroBlog
Blog Post

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