EWG news roundup (9/24): Key PFAS provisions included in Department of Defense spending bill, coalition calls for Toyota to drop opposition to Biden EV plan and more

EWG applauded the inclusion of an amendment to the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022 that includes critical reforms for addressing the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

“Thanks to bipartisan efforts, Congress remains as determined as ever to address the ballooning PFAS contamination crisis and close loopholes that allow industrial polluters and the military to evade safeguards intended to protect the public from toxic PFAS,” said Scott Faber, EWG senior vice president for government affairs.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, House and Senate leadership included $28 billion in the budget reconciliation bill to tackle a growing backlog of farmers seeking U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Assistance for efforts to address the climate emergency.

EWG joined a coalition of more than a dozen environmental, public interest and auto industry groups to urge Toyota to stop its opposition to the Biden administration’s goals of slashing tailpipe emissions and tackling the climate crisis by ramping up investments and tax credits for electric vehicles.

“Toyota has been aggressively fighting virtually any effort to reduce tailpipe pollution, which is the leading emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,” said EWG President and Co-founder Ken Cook. “If the company doesn’t drop its opposition to these important investments in clean car technologies, consumers should stop buying their cars.”

A new EWG analysis found that those with lower melanin are 30 percent more likely to get melanoma, though the prognosis for melanoma is much worse for those with more melanin. But all races and ethnicities face potential skin cancer risks, regardless of melanin.

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

Children’s health

The List: Mineral Vs. Chemical Sunscreen: Which Is Safer When Breastfeeding?

Meanwhile, according to the Environmental Working Group, all of the following chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the body after just a single use: oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone.

Parents: The Best Sunscreen for Babies in 2021

Not to mention it's biodegradable, reef-friendly, and certified cruelty-free. No wonder it received such high ratings from the Environmental Working Group!

Toyota’s fight against electric vehicles

Electrek: Toyota is facing boycotts over its fight to slow electric vehicle progress

In a September 21 letter to Toyota, several groups have joined forces to ask for a meeting with Tetsuo “Ted” Ogawa, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America to discuss Toyota’s lobbying effort against electric vehicles.

Here are the groups who signed the letter: Center for Biological Diversity…Environmental Working Group…

Walmart’s ‘Built For Better’ launch: EWG VERIFIED™

Walmart: Walmart Launches ‘Built for Better’ To Help Customers Shop With Purpose

From foods like meats and fresh produce to everyday essentials like detergents and cosmetics, Built for Better – For You recognizes several standards focused on personal well-being,  including: Great for You, EWG Verified, Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, made without parabens and more.

CBS News: Walmart to tag 2,000 products deemed healthier for planet and people

In tagging products as planet-friendly, the company said it is relying on standards including Energy Star Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified, while products labeled as healthier for people include listing EWG Verified and those made without parabens, chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetics and other products.

(Scripps National) The Denver Channel: Walmart to label products that are deemed better for the environment, people

The "For You" products will "meet independent and authoritative standards," Walmart says. They include products that are EWG Verified and made without parabens.

Black farmers

USA Today: Black farmers accuse the USDA of racism. The USDA appears to agree and vows to address 'historical discrimination.'

The Land Loss and Reparations Project, a research team, and Farm Bill Law Enterprise, an academic initiative of several leading law schools, found last year that almost 97% of payments meant to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and 99% of payments meant to offset the impact of the U.S.-China trade war went to white farmers, according to summaries compiled by the Environmental Working Group, a research nonprofit. Both those programs were established under the CCC’s statutory authority.

CAFOs

The Washington Spectator (D.C.): Study Confirms Waste From Industrial Hog Farms Creates Life-Threatening Hazards for Nearby Residents

After anaerobic digestion—in which bacteria breaks down the waste matter—the wastes are sprayed over agricultural fields. Based on geospatial data, the Environmental Working Group reports that more than 250,000 homes in North Carolina are within three miles of a CAFO.

Conservation Reserve Program

Reason: Environmentalists Pan Unintended Environmental Consequences of Flawed Agricultural Laws

A 2017 analysis of CRP by the Environmental Working Group found that the program was “failing to provide lasting protection for environmentally sensitive land” and “wasting of billions of taxpayer dollars.”

Skin Deep® cosmetics database

Earth 911: Maven Moment: Makeup – Toxic Ingredients & Packaging Waste

My solution to the problem of being exposed to toxins is to check out the EWG Skin Deep Database, which rates products on ingredient hazards like cancer, reproductive toxicity, and allergies.

Treehugger: The 6 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Removers of 2021

You may think you need to spend a lot of extra money to get a better nail polish remover. But in this case, the nail polish removers that have the best ratings from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) all contain the same two ingredients: acetone and a bittering agent called denatonium benzoate.

Spectrum News 13 (Orlando, Fla.): Primer, powder and PFAS: 'Forever chemicals' are in half of America's makeup products

Bodemer recommended a database from the Environmental Working Group. It lists cosmetics and their ingredients, and health risks. However, the beauty industry is gargantuan, there are lots of products not in that database yet.

EWG VERIFIED™: Cleaners

Capital Region Living (Albany, N.Y.): 2021 Fall Product Guide

Get the job done quickly, and never leave any harmful chemicals behind. The eco-friendly brand has the noteworthy distinction of being the first cleaning products to be EWG-verified.

EWG VERIFIED™: Cosmetics

Cosmetic Executive Women: How Michelle Pfeiffer Reimagined Clean Fragrance

After a journey that spanned more than a decade, in 2019 she launched Henry Rose based on the strictest health, safety and environmental standards set forth by two industry leading non-profit organizations: the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Products Innovation Institute.

EWG VERIFIED™: Diapers

Family Vacation Critic: 8 Eco-Friendly Diapers that You and Your Baby Will Love

The first diaper brand to be verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Healthynest makes safe, high-performing, sustainable diapers.

PFAS

Lawyers and Settlements: PFAS Breast Cancer Lawsuit and PFAS Links to Breast Cancer

Exposure to PFAS is linked to cancer and PFAS exposure is also associated with health outcomes thought to increase the risk of breast cancer, reported the Environmental Working Group.

PFAS in water

Popular Science: The Brilliant 10: The most innovative up-and-coming minds in science

According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, as of January 2021 there are more than 2,000 sites across the US with documented PFAS contamination. Seven states already enforce limits on the chemicals in their drinking water—with more to follow.

Mind Body Green: Erin Brockovich Isn't Done Fighting The Water Crisis — And Neither Are We

To back up Brockovich's claim: The Environmental Working Group reported PFOAs in 94 public water systems in 27 states, which provide drinking water for more than 6.5 million people.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

AltHealth Works: A Cup of Blueberries a Day Protects Against Two of the Most Degenerative Diseases Known to Man

It’s also important to buy blueberries organic whenever possible, as they have previously landed on the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of foods with the most pesticide residues (although they did not make the 2015 list) Freezing blueberries is also an excellent way to keep plenty of them on hand, but be careful when buying them out of season as there is a stronger possibility of them having mold.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

Big Green Smile: Why natural sunscreen is better for you and the planet

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends avoiding ingredients such as oxybenzone, which is a known-allergen and may affect hormone levels. Octinoxate is also an endocrine disruptor (it mimics oestrogen) and is believed to have other potentially unpleasant side-effects.

Tap Water Database

Go Banking Rates: 39 Supermarket Buys That Are a Waste of Money

Unless you live in an area where tap water is not safe (you can look these details up on EWG's Tap Water Database), buying bottled water is nothing but a waste of money and plastic.

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