This week, EWG released an analysis based on Department of Defense records finding at least nine military installations along the Chesapeake Bay have groundwater contaminated with high levels of the toxic fluorinated “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
Class action lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Unilever due to potential hair loss tied to DMDM hydantoin, a preservative in shampoos, conditioners and other water-based personal care products. EWG spotlighted what you need to know about DMDM hydantoin and its potential health risks.
When it comes to consumer safety on regulating chemicals and contaminants in cosmetics, the U.S. is trailing behind the rest of the world. More than 80 nations have overtaken the U.S. by enacting rules targeting health risks from the ingredients of cosmetics and personal care products.
A new study finds that the climate crisis is causing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars in federal crop insurance payouts. EWG’s breakdown of the study highlights its conclusions on the insurance program’s massive financial cost and how it disincentivizes climate action.
Here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.
PFAS compounds in the Chesapeake Bay
The Environmental Working Group’s report focuses on installations along the bay and concerns about contamination mostly from chemicals in firefighting foam containing PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. They are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment.
The new report from the Environmental Working Group, citing tens of thousands of pages of records obtained from the Defense Department, said that the biggest risk is that the chemicals might have flowed out of the groundwater at military sites in Maryland and Virginia and into the Chesapeake, contaminating the region’s wildlife — including its famed shellfish — affecting the food chain and possibly sickening people.
The Environmental Working Group analysis compiled Department of Defense data from nine bases along the bay, revealing levels as high as 2.25 million parts per trillion (ppt). Some states have set safe drinking water levels for individual PFAS compounds as low as 1 ppt.
Hundreds of military installations show unsafe levels of toxic “forever chemicals” in their ground water, including a handful along the Chesapeake Bay, according to a study released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group.
Food Labeling Modernization Act
The Food Chemical Reassessment Act of 2021 is endorsed by Environmental Working Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Consumer Reports, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Defend Our Health, and Earthjustice.
Last year, nearly all the coronavirus aid the Trump administration provided to farmers went to white farmers, according to the Environmental Working Group.
The Environmental Working Group’s report on umbilical cord toxins explained well why children are so vulnerable.
Carcinogens found in sunscreens
FDA research shows that the body absorbs enough of sunscreens’ chemical ingredients to warrant further testing. Yet there’s no indication companies have provided the safety data the FDA requested two years ago, said David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.
Look for BPA-free labels on cans and food packaging; make sure you buy furniture without flame retardants or PFAS (newer models typically make it clear on the label); and try to purchase personal care products without phthalates. She personally refers to the Environmental Working Group's consumer guides when choosing household and personal care products (although they do not have a furniture guide yet!).
This emphasis on skin health is driven by the industry’s data-based innovation, according to Yoon. She explained what defines K-beauty — and what differentiates it from other beauty industries — is this emphasis on research and testing. For example, there are certain government-regulated measures — like these best practices — that are mandatory for Korean companies but voluntary in the U.S., explained Environmental Working Group analyst Melanie Benesh.
EWG VERIFIED™: Cosmetics
You can snag this vegan and Environmental Working Group–approved mattifying powder—which applies white but seamlessly blends in with your skin-tone—for a rare 15 percent off right now during Beautycounter’s End of Summer Sale.
This EWG-verified eye cream is formulated with a specialized blend of only four ingredients: green coffee seed oil, Sanoma flower oil, Lactobacillus ferment and water using a BioIntact cold emulsion process.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California is already losing four farms per day on average. And despite record-high subsidies for agriculture–driven in large part by efforts to make up for recent trade wars and pandemic relief–a report by the Environmental Working Group shows that over the past few decades, the biggest 20% of farm subsidy recipients claimed over 90% of federal aid and the top 1% claimed more than a quarter.
And despite record-high subsidies for agriculture–driven in large part by efforts to make up for recent trade wars and pandemic relief–a report by the Environmental Working Group shows that over the past few decades, the biggest 20% of farm subsidy recipients claimed over 90% of federal aid and the top 1% claimed more than a quarter.
The Environmental Protection Agency has set a level of 30 parts per million, below which the exposure is considered safe. A 2018 study by the Environmental Working Group found levels of glyphosate in oatmeal breakfast cereals to be between 0.5 and 1 parts per million.
“Forever chemicals” have now been detected in nearly 2,800 communities, including 2,411 drinking water systems and 328 military installations, according to the Environmental Working Group.
PFAS in cosmetics
Separately, the Environmental Working Group in June reviewed its Skin Deep database of listed ingredients in cosmetics and found 13 different PFAS compounds used in more than 300 products among more than 50 brands. Teflon or (PTFE), popular in nonstick pans, was found in 200 different products.
PFAS industrial discharges map
An analysis published by the Environmental Working Group this week found that the number of industrial sites across the United States that use PFAS, and may be releasing it into the environment, is over 41,000.
PFAS in water
Some level of PFAS, widely known as "forever chemicals" because they do not break down in the environment, have been found in water samples of 2,790 communities across 49 states, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an independent research and consumer watchdog organization pushing to limit exposure to chemicals through water, food and household products.
So-called toxic “forever chemicals” are a concern across the United States. A recent analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group found nearly 30,000 sites where man-made perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are likely used or discharged into water.
In the U.S., the Washington-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) goes further, giving a regularly updated list of fish that are both healthy — in terms of contaminant levels — and sustainable. Similar information is listed on the U.S. government’s Fishwatch.
Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
Tip: Try to use organic apples for these recipes because regular apples tend to be toward the top of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticides.
Always choose organic versions of these: strawberries, kale and leafy greens, nectarines, apples, grapes, cherries, peaches, pears, peppers, celery and tomatoes. For more information, check out the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” checklist.
The problem is I’ve become super sensitive to the fact that potatoes are on the dirty dozen list. If you are not familiar with that it is a list made up by EWG containing the top 12 foods, they consider most contaminated by pesticides and therefore most important to buy organic.
Skin Deep® cosmetics database
This formula of this body gel also meets the Environmental Working Group's strict criteria for ingredients, transparency and health.
Unlike food and medicine, there's no governing body that inspects the safety of cosmetics or personal care products (via Environmental Working Group). And the United States is comparatively lax about what chemicals are allowed to be used in makeup — only 11 chemicals have been banned, compared to over 1,300 in the European Union (via The Guardian).
In order to ensure you are choosing the least toxic formulations of both sunscreen and bug repellent, we recommend taking a look at the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep application.
EWG is the Environmental Working Group and if the name of almost any product is entered, there will be a rating for that product on a scale of “safe” to 10.
For instance, we don’t Greenwash — meaning we truly use the best organic and natural ingredients in our products and that becomes quite plain when you look at our product’s ratings on EWG (Environmental Working Group).
And the chief scientist at the Environmental Working Group tells us with products that are re-applied like hand sanitizer, consumers could be exposing themselves several times a day.
“So it seems pretty straightforward from a public health perspective. These are products that shouldn’t be on the market,” said Senior Scientist at Environmental Working Group David Andrews.
EWG Guide to Sunscreens
Jessica Tran, ND, FAAEM, MBA, the first naturopathic doctor to serve as president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) advises following the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) recommendations for sunscreen. “Look for a product with a favorable EWG rating.
While higher SPF counts may look like the best option when it comes to finding an effective sunscreen, don't be fooled by the marketing jargon on the front of the bottle. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), SPF numbers can be misleading when it comes to the amount of protection they provide.
According to the Environmental Working Group's latest report, 75 percent of the sunscreens currently on the market offer inferior protection or contain worrisome ingredients.
“There are safer products available now in more mainstream stores,” explained Nneka Leiba with the Environmental Working Group. She also pays attention to what’s in the sunscreen. Her team evaluated more than 18-hundred different products and found just 25% met the group’s standards.
Tap Water Database
In five years between 2012 and 2017, drinking water quality tests were conducted at 21 utilities across different cities of Augusta County. The reports were picked up by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), indicating that various contaminants were detected.