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EWG News Roundup (5/22): 2020 EWG Guide to Sunscreens, Johnson & Johnson End the Sale of Talc-Based Baby Powder and More

In the News
Friday, May 22, 2020

This week EWG released our 14th annual Guide to Sunscreens. EWG scientists reviewed 1,300 SPF products and found that only 25 percent offer adequate protection and do not contain worrisome ingredients such as oxybenzone, a potential hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed by the body.

On Monday, cosmetic giant Johnson & Johnson announced that it will soon end the sale of talc-based baby powders in the U.S. and Canada. Talc and asbestos can form in the same parent rock, so cosmetics made with talc can be contaminated with the deadly carcinogen, which is responsible for the death of thousands of Americans every year.

“It’s good news that Johnson & Johnson will soon end the sale of talc-based baby powders in the U.S. and Canada,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Now other companies need to follow their lead.”

Following up on the Johnson & Johnson announcement, EWG called upon federal lawmakers to end the use of talc in all loose powders.

During the COVID-19 crisis, meat and poultry prices have skyrocketed. EWG broke down some cheap, easy and healthier ways to get high-protein foods.

Hair dyes have flown off the shelves during the pandemic-related shutdown due to salon closures throughout the nation. To ensure people can choose dyes with the fewest ingredients linked to health harms, EWG recently added more than a hundred new hair dyes and bleaches to the Skin Deep® cosmetics database.

Finally, the Department of Agriculture unveiled a pandemic relief initiative that will give farmers $16 billion in direct payments. Just like the Trump’s farm bailout, which gave $23 billion in subsidies to farmers in response to President Trump’s trade war, most of the money won’t go to small family farmers but to the largest and wealthiest farms, which need the money the least.

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

2020 EWG Guide to Sunscreens

CNN: How to safely avoid sunburn in the age of coronavirus

But before you slather on some sunscreen, you might want to check out the 2020 list of safer sunscreens put out by the Environmental Working Group, or EWG, a consumer organization that advocates for sunscreen safety.

Houston Chronicle: Why were rules on sunscreens put in the CARES Act?

According to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, the provision may have been included to keep sunscreen regulations status quo.

MindBodyGreen: The EWG's 2020 Guide To Sunscreens Is Here: 6 Things To Know Before Slathering On

Just in time for the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to release their 14th annual guide to sunscreens, where they assess more than 1,300 SPF products, sorting through all the available research to decipher how we should navigate the ever-expanding sunscreen market. Reprinted by W3Live News.


The EWG released its 14th annual guide to sunscreens today, where they highlight SPF options that have earned the EWG mark of approval. “This year researchers rated the safety and efficacy of more than 1,300 SPF products—including sunscreens, moisturizers, and lip balms—and found that only 25 percent of products offer adequate protection and do not contain worrisome ingredients, like oxybenzone, a potentially hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed by the body.

Popsugar: Stock Up For the Summer! 15 of the Safest Sunscreens For Kids and Babies

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)'s recommendations for the best sunscreens for kids is considered somewhat of a definitive list of safe options, but how does it makes its decisions when it comes to health and safety? Reprinted by MSN.

Prevention: The Best Sunscreens for Kids and Babies in 2020, According to Dermatologists

This zinc oxide sunscreen is free of irritating chemicals, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, and dyes, and was awarded a National Eczema Association (NEA) Seal of Acceptance, indicating it’s suitable for those with sensitive skin. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives the SPF 50 formula its highest rating. Reprinted by Yahoo!and MSN

Purewow: The Best Sunscreens for Babies and Kids, According to Dermatologists

Each year, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases their recommendations for the best sunscreens for kids, taking into account ingredient hazards and UV protection. According to EWG analyst Carla Burns, oxybenzone is one of the ingredients that parents should avoid.

Romper: The EWG's 2020 Safe Sunscreen Guide Reveals The Best Brands For Babies

Luckily, the 2020 Safe Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is here, filled with tips for staying protected, research reports, and an overview on current sunscreen standards, including the best sunscreen options for babies in particular.

Romper: The EWG 2020 Safe Sunscreen Guide's Top Picks For Kids Might Be New To You

That's why the 2020 Safe Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group(EWG) couldn't have come at a better time. The annual report is packed with the latest scientific data and expert advice, including the best sunscreens for kids, and you might be surprised to see that your favorite brands are nowhere to be seen.

Treehugger: Keep your skin safe with the EWG's 2020 Sunscreen Guide

The Environmental Working Group's 14th annual guide to sunscreens was published today, just in time for the hot summer weather that has finally arrived. In order to create this latest version of the guide, researchers assessed 1,300 sunscreens and SPF products (including moisturizers and lip balms). They found that only 25 percent "offer adequate protection and do not contain

Tampa Bay Parenting: EWG’s 2020 Guide to Sunscreens and Best Sunscreens for Kids

The Environmental Working Group released its 13th annual Guide to Sunscreens and the findings are not much better than last year. The EWG tested more than 1,300 sunscreen products and found that nearly two-thirds of them either do not offer adequate protection or contain ingredients they say could be harmful to your health.

Winston-Salem Journal (N.C.): How to protect from the sun

To provide consumers with vetted choices, the EWG puts out a yearly sunscreen guide. For its 14th Annual Sunscreen Guide, the group said it analyzed the ingredients and performance of more than 1,300 products with sun protection factors, 700 of which are marketed as beach and sport sunscreens. Reprinted by the Lacrosse TribuneOmaha World NewsOpelika-Auburn News, and 8 other media outlets.

WaterLoop: Carla Burns on Choosing a Safe and Effective Sunscreen

Carla Burns is a Research and Database Analyst with the Environmental Working Group.  In this episode Carla discusses the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens, including EWG’s review of more than 1,300 products that found only 25 percent offer sufficient protection and don’t contain ingredients of concern such as oxybenzone.

Men’s Health: The 12 Best Reef-Safe Sunscreens to Protect Your Skin Without Harming the Planet

The Environmental Working Group also has rigorous standards in what they consider safe to use. Look for their logos on packages to help easily identify products that they deem safe. Reprinted by MSN.

Outside: The Best Sun Protection Gear of 2020

This formula is hypoallergenic and highly rated for cosmetic safety by the Environmental Working Group. It also rubs in easier than other all-natural formulas, so you can get your little one to playtime faster. The non-nano zinc-oxide particles won’t harm coral.

Who What Wear: I Realized I Knew Nothing About Sunscreen, so I Got Dermatologists to School Me

Raw Elements' sunscreen is top-rated by the Environmental Working Group. The gentle and moisturizing formula provides protection for up to 80 minutes. It's also soy-, gluten-, and nut-free for anyone with those sensitivities.

Children’s Health

Business Insider: The best bug sprays and repellents

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) does not recommend using any bug spray on children under six months of age but suggests treating clothes with permethrin.

Parents: Healthy Food IS More Expensive. So Now What?

So I compare prices for organic and conventional fruits and vegetables, especially the ones that tend to have higher pesticide residues (see the Environmental Working Group's lists here).

Johnson & Johnson Ends Sale of Talc-Based Powder

The New York Times: Johnson & Johnson to End Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America

In a statement, the Environmental Working Group advocacy organization urged other cosmetic companies to stop using talc in loose powders. The group said that it commissioned tests that last week found asbestos in two eye shadow palettes made with talc, marketed to children and sold on Amazon. Reprinted by The Seattle TimesWebsFavorites

Washington Post: The Energy 202: Oil services firm under federal investigation receives $6.8 million in coronavirus stimulus funds

In a statement, the Environmental Working Group said it was “good news.” “Now other companies need to follow their lead,” Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs, said in a statement.

USA Today: Does baby powder cause cancer? Johnson & Johnson stops selling talc powder after years of scrutiny

The Environmental Working Group says that talc-based cosmetics can be harmful, noting that contaminated talc can cause health risks long after its use. Reprinted byYahoo!; USA Today affiliates

Forbes: Johnson & Johnson ends talc-based baby powder sale in North America

In a statement, the Environmental Working Group advocacy organization urged other cosmetic companies to stop using talc in loose powders.

Treehugger: Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder

In a statement released this week, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) commends the move, but urges other companies not be complacent.

WCCB Charlotte the CW (N.C.): Johnson & Johnson Ends Sale Of Talc-Based Baby Powders

EWG’s Skin Deep® online database lists 2,119 talc-based products, including baby powders. The total includes more than 1,000 loose or pressed powders that could pose a risk of inhalation.

Trump Administration

Common Dreams: EPA Chief Says Trump's Evisceration of Regulations "Make Things Better"—But Forgets to Add "For Polluters"

After EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday claimed his agency's evisceration of environmental regulations does "make things better" in the world, Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group responded by saying it appeared the Trump-appointed former industry lobbyist forgot to add the crucial caveat "better—for polluters" to his sentence.

Trump Administration Farm Bailout

The Fern Ag Insider: Coronavirus aid slanted against local food, says small-farm group

The Environmental Working Group said the largest U.S. farmers got more than $300,000 each in 2018 and 2019, while the smaller producers got an average of $7,113. Large coronavirus payments “will accelerate the decline of the family farm,” said EWG’s Scott Faber.

The Fence Post: Farm groups: Thanks for aid, but send more

Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber said, “This rule will pour gasoline on a raging fire in farm country. Instead of helping small farmers on the verge of extinction, Secretary Perdue’s decision to increase payment limits for corporations to $750,000 will accelerate the decline of the family farm…”

AB 2762: California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

Chemical Watch: Cosmetics industry backs California bill to ban dozens of chemical ingredients

The Environmental Working Group, which has long supported legislation to ban chemicals of concern in cosmetics, praised the committee’s vote. “Today’s vote to ban 12 ingredients from cosmetics is just the first step in the legislative process. But this vote is an important milestone in the history of cosmetics regulation,” the group said.

Cleaning Products

Inside EPA: EPA Critics’ Early Comments On Science Rule Urge Agency To Scrap Plan

“To illustrate this core concern and to highlight the value of using epidemiological studies for chemical risk assessment, [Environmental Working Group] brings to the EPA’s attention a peer-reviewed scientific study, published by our team, on the 'Analysis of Cumulative Cancer Risk Associated with Disinfection Byproducts in United States Drinking Water,'” the group writes in its May 14 comments to EPA on the proposed science rule.

The Orange County Register: Spring cleaning? 5 easy ways to make your home nontoxic

There are helpful smartphone apps — including Think Dirty, EWG’s Healthy Living, Detox Me and GoodGuide — that can help reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.

KDWN (Las Vegas, Nev): Fighting COVID-19 or Fighting for the Environment? KDWN’S Dr. Daliah Says A Choice May Have to be Made

Lysol disinfectant spray, touted by the CDC as effective against fighting COVID, has received an “F” rating by the Environmental Working Group for its effects on the environment and human body as it contains “MIPA-Borate, Ammonium hydroxide and petroleum gases.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Huff Post: How Long The Coronavirus Can Live On Makeup, And How To Clean It

If you’re concerned about the makeup itself, most makeup contains preservatives to extend the shelf life of products and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria or mold, according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

The Skincare Edit: How to Choose a Face Cream: The Best and Worst Moisturizer Ingredients for Your Skin

My favourite resource site is INCIDecoder, but you can also try CosDNAPaula's Choice Ingredient Dictionary or the EWG Skin Deep Database.


Hello Glow: 10 Phthalate-Free Perfumes + Natural Fragrances We Love

Environmental Working Group (EWG) verified, this vegan perfume is gender-neutral and formulated with aromatherapeutic essential oils. 

The Mom Edit: Thinking About Trying Biossance? This Kit.

And all Biossance products are proudly vegan, cruelty-free and EWG-verified.

COVID-19 and Farmworkers

NBC News: New coronavirus bailout for farms will have winners and losers

Still, most of the program’s funds found their way to the largest and most profitable farms, the Environmental Working Group found

EWG’s Meatpacking Plants and COVID-19 Map

The Wall Street Journal: Superspreader Events Offer a Clue on Curbing Coronavirus

U.S. meatpacking plants, where hundreds have become infected, have also emerged as superspreading sites: counties with or near meatpacking plants have been found to have nearly twice as many Covid-19 cases as the national average, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization.

The Des Moines Register: 'They could have done more': Daughter of Marshalltown meatpacking plant worker blames JBS for his COVID-19 death

Residents are twice as likely to contract coronavirus if they live in counties containing meatpacking plants or within 15 miles of a plant, according to the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization. Reprinted by The Hawkeye (Burlington, Iowa)

Iowa Starting Line: What Would Justice For Packing Plant Workers Look Like?

Over 1,500 meatpacking workers have contracted the virus as of May 6, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis. About one in every five positive cases in Iowa is connected to a meat plant outbreak.

The Neighbor (Atlanta): Buena Vista County expecting jump in COVID-19 cases

A report released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit health and environmental organization, said that counties containing or within 15 miles of a meatpacking plant have had roughly double the cases than the U.S. average in other counties.

Radio Iowa: State Rep calls for legislative oversight of Test Iowa

“Environmental Working Group came out with a study they published yesterday that Iowa meatpacking plants rank number one in the nation for infections, and if you’re a county that has one near you, your rate for COVID is almost twice that of what the national average is.”

Farm Subsidies

(Reprinted from Associated Press) Miami Herald: Recent Missouri editorials

Hartzler’s handouts aren’t limited to the PPP program. Hartzler Farms Inc. has taken almost $1.2 million in crop subsidies since 1996, according to a database compiled by the Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Kansas City StarSun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)Belleville News-Democrat (Ill.)Idaho StatesmanFort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas); 13 additional media outlets 

North Carolina CAFO Poultry Map

NC Policy Watch: Nearly a billion birds producing five million tons of waste per year 

According to the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, these farms create 5 million tons of waste per year, which contain 175,000 tons of nitrogen and phosphorus. 


Common Dreams: EPA Chief Says Trump's Evisceration of Regulations "Make Things Better"—But Forgets to Add "For Polluters"

EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday claimed his agency's evisceration of environmental regulations does "make things better" in the world, Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group responded by saying it appeared the Trump-appointed former industry lobbyist forgot to add the crucial caveat "better—for polluters" to his sentence.

PFAS Tap Water Contamination

Michigan State University: MSU announces new Center for PFAS Research

According to an Environmental Working Group survey, Michigan is home to more PFAS contamination sites than any other state in the U.S. Reprinted by FeedStuffsWater Quality Products

Tampa Bay Times: It’s time to modernize drinking water standards

Many of these outdated government regulations have been challenged by the Environmental Working Group, an environmental activist group. They argue that legality does not equal safety.

Environmental Health News: PFAS-free firefighting foams: Are they safer?

These chemicals, called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been detected in water supplies across the country—and in our bodies. In fact, the Environmental Working Group estimates that PFAS chemicals are detectable in all major U.S. water supplies. Reprinted by The World News Monitor

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Oxygen: Oxygen's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

These days, however, the name has been cleverly repurposed by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that compiles a virtual who’s who of conventionally grown produce with the highest and lowest amounts of pesticide residue.

Marin Mommies: Make a Fresh Batch of Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberries are number one on the EWG's "Dirty Dozen" list in their 2020 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Reprinted by Blogarama

Tap Water Database

Times-Tribune: Local professionals, utilities offer businesses tips for reopening

According to Environmental Working Group, New York City's water system, which serves more than 9 million people, was in violation of EPA drinking water standards from October 2014 to September 2017.

Reprinted by The Citizen’s Voice and Republican Herald Online


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