EWG News Roundup (10/2): California Cosmetics Bill Signed Into Law, Algae Beach Closures and More

On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics ActAssembly Bill 2762, into law. This is the nation’s first state-level ban of 24 toxic ingredients, including mercury and formaldehyde, from the beauty and personal care products Californians use every day. EWG President Ken Cook announced the signing of this landmark law during EWG’s CleanCon™ – EWG’s virtual conference that featured some of the biggest names in the clean beauty movement.

“Californians now have greater assurance of the safety of the consumer products they use every day, like lotion and body wash, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, and makeup,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “This marks a momentous milestone in the history of cosmetics and personal care products regulation. And for the first time, groups like EWG, along with a diverse group of stakeholders and the industry’s trade association, the Personal Care Products Council, support legislation to modernize the rules governing these products.”

In other Californian news, Gov. Newsom this week also signed EWG-cosponsored bills into law that will require millions of children to be tested for lead exposure and ban the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS from firefighting foams.

A new EWG analysis shows that toxic algae and bacteria caused the closure of at least 116 U.S. beaches this spring and summer, and triggered health warnings at 162 more.

“We found a troubling mishmash of public safety measures for toxic algae and bacterial contamination of beaches across the country,” said Anne Schechinger, EWG senior analyst of economics and a coauthor of the report. “Dozens of different government agencies and other organizations issued warnings with inconsistent wording, unclear direction and insufficient explanations of human health threats.”

Seven months into the Covid-19 pandemic, EWG updated an analysis of state-by-state protections in place for farmworkers. Currently, only 11 states have issued wide-ranging mandatory protections for farmworkers.

EWG applauded the introduction of the HEROES 2.0 Act, which would further protect food and farm workers and feed hungry Americans. We also condemned the construction industry’s blockage of a bill that would have banned the future use and importation of asbestos.

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

Children’s Health

Romper: Grove Collaborative's Face Masks & Hand Sanitizer For Kids Are Safe & Efficient

And even better, Grove Collaborative is sticking to their promise of providing high-quality, healthy products, because the company worked with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to ensure that all products in the line are EWG verified. That means these items are free of any chemicals that EWG lists as concerning. 

Acres: Book of the Week: Poisoning Our Children

In 2009, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found up to 232 chemicals in the placental cord blood of newborns in the United States. 

Green and Clean Mom: Best Baby Detergent for Sensitive Skin

If you are worried about what chemicals might be in your laundry detergent and potentially harming your baby, then this one is for you. Getting an “A” rating on the EWG website (a website that checks all the nasty chemicals in washing products) this detergent is one of the best you can get for sensitive skin.

California Bill: AB2762 Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

Allure: What California’s New Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act means For Your Beauty Products

"A lot of these regulations are initiated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in that they have some studies on risk of cancer, allergy, or reproductive toxicity." 

Chemical Watch: California becomes first US state to ban cosmetics with harmful substances(subscription)

Susan Little, senior advocate for California government affairs with EWG, said the law "received resounding bipartisan support largely because the federal government has failed for so long to pass meaningful cosmetics reform". 

WWD: California First US State to Ban Harmful Cosmetics Ingredients, Already Forbidden in EU

“For more than 80 years, Congress has neglected to increase the scope of the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over cosmetics, limiting the agency’s ability to ensure the safety of cosmetic products,” noted a statement from the Environmental Working Group, which cosponsored the legislation alongside Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the California Public Interest Research Group.

Global Cosmetic Industry: California’s ‘Toxic-Free Cosmetics’ Act Signed Into Law

Assembly Bill 2762, the 'Toxic-free Cosmetics' Act, has been signed into law by State of California Governor Gavin Newsom, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which joined efforts with the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) in support of the bill.

Beauty Packaging: Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act Signed into Law in California

According to the Environmental Working Group, these ingredients are already prohibited from cosmetics and other personal care products sold in the European Union and some other countries, but are still used in personal care products sold throughout the U.S.

MindBodyGreen: Breaking: The First US State Just Banned Harmful Chemicals in Beauty Prodcuts

But that's not all: "It will also allow the attorney general of California to require the halt of sale of products, as well as require products to be removed from the shelves," Susan Little, senior advocate for California government affairs at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), has previously told mbg about the co-sponsored bill. "That's why the bill is so helpful." 

Eco Watch: California Becomes First State to Ban 24 Toxic Chemicals From Cosmetics

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, or Assembly Bill 2762, targets 24 toxic chemicals including mercury and formaldehyde that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption and other negative health impacts, Environmental Working Group (EWG) reported

EWG's CleanCon™

People: Kourtney Kardashian Feels Most Beautiful ‘After a Bath’ When She’s Barefaced: ‘Just Natural Me’

"I really want the clean beauty laws changed so that we as consumers, don’t have to worry about how toxic our personal care products are. It affects everyone, not just makeup-wearing people," Kardashian, who spoke at Environmental Working Group's CleanCon virtual event on Wednesday, says.

People: Miranda Kerr Wakes Up at 5:30AM During Quarantine to Have Time Alone to Do Her Morning Ritual

I dim the lights and turn on relaxing music like Snatam Kaur and take a few deep belly breaths," says the star, who joined the Environmental Working Group's CleanCon event on Wednesday.

Citizen Petition: FDA Needs to Consider Cumulative Effects of Food Chemicals

MEAWW: FDA rules fall short to curb use of 10,000 food chemicals that cause ailments: Petition demands strict action

The petitioners include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners … Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Health Strategy Center, Environmental Working Group, and Healthy Babies Bright Futures.


Top Class Actions: EPA’s Asbestos Regulations Fail to Protect Americans, Say Advocate Agencies

In a lawsuit filed Sept. 22, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) insists the EPA is obligated by the Toxic Substances Control Act to collect any and all information regarding asbestos in order to evaluate its risks. Other plaintiffs in the case include the American Public Health Association, Center for Environmental Health, Environmental Health Strategy Center and Environmental Working Group.


Natural Awakenings: Paperless Shopping: BPA Exposure from Store Receipts

According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 30 years of studies have linked BPA exposure to brain, behavioral, learning and memory impairment; cardiovascular abnormalities; diabetes; obesity; breast and prostate cancer; thyroid and sex hormone disruption; early puberty; changes to egg and sperm development and fertility; and genetic alterations that can be passed on to future generations. 

Cleaning Products

Better Nutrition: Protect the Health of Your Breasts

To make sure you’re maintaining a healthy home, check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Guide to Healthy Cleaning. 

KPC News (Northeast IN): Basic household products are versatile cleaners

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group's Guide to Healthy Cleaning breaks down a range of household and professional cleaners with a focus on their ingredients and their effects on humans, scoring the cleaners with a letter grade.

WBOC (Delaware/ Maryland): Going Green: Tips You Can Use

The Environmental Working Group's guide to healthy cleaning scores thousands of products online so you can pick the best one for you. 

MindBodyGreen: All You Need to Deep Clean Your Shower Are These Products And Some Elbow Grease

"Some bathroom cleaners may be more acidic (low pH) or basic (high pH) with higher concentrations of acids or alkalis compared to some all-purpose cleaners," explains Samara Geller, a senior research and database analyst for the Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

The Cut: How This TikTok Star Gets Her Skin So Good

“During my research, I found that many ingredients that are commonly used in ‘non-clean’ skin-care products were classified on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database as possible irritants,” she explains. 

Reader’s Digest: 13 Beauty Trends That Are Downright Dangerous

"They both are powerful, skin-soothing antioxidants that even out skin tone and fade dark spots, and have the safest rating on the environmental working group's skin deep ingredient database.". 

General Health: The 8 Best Toothpastes to Buy in 2020

One that is missing? Titanium dioxide, an inorganic chemical compound added to many kinds of toothpaste to give them a white hue, which the Environmental Working Group (EWG) notes may be carcinogenic.


Real Simple: 12 Non-Toxic Halloween Makeup Alternatives Your Skin Will Love

This EWG-verified blush in matte bright pink is the perfect addition to any bold Halloween look.

Duke Energy

Seeking Alpha: Duke Energy: Come for the 4.7% Yield, Stay for the Valuation

EWG, a watchdog of sorts for environmental issues, issued a scathing report against Duke a few weeks ago detailing failed investments the company has made.

Farm Subsidies

Farm Progress: 7 ag stories you might have missed this week

The bulk of Market Facilitation Program payments went to the top 10% of farms, according to the Environmental Working Group. A study of $5 billion in payments through June 30 under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program shows the top 1% of farms receiving 22% of the money, for an average payment of $352,432. The smallest 80% of farms got 23% of the aid, with the average payment $4,677, according to the advocacy group.

Food Quality & Safety: Farmworkers Lack Federal Protections During COVID-19

“Right now there aren’t any federal requirements in place, so across the country we’re looking at a complete patchwork of different laws and regulations, whether it is mandatory or voluntary guidance,” says Jared Hayes, a policy analyst at the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C., consultancy.

Farming Practices

Agri Pulse: Biden’s CSP expansion could face Hill resistance, staffing questions

Craig Cox, senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources for the Environmental Working Group, says he would like to see a heavy emphasis within CSP on promoting soil health and regenerative farming practices.

Food Scores

Market Watch: Ireland’s Supreme Court rules Subway sandwiches have too much sugar to meet legal definition of bread

The chemical is also used in yoga mats and 500 other items, including more than 130 brands of bread, stuffing, pre-made sandwiches and snacks, according to an analysis at the time by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit group focused on corporate accountability.

Nitrate Water Pollution

ArcaMax: Commentary: One California water district is trying to make sure agriculture cleans up its own mess

One of the most pervasive forms of groundwater pollution is nitrate, a key component of farm fertilizer and manure. In 2017, water systems serving 10.9 million Californians were contaminated with nitrate at or above legal limits, according to a study published in June by the Environmental Working Group.

PFAS in Drinking Water

The Intercept: Did the White House Stop the EPA From Regulating PFAS?

“This administration hasn’t taken a single action to reduce the ongoing emissions of PFAS, to clean up legacy PFAS pollution or any take any meaningful action to require water utilities to take PFAS out of the drinking water,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group. 

The Sun (Lowell, MA): New standards for PFAS in drinking water established

The Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, claimed in 2019 that the compound traces came from firefighting foam that was used at the former Army base. Reprinted by Sentinel & Enterprise.

Natural News: A dose of toxic synthetic chemicals: Researcheres detect “forever chemicals” in California’s drinking water

Drinking water sources serving 7.5 million Californians are contaminated with toxic synthetic chemicals, according to a study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization specializing in environmental research.

Traderszone Network: Daily Digest 9/26- Bezos Breaks His Climate Pledge, How the Pandemic Will Finally End

Indeed, PFAS have been detected in the drinking water of more than 1,400 communities in 49 states, according to research by the PFAS Project at Northeastern University in Boston and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an advocacy organization that estimates that 110 million people may have tap water contaminated with the chemicals.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Columbus Dispatch: True Food Kitchen brings healthy menu to Easton

Although “organic” is not the byword at True Food Kitchen; its menu is influenced by sustainability and the Environmental Working Group – a nonprofit group that publishes reports on more naturally grown food, and those that are cultivated with the use of pesticides – among other initiatives, Barone said.

Image: Five ways to improve nutrition in order to help reduce and relieve stress

Ideally we choose organic, but there are cost implications to this so check out the clean 15 and dirty dozen from EWG which will help prioritize which ones to buy as organic.

Experience Life: How to Make Apple Chips

Choose organic and local apples whenever possible, as conventionally raised versions of the fiber-rich fruit rank high on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.

Tap Water Database

Natural News: Legal doesn’t mean safe: Contaminants in tap water may be linked to more than 100,000 cases of cancer in America

The concentration of these pollutants in water systems is in the range considered legal, according to researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington. 

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