EWG news roundup (7/8): High levels of ‘forever chemical’ in canned clams, what you should know about toxic algae blooms and more

This week, Food and Drug Administration testing found extremely highly levels of a common type of “forever chemical” linked to cancer in canned clams. At least one company whose product was found to contain the chemical PFOA is Bumble Bee Foods, which issued a voluntary recall in response to the FDA’s findings.

“Toxic PFAS can bioaccumulate in mollusks like canned clams, as well as in other seafood people eat, such as fish,” said EWG Senior Scientist David Andrews, Ph.D. Thousands of companies discharge PFOA and the other forever chemicals known as PFAS into wastes into rivers, lakes and bays, where seafood can become contaminated, he said.

Summer is here, and so is peak harmful algae bloom season. EWG explained what folks should know about toxic algae blooms when they head to lakes and other bodies of water this summer.

EWG recently submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission blasting a plan by the state’s investor-owned utilities and regulators to impose a steep tax on residential solar, saying the plan ignores clean energy alternatives and could face legal challenges.

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


PFAS in canned clams

United Press International: Bumble Bee voluntarily recalls PFAS contaminated canned clams

Asked if this recall goes far enough in addressing the PFAS contamination, Environmental Working Group Legislative Attorney Melanie Benesh and senior scientist David Andrews told UPI in an emailed reply, "It's a good first step but several canned clam samples had very high levels of PFAS and 60 samples of fish had at least some detectable levels of PFAS."

E&E News: FDA finds high levels of cancer-linked toxics in seafood (subscription)

Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney with the Environmental Working Group, called the levels "extremely high" and expressed concern around the product linked to Bumble Bee Foods. "Consumers should avoid eating canned clams from this company," Benesh said.

Algal blooms

Insider: Toxic algae blooms are growing on lakes and beaches across the US, and health departments warn they can poison kids and kill pets

For an algae population to grow out of control, it needs warm, slow-moving water that is rich with nutrients. Climate change has created the "perfect" conditions for algae to bloom, according to the Environmental Working Group.

2022 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ 

Reader’s Digest: What Is Organic Food, and Is It Better for the Earth?

Each year, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), releases its so-called “Dirty Dozen” list, produce that contains the most pesticides based on testing from the USDA and FDA.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

NBC TODAY Online: How to choose a sunscreen that will keep you and baby safe, according to experts

Emily Spilman, a science analyst with the Environmental Working Group’s healthy living science team, alongside Sherber and Sadeghpour, called out zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the only two active ingredients recognized by the Food and Drug Administration that are classified as generally safe in sunscreen

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