EWG news roundup (6/25): EWG VERIFIED™ Ingredients and EWG Reviewed for Science™ launch, the fight for affordable rooftop solar in California ramps up and more

On Thursday, EWG announced a major expansion of our EWG VERIFIED™ mark to now include ingredients. At the same time, we launched EWG Reviewed for Science™, a program in which EWG scientists collaborate directly with their counterparts at cosmetics brands and with formulators to improve scores in our groundbreaking Skin Deep® cosmetics database and evaluate products that may be qualified to carry the EWG VERIFIED mark. The program is now open to all interested personal care companies.

“For EWG, clean beauty is found at the intersection of transparency and health,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “We have relentlessly pursued those attributes with our science, consumer guides and aggressive advocacy to reform cosmetics policy, and by doing so, we have played an outsized role in defining clean beauty.”

A new EWG analysis found that in three Midwest states, communities with the highest nitrate contamination in their drinking water are more likely to be in lower income areas. One major factor is the hefty bill that comes with treating nitrate pollution.

Last week, EWG submitted testimony to the California Public Utilities Commission, calling upon the state to scrap the monopoly business model for electric utilities and provide more affordable access to rooftop solar for residents.

Cleaning up the toxic forever chemicals known as PFAS from military installations will come with a higher price tag than the Defense Department had anticipated, according to a Government Accountability Office report released this week.

“The GAO report confirms two key points: The DOD has made little progress cleaning up legacy PFAS pollution, and the cost of cleanup is going to grow,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “Congress should move quickly to set deadlines for cleanup and to provide the DOD the resources needed to get the job done.”

EWG applauded two key House committees for advancing bills that would help remediate the PFAS contamination crisis and aid those who have been effected by it.

And finally,  with July Fourth right around the corner, EWG laid out some tips for keeping kids safe while out in the sun.

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

EWG launches EWG VERIFIED™ Ingredients and EWG REVIEWED For Science™

HAPPI: EWG Expands Cosmetics Science and Certification Programs
EWG aims to dramatically extend its influence across the personal care market with a new initiative that will, for the first time, enable cosmetics ingredient manufacturers to earn the coveted EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health certification for individual ingredients and ingredient compositions. 

Women's Wear Daily: EWG Releases New Clean Beauty Certifications

The Environmental Working Group is now offering ingredient certification. The group, which ranks beauty product ingredients for safety, said Thursday that it will release a new category called EWG Verified: For Your Health Ingredients, which will allow cosmetic ingredient manufacturers to certify individual ingredients and ingredient compositions. Reprinted by Yahoo

Professional Beauty: EWG VERIFIED certification now available to cosmetic ingredient manufacturers

“Products will still have to meet the EWG VERIFIED standard to carry our mark, which applies to all of a product’s ingredients. But our VERIFIED mark will make clean ingredients easier to source and help drive innovation in key problem areas, like the need for safer options in cosmetics preservatives,” Cook added.

PFAS in cosmetics

Vogue Business: Beauty, like fashion, has a ‘forever chemicals’ problem (subscription)

“Toxic forever chemicals have no place in personal care products,” Scott Faber, senior VP for government affairs at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, said last week.

Everyday Health: Potentially Toxic Chemicals Called PFAS Are Common in Cosmetics, Study Finds

Consumers can also turn to EWG’s Healthy Living, an app released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy group, to provide consumers with safety information about cosmetics, says Leonardo Trasande, MD, director of the Center for the Investigation of Environmental Hazards at New York University in New York City.

Insider: Lawmakers introduced 2 new bills after a study found popular beauty products may contain cancer-linked 'forever chemicals'

In the comment section, one follower shared EWG's Skin Deep Guide, an online tool that allows you to search thousands of cosmetic products for the chemicals they contain. Reprinted by Yahoo;Daily Magazine

No PFAS in Cosmetics Act

Premium Beauty News: USA: Study prompts Senate bill to ban PFAS in cosmetic products

“PCPC, working with the Environmental Working Group, has supported prohibition of certain PFAS from use in cosmetics. Our member companies take their responsibility for product safety and the trust families put in those products very seriously. Science and safety are the foundation for everything we do,” emphasized Alexandra Kowcz.

Personal Care Products Safety Act

Sierra Sun Times (Mariposa, Cali.): U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins Introduce Bill to Modernize Safety Standards for Personal Care Products - Federal Consumer Safety Law Has Not Been Updated in 83 Years

“No one has fought harder to protect us from chemicals in cosmetics than Senator Feinstein and Senator Collins,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs. “Once again, they are forcing Congress to face the fact that the chemicals we spray on weeds and insects are more carefully regulated than the chemicals we rub on our bodies every day. After 83 years, it’s time for Congress to act.”

FDA petition to ban formaldehyde from hair-straightening treatments

Vox: Salon workers are holding on to their masks, and not just because of Covid-19

Such risks are exacerbated by the lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. The FDA has been aware of the dangers of formaldehyde in cosmetic chemicals since 2016 but has yet to ban the chemical, according to documents obtained by the Environmental Working Group via FOIA and reporting from the New York Times. Reprinted by MSN; PressFrom; World News

GAO report finds cost to cleanup PFAS at DOD sites likely to increase

UPI: GAO: Cost of toxic chemical cleanup at military bases to rise above estimates

"The GAO report confirms two key points: that the DoD has made little progress cleaning up legacy PFAS pollution and that the cost of cleanup is going to grow," commented Scott Faber of the non-government organization Environmental Working Group. Reprinted by Terra Daily

E&E News: GAO: Military PFAS cleanup costs to 'increase significantly' (subscription)

Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement that the audit underscores much of what environmental groups have long argued. "The GAO report confirms two key points: that the DOD has made little progress cleaning up legacy PFAS pollution and that the cost of cleanup is going to grow," Faber said. "Congress should move quickly to set deadlines for cleanup and to provide the DOD the resources needed to get the job done."

InsideEPA: GAO Expects DOD’s PFAS Cleanup Costs To ‘Increase Significantly’ (subscription)

The report “confirms two key points: that the DOD has made little progress cleaning up legacy PFAS pollution and that the cost of cleanup is going to grow,” says Environmental Working Group Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Scott Faber in a press release on the report. “Congress should move quickly to set deadlines for cleanup and to provide the DOD the resources needed to get the job done.”

PFAS Action Act of 2021

NC Policy Watch: U.S. House panel approves legislation to clean up toxic ‘forever chemicals’

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit organization that specializes in research and advocacy work around agriculture, pollutants, and corporate accountability, has found PFAS at 703 military sites around the U.S. and estimates that more than 200 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS. Reprinted by Iowa Capital Dispatch; Pennsylvania Capital Star;Florida Phoenix; Wolverine State Watch (Mich.)

Asbestos

Simmons Hanley Conroy: EPA Agrees to Require Reporting on Asbestos Use and Exposure Under TSCA

In the landmark settlement, the ADAO was joined by the American Public Health Association (APHA), Center for Environmental Health (CEH), Environmental Health Strategies Center (EHSC), Environmental Working Group (EWG), and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (SCHF). Reprinted by PublicNow

Black farmers

The Counter: What will happen to USDA’s loan forgiveness for BIPOC farmers?

This despite the fact that almost 99 percent of earlier pandemic debt relief for farmers, amounting to some $40 billion in benefits, was distributed by USDA to white farmers, according to Environmental Working Group. Plaintiffs alleged that the U.S. Constitution forbids discrimination by the federal government “against any citizen because of his race,” according to their complaint.

The Final Call: ‘Jim Crow and a form of slavery’ A win for Black farmers is under assault as White farmers demand more resources

Under the Trump administration nearly all of the $9.2 billion bailout provided to farmers in 2020 went to White farmers, according to the Environmental Working Group. White farmers received $6.7 billion (99 percent) in Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments, while Black farmers received $15 million (.1 percent) and Latino farmers $100 million, according to calculations by the EWG based on Dept. of Agriculture data.

Cleaning products

Treehugger: What Is Household Hazardous Waste? Definition, Examples, and How to Dispose of It

You can also always check EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning, which measures ingredients against scientific studies and toxicity databases. Some products may even be replaced by multi-use items, such as swapping Drano for a plumber’s snake or using a combination of water and lemon juice to clean your house.

Kitchn: I Tried Dozens of Bottles of Dish Soap — This Is the One I’ll Buy on Repeat from Now On

However, when I took a closer look, many had C- or D-ratings from the EWG. Dapple and ECOS both get good EWG ratings, and they powered through most of the substances on the plate, with the exception of the dried oatmeal and egg yolk. They had a great amount of suds leftover, too.

 Treehugger: Why I'll Never Use Fabric Softener or Dryer Sheets Again

If you were to find yourself poking around Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning and you filtered down to fabric softeners, you know what you'd find? Of the 212 fabric softeners and dryer sheets that the environmental advocacy group has analyzed for "hazards to health or the environment," 72.1% are ranked as high to highest concern—with just 11.8% ranked as low or lowest concern.

Skin Deep® cosmetics database

Daily Beast: ‘Fast Beauty’ Might Be Cheap. It’s Also Costing the Earth.

Organizations like the Environmental Working Group are in the business of trying to educate consumers on the quality of their cosmetics. You can search a brand on their website, and they will break it down for you and give it a rating. The smaller the rating number, the cleaner and more eco-friendly it is, the higher the rating, the more dangerous it is.

Shape: The Best Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serums That Will Brighten, Firm, and Protect Skin

Plus, it scores a rating of 1 by the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep, meaning it's safe for your skin and health. (Related: How to Deal with Hyperpigmentation In Your Skin) Reprinted by MSN; PressFrom

EWG VERIFIED™: Cosmetics

Shape: This Beauty Exec Created a Skin-Care Brand That Does Good for People and the Planet

The formula is vegan, Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free, and EWG VERIFIED, meaning it doesn't contain any ingredients deemed by the Environmental Working Group as having health, eco-toxicity, or contamination concerns and provides full ingredient transparency.

Treehugger: Best of Green Awards 2021: Green Beauty and Personal Care

And Matrescence Rose Glow Purifying Cleanser goes so far as to boast an EWG Verified badge, meaning it passes the strictest requirements and can be trusted “at the preconception stage as well as during pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond,” says the company.

PFAS

Associated Press: Foam containing 'forever chemicals' used against plant fire

But it remains legal to use PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam except in a few states, said Melanie Benesh, a staff attorney for the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. Congress has ordered a halt to use of PFAS in military fighting foams by 2025. Reprinted by ABC News;Chicago Tribune; San Francisco Chronicle (Cali.); US News & World Report; Yahoo Finance; 75+ additional outlets.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

The Spruce: 7 Fun Container Garden Projects Kids Will Love

Be aware that it's best to start with organic celery. According to the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen 2019 list of foods with the most pesticide residue, celery ranks in the top 12. Conventionally grown celery works just as well, but it may not be as clean.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

Med Shadow: How to Choose a Safe Sunscreen

The FDA had intended to issue decisions about these ingredients’ safety in 2019, but, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG,) the FDA’s proposal was withdrawn from the first coronavirus relief bill. However, the agency plans to propose new regulations this fall.

Tom’s Guide: Amazon Prime Day: the best deals for runners

Alba Botanica's sunblocks are my favorite because they don't leave a sticky white film on your skin, they're PETA-approved/cruelty, and they get high ratings from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Amazon is taking up to 50% off all Alba products.

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