Ask EWG: Rewind

12364944_14794d1055As with all blogs, there's a wealth of information hidden from view, just waiting to be rediscovered. And Enviroblog is no different. Our series, Ask EWG, gets to the heart of readers' real, day-to-day questions - questions many of us share.

Since I've learned so much in looking back through these thorough, still-relevant posts, I wanted to share them all in one place with you. Everything is just so much easier when it's all in one place, right? So read up, and if you've got other burning questions, send 'em in. We usually have answers.

  1. Should I Use Iodized Salt? Is there a reason why my table salt is iodized? I'm not even really sure what that means, but it sounds a little scary, and unnecessary. Should I switch to kosher salt or sea salt?
  2. What can I do about fluoride in my water? I recently read a report in which EWG recommended using carbon filtration to filter tap water for drinking. The report pointed out that carbon filtering is less expensive than reverse osmosis filtration, but it didn't mention that carbon filtration does not remove artificially added fluoride from the water. I know that EWG is concerned with the health effects of fluoride, especially for children and pregnant women. Was this an oversight?
  3. Why is there Teflon in clothes? Is it safe? I recently purchased school uniform shirts for my child and was horrified to find Dupont Teflon fabric protector stickers on the packaging. When I wrote to the company the agent said that there was no danger, as they did not use Scotchgard. Am I correct that Teflon is not better than Scotchgard?
  4. Arsenic on my new house's old deck? My husband and I are thinking of buying this great old house with a big back deck, but I remember reading something about how wood used on decks can be dangerous. We've got a two year old. Should I be worried?
  5. What is new carpet treated with? What can I do? I've heard nasty rumors regarding the treatment of carpet before it's sold and put into a house. I've heard that it's treated with some really bad chemicals, then rolled up and stored until sold. I'd really like to know what the carpet is treated with and what's the best thing to do.
  6. Is mineral based make-up safer? Is mineral-based make-up safer for you than make-up bought at drug stores or department stores? Most of the mineral-based make-up contains titanium dioxide and/or silica, and some contain iron of some type. Is this okay for your skin? I am wondering how such make-up is absorbed into the body, too!
  7. Is hydroponic produce organic? I bought hydroponic tomatoes at the store yesterday thinking they were organic, but when I looked again I realized that they weren't labeled "certified organic". Is hydroponic produce organic? How does it rate compared to conventional produce?
  8. What is fragrance? Is it true that the cosmetics industry can put any chemical into a product's "fragrance" without showing it on the ingredients list? What do they put in there?
  9. Which infant formula is best? I am unable to breastfeed for medical reasons. How can I choose the best possible formula for my child?
  10. Do flame retardant chemicals on furniture accumulate in breast milk? Is it true that flame-retardant chemicals in upholstered furniture accumulate in women's breast milk? If so, what kind of hazard does this pose to an infant that consumes the breast milk?
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