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EWG News Roundup (4/19): EPA Balks at Asbestos Ban, Toxic-Free Easter Eggs and More

In the News
Friday, April 19, 2019

This week, instead of using his authority to outright ban asbestos, Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler announced a new Trump administration policy that merely requires manufacturers to notify and seek approval from the EPA before resuming using the deadly carcinogen.

EWG Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh said this decision falls short of what is needed to fully protect public health.

“This new rule makes it more difficult for industry to resume some abandoned uses of asbestos, but that is a half step at best,” said Benesh. “Administrator Wheeler should use the authority under the new Toxic Substances Control Act law and ban all uses of asbestos. That is the only way the public can trust industry will never again be able to use this dangerous material that has literally killed tens of thousands of Americans.”

Easter is Sunday. So we pulled together some helpful tips for parents on how to dye Easter eggs with natural ingredients, free of the troubling and potentially toxic food coloring chemicals often found in store-bought kits.

Here’s some more news you can use going into the weekend.

Easter Eggs

EcoWatch: Cracking the Perfect Natural Easter Egg Dye

Typical kits contain dyes loaded with artificial colors, like FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Red #40 and FD&C Blue #2. Although these colors are appealing, Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives highlights the many questions that have been raised about their safety, especially for kids.

 Maumee River Basin and Harmful Algal Blooms

Columbus Post-Dispatch: Editorial: H2Ohio could help protect Erie, Big Darby from contamination

That makes a recent study by two conservation groups — the Environmental Working Group and the Environment & Policy Law Center — especially valuable. Using aerial photos from the National Agriculture Imagery program and Google plus state permit data, the study determined that the number of hog, cattle, dairy and poultry operations in the Maumee River watershed grew by 40 percent between 2005 and 2018.

Care2: Lake Erie’s New Bill of Rights Has Angered Ohio Farmers

But, as the Environmental Working Group states, only operations above a certain size are subject to regulation by government agencies, which means there’s little reliable information on where and how many of these facilities exist, and the amount of manure and phosphorus they produce.

EPA Asbestos Rule

The Washington Post: The Energy 202: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is doubling down on Green New Deal

Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney with the Environmental Working Group, told the Washington Examiner that the EPA’s move is a “half step at best.”

Politico: SCOTUS and the nuclear question

Environmental Working Group legislative attorney Melanie Benesh, meanwhile, said the rule "makes it more difficult for industry to resume some abandoned uses of asbestos, but that is a half step at best."

The Hill: Critics say new EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use

“This new rule makes it more difficult for industry to resume some abandoned uses of asbestos, but that is a half step at best,” Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney at the Environmental Working Group, wrote in a press release.

  Trump Administration and Energy

Truth Out: Trump Is Rewriting the Rules to Favor the Pipeline Industry

Solar and wind energy production have tripled in recent years, lowering costs for renewable energy and creating as many jobs as the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, according to the Environmental Working Group.

 Factory Farms in North Carolina

NRDC: New Swine Waste Permit Fails to Protect Communities & Water

According to the Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance, the number of birds in poultry operations in North Carolina rose from 147 million in 1997 to 516 million in 2018.

Cleaners

Brisbane times (Australia): How to minimize exposure to hormone disrupters

Arora also pointed to the importance of keeping household cleaning products that can contain "really nasty chemicals" away from children, and choosing products that contain fewer chemicals (the Environmental Working Group guide to healthy cleaning products can help).

 Chatelaine: 9 Eco-friendly Cleaning Products That Smell Great

In the middle of the debate is the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit that focuses on protecting human health and the environment. The EWG rates SLS as a low-concern ingredient.

Cosmetics

CBS This Morning: Senator decries "poisons" as unregulated chemicals in cosmetics draw scrutiny

According to the Environmental Working Group, women put an average of 168 chemicals on their face and body before they even walk out of the door; men put on an average of 85 chemicals. 

One News Page: "Clean beauty": Bill aims to expand regulation on chemicals in cosmetics

Women put an average of 168 chemicals on their face and body before they even walk out the door, while men put on an average of 85, according to the Environmental Working Group.

US Weekly: Michelle Pfeiffer launches fragrance collection inspired from the clean beauty trend

The collection is reportedly the first fragrance line to be certified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The Tyee (Canada): ‘Toxic Beauty’: The Ugly Business of Pretty

With consumers looking for less-toxic options, what are the best and most trustworthy sources to get information on alternatives? Environmental Defence, Breast Cancer Quebec, Women’s Healthy Environments Network in Canada, Environmental Working Group, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Silent Spring in the U.S.

Allure: The Best Natural and Organic Makeup Brands That Makeup Artists Actually Use

“'Nontoxic' means free from undesirable ingredients listed by the Environmental Working Group.

 Gentleman’s Gazette: Best Hair Products For Men & More

Honestly, the best place for information on hair products that I found is the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

 Get Green, Be Well: 47 Best Non-Toxic Makeup Brands at the Drugstore: Eye Shadow, Mascara, Liner

The scientists at Environmental Working Group (EWG) which oversee the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database create easy to understand scores of the potential hazards of the ingredients of makeup.

Inspired By This: Your Guide To Clean, Cruelty Free Beauty Brands + Products

Two websites we regularly use to judge a brand’s quality (in terms of safety and cruelty free) are EWG Skin Deep and Cruelty-Free Kitty.

Goop: When Your Hair Is Killing You

Hair qualities such as texture—and social norms around what that texture should be—are likely why hair products marketed to black women would have different chemical profiles than those aimed at white women, explains Nneka Leiba, the director of the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living Science Program.

The Lewiston Tribune (ID): Commentary: Cosmetics firms refuse to get the lead out

Susan Little, senior advocate for California government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, said it’s foolish to keep products on store shelves if there’s even a remote chance they’re dangerous.

Conscious living tv: What Are Parabens, And Why Don’t They Belong In Our Cosmetics?

Products containing these four parabens from EWG’s Skin Deep® database.

  Monsanto’s Glyphosate

Montreal Le Canadian: Would you feed your kids cancer-causing breakfast foods? Tests reveal many cereals contain the weed killer glyphosate

Tests carried out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found glyphosate in every sample they tested of popular oat-based cereals and other foods marketed to children – and the levels aren’t insignificant.

  2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in ProducBristol Herald Courier (VA): Test Kitchen recipe: Pesticides in fruits and vegetables: List of cleanest, dirtiest

Now, alas, comes some bad news about kale. It has wound up on Environmental Working Group’s 2019 Dirty Dozen list, an annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides.

Care2: 2019′s Clean 15: Powerful Health Benefits of the Most Pesticide-Free Produce

2019 has its official “Clean 15.” Each year, the Environmental Working Group analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the amount of pesticides found in conventionally grown produce.

Detroit Free Press: Pesticides in fruits and vegetables: List of cleanest, dirtiest

It has wound up on Environmental Working Group's 2019 Dirty Dozen list, an annual ranking of the fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides.

 Tap Water – PFAS

Times Union (Albany, N.Y.): PFOA is out, but replacement prompted concerns

The “short-chain” effect — passing more quickly through the human body — may not make a major difference, said Alexis Temkin, toxicologist for the Environmental Working Group in Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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