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.
The Latest on Toxics
Industrial chemicals are everywhere in daily life — in personal care products, furniture, household 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.Read More
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.Read More
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?Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.”Read More
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.Read More
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More