EWG News Roundup (10/9): Nitrate Contaminates Water in California’s Majority-Latino Communities, Members of Congress Rake in Farm Subsidies and More

This week EWG released an analysis showing that in California’s majority-Latino communities, 5.25 million people drink tap water contaminated with nitrate at levels at or above the federal limit.

“The more nitrate that contaminates a California tap water system, the more likely it is the system is located in a majority-Latino census block group, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Anne Schechinger, EWG senior economic analyst and author of the report. “Because the vast majority of the Valley’s essential farmworkers are also Latino, this means that in the nation’s food basket, many people are drinking water contaminated by the very farms that employ them.”

EWG also investigated and found that 33 members of Congress and their immediate family members collected a total of nearly $16 million in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2020.

Former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. William Foege called on current director Dr. Robert Redfield to resign over the government’s failed response to the coronavirus pandemic. This comes on the heels of EWG President Ken Cook’s Sept. 21 letter urging Dr. Redfield to step down.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a nationwide hunger crisis, with more than 22 million American households now qualifying for federal food assistance. EWG broke down the many ways in which President Trump’s disastrous response to the crisis rivals President Hoover’s incompetence leading up to the Great Depression.

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

Children’s Health

Mother Earth Living: Natural Sunscreen: Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk

The Environmental Working Group gives Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk an overall score of 3/10 on the safety factor, meaning it’s low-risk with only moderate health concerns.

Amy Coney Barrett Nomination

Common Dreams: 150 Civil Rights and Public Interest Groups Urge Senate to Oppose Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court Nomination

This statement is signed by the following groups… Disability Rights Advocates, End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund, Environmental Working Group.

Nitrate in California Tap Water

Fern’s Ag Insider: Nitrate-tainted drinking water plagues California’s farmworker towns, study shows

The EWG report reviewed nitrate tests over a longer time frame than the state’s analysis because nitrate levels can vary from year to year and reveal trends, said Anne Weir Schechinger, EWG senior economic analyst and author of the report. 

Common Dreams: EWG Investigation: In California’s Majority-Latino Communities, 5.25 Million Drink Tap Water With Nitrate Above Federal Limit

In California’s majority-Latino communities, 5.25 million people drink tap water contaminated with nitrate at levels at or above the federal limit, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis of state and federal data.

California Bill AB2762, Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

InStyle: California Is Banning 24 Ingredients From Beauty Products- But What Does This Really Mean?

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act is largely supported and initiated by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization that "specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability." 

The Optimist Daily: California moves to ban toxic chemicals from cosmetics

As reported by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act targets 24 toxic chemicals including mercury and formaldehyde that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption, and other negative health impacts. 

The Daily Californian (Berkeley, Calif.): CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signs bill banning 24 chemicals from cosmetics

CalPIRG was one of AB 2762’s four sponsors, along with the Environmental Working Group, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Black Women for Wellness, according to Rusch.

Patch (Manhattan Beach, Calif.): Gov Newsom Signs Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, Banning The Manufacture Or Sale Of Cosmetic Products Containing 24 Specified Toxic Chemicals                                         

"This unprecedented bill is such a breakthrough!" said Susan Little, Environmental Working Group's (EWG) senior advocate for California government affairs.

The List: Here’s what California’s new cosmetics bill could mean for your makeup

Janet Nudelman, bill co-sponsor, confirmed that the majority of the banned-chemicals are also linked to breast cancer, pointing to the dangers of formaldehyde in bubble baths and mercury in skin lightening creams (via EWG).

Cosmetics – Skin Deep

InStyle: What Goes Into a Clean Mascara- and What’s Left Out?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a list featuring a plethora of potentially toxic ingredients found in personal care products that may be linked to cancer and other serious health concerns.

Romper: Breast Cancer Awareness Products That Donate 100%

This clean and sustainably packaged deodorant is rated as low rink in the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, and contains no aluminum which research suggests may be a risk factor in developing breast cancer.

The Beacon (Md., Va.): Hand sanitizers to use, others to avoid

Today, I’ll list some of the safest commercial hand sanitizers on the market. Some of them are sprays, and others are wipes. I’ve based my list below on the organization called EWG Skin Deep.


Fast Company: Michelle Pfeiffer trades the glamour of the red carpet for startup life

The line has passed the rigorous verification standards of the Environmental Working Group, which researches toxic chemicals.

Before It’s News: Smart Skin Care: How to find beauty products without toxic chemicals

The Environmental Working Group recently launched a new label (EWG Verified) that certifies cosmetic products that meet stringent ingredient and transparency requirements.

Absolute Seychelles Magazine: Purple4Ocean Ocean & Reef Safe SunCare Comes to the US and Europe

It is the only FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved broad-spectrum sun protection ingredient, and unlike any other active ingredient, its concentration in a product has no limitation. It is also the EWG (Environmental Working Group) nº1 ingredient for sun protection.

Farm Subsidies

Washington Post: ‘It’s Too Little, Too Late.’ Trump’s push to give federal aid to crucial 2020 voting blocs undermined by uneven execution

About 25 dairy farms in Wisconsin have filed for bankruptcy this year alone, despite almost all receiving money from Trump’s bailout, according to a review of court records conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a watchdog group. 

Meat Eater’s Guide

USSA News: Farmed Salmon is Getting Worse

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested farmed salmon from U.S. grocery stores and found farmed salmon had, on average:16 times more polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) than wild salmon, four times more PCBs than beef, [and] 3.4 times more PCBs than other seafood.

PFAS in Drinking Water

Inside EPA: Pressure Builds To Uphold House PFAS Measures in Final Defense Bill

Similarly, environmental groups, including Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and the Environmental Working Group, sent a letter to the same committee leaders Sept. 17, urging adoption of the existing House measures into the final bill.

The Conversation: PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are widespread and threaten human health- here’s a strategy for protecting the public

According to a recent estimate by the Environmental Working Group, a public health advocacy organization, up to 110 million Americans could be drinking PFAS-contaminated water

Nashoba Valley Voice (Mass.): 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. 

Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine: B.C. company’s technology removes PFAS and EDCs from leachate and industrial effluents

New research by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), shows they are prevalent in municipal tap water too.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Leader News (Houston, Texas): Nutrition can help balance sex hormones

Choose organic versions of the Dirty Dozen from EWG.org

Tap Water Database

Today: 20 years after 'Erin Brockovich,' the real Erin Brockovich is still fighting

Brockovich is referring to just how much our tap water is infiltrated by chromium-6, the cancer-causing heavy metal featured in the film. Nearly 200 million Americans across all 50 states are exposed to unsafe levels of chromium-6, according to a 2016 report released by the nonprofit research and advocacy organization Environmental Working Group.

Green Child Magazine: Why is a Home Water Filtration System Important?

According to the Environmental Working Group’s report on tap water, your water could be contaminated with heavy metals, Chromium-6, cleaning agents like chlorine, or some 300 other chemicals and pollutants.

Experience Life: How Good Is Your Tap Water?

If you ever wonder about the quality of what’s coming out of your faucet, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has answers. The organization offers a free online nationwide Tap Water Database with records of 50,000 municipal utility companies: Simply enter your ZIP code and the site reveals pollutants found in your water — and the concerns they raise.

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