EWG News Roundup (11/2): Weed Killer Packs Bigger Punch Than Vitamins in Kids' Cereal, Groundbreaking Cellphone Radiation Study and More

This week EWG analyzed recent testing results of the harmful weed killer glyphosate in oat-based foods and calculated that the possible carcinogen was found at higher concentrations in two brands of kids’ cereal than certain added vitamins. For example, tests of a sample of General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios had higher amounts of glyphosate residue than of added vitamins D or B12.

On Thursday, the National Toxicology Program released a groundbreaking study, which found “clear evidence” that radiation from cellphones had ties to cancer. This reaffirms EWG’s recommendation that everyone, especially children, should exercise caution around their mobile devices.

“This report should raise alarms for policymakers and awareness for all Americans,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor for children’s environmental health at EWG. “These studies should have been done before more than 90 percent of Americans, including millions of children, started using this technology day in and day out.”

EWG applauded the Food and Drug Administration for finally enacting a long overdue ban on the ingredient lead acetate in hair dyes. A common ingredient in dyes that darken gray hair, lead acetate has links to increased lead exposure.

As the farm bill debate ramps back up, we reviewed recently added data to our Farm Subsidy Database and found that more than 20,000 residents of America’s 50 largest cities collected farm subsidies in 2017.

And finally, California Baby®, a leading skin care brand, received the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Certified Biobased Product label for a new plant-based preservative it will use in its products. EWG celebrated this achievement, hoping that it continues the trend of industry taking steps to protect consumers.

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

Cell Phone Radiation and Cancer

CNN: Federal health agencies disagree over link between cell phone radiation and cancer

The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, said in a statement Thursday that “the findings reinforce the need for people, especially children, to exercise caution when using cellphones and other radiation-emitting devices.”


FDA Bans Lead Acetate

NBC News: Get the lead out of hair dyes, FDA orders

“The continued use of lead acetate as a hair colorant used in the home will inevitably result in dangerous lead exposure to the user and others in the household, including children and pregnant women who are most vulnerable to permanent harm,” the groups, which included the Public Interest Research Group, the Environmental Working Group and others, said in their petition.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution: FDA bans use of lead in certain hair dyes

“Lead is a potent neurotoxin with no safe level of exposure and it is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” said Melanie Benesh, Environmental Working Group’s legislative attorney.


Medscape: FDA Bans Lead Acetate From Consumer Hair Dyes (subscription)

We now know that the approved use of lead acetate in adult hair dyes no longer meets our safety standard." The Environmental Working Group, one of a dozen groups that petitioned the FDA for the ban, said the decision is long overdue.


Newsmax: FDA Bans Toxic Chemical From Hair Dyes

“A ban on lead acetate in off-the-shelf hair dyes is long overdue,” said Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney at EWG, one of a dozen public interest groups and individuals who petitioned the FDA for the ban. “There is no safe level of lead exposure, which has been linked to developmental issues, reduced fertility, organ system toxicity, cancer and other serious health problems. We welcome the FDA’s effort to protect public health from this source of exposure to one of the most hazardous chemicals known.”


WebMD: FDA Bans Lead Acetate from Consumer Hair Dyes

The Environmental Working Group, one of a dozen groups that petitioned the FDA for the ban, said the decision is long overdue. “There is no safe level of lead exposure,” Melanie Benesh, a legislative attorney at EWG, says in a statement.


Glyphosate and Vitamins in Cereals

Common Dreams: Tests Reveal More Weed Killer Than Some Vitamins in Kids’ Cereals

Tests found more of the weed killer glyphosate than of some vitamins in samples of oat-based breakfast cereals marketed to children, an Environmental Working Group analysis shows. Reprint of EWG news release


Second Round of Glyphosate Testing

Scary Mommy: Dozens More Breakfast Foods Test Positive For Weed Killer Ingredient

Over the summer, nonprofit advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) published test results that showedunsafe levels of a weed killer ingredient in a number of popular breakfast cereals, oats, and snack bars. They performed another round of tests for the ingredient in a new list of breakfast items — and all but two tested positive for levels of glyphosate that were “higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health.”


Society of Environmental Journalists: More Tests Finds Weedkiller Widespread in Popular Cereals, Snack Bars

Glyphosate— the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller—was found in all 28 samples of different cereals, oatmeal and snack bars tested by a lab for Environmental Working Group, according to a report released today.


The Weather Channel: Weed Killer Found in Trace Amounts in Cereals and Oat Products, Environmental Group Says

The Environmental Working Group says in a news release that tests detected glyphosate in all 28 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. All but two of the 28 samples had levels of glyphosate higher than what the group's scientists consider safe, 160 parts per billion (ppb).


Care2: RoundUp Insecticide Found in Breakfast Cereals

In a new study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), all samples of oat-based cereals tested were found to contain glyphosate, the key ingredient found in Monsanto’s (now owned by Bayer AG) RoundUp and other weed killers. 


Dr. Axe: Does Eating Organic Foods Reduce Cancer? Researchers in France Say “Yes”

This new French study comes on the heels of Environmental Working Group’s recent testing that detected glyphosate in cereal. It appears that Monsanto’s Roundup and other pesticides are downright dangerous for our health.


Express Digest: ‘Cancer-causing’ weed killer found in DOZENS more breakfast cereals

Released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the report found 26 of 28 oat-based cereal products that were tested had ‘harmful’ levels of glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup. Products included variations of Cheerios and Quaker Oats, including Honey Nut Cheerios, Quaker Oatmeal Squares Honey Nut, and Quaker Overnight Oats.


Harvard School of Public Health: Trace amounts of weed killer found in breakfast foods

More than two dozen common oat-based breakfast products that are marketed to children contain small amounts of a weed killer called glyphosate that may pose a cancer risk, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).


KDAL (Duluth, Minn.): Weed Killer Found in All Kids’ Cereals Sampled

A second round of tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer in every sample of popular oat-based cereal and other oat-based food marketed to children.


KFOR (Lincoln, Neb.): Is trace amount of herbicide in breakfast cereals cause for concern?

Just how much, if any, of the herbicide can be considered safe is a matter of long-running scientific and legal debate. The Environmental Working Group’s standard for what’s acceptable is not, by far, the most conservative.



Medical Health News: US Asbestos Imports Increase Despite International Actions

According to an analysis performed by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), asbestos imports rose from 13 metric tons in July to 272 metric tons in August, an increase of more than 2,000%.


Metro.US: Asbestos imports up 2,000% after Trump deregulates cancer-causing material

According to an analysis of the data conducted by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and Environmental Working Group (EWG), the U.S. imported 341 metric tons of asbestos in 2017. That is expected to double this year. A 2,000% increase in imports was observed last July and August alone.


Mesothelioma.com: U.S. Asbestos Imports Increase Despite International Actions

As other countries continue to ban asbestos and work to remove its dangers, use of the toxin is seemingly on the rise in the United States. According to an analysis performed by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG), asbestos imports rose from 13 metric tons in July to 272 metric tons in August, an increase of more than 2,000%.


California Baby®

EcoWatch: California Baby Creates New Plant-Based Preservative

“We applaud California Baby's innovative approach to developing a bio-based formula that will still adequately preservechildren's skincare products,” said the Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook. Reprint of EWG news release


Cleaning Products

Health eNews: Purging these 14 products will make you healthier

The earth-friendly products use essential oils instead of chemicals for fragrance, and don’t contain the following harmful ingredients the Environmental Working Group (EWG) advises you avoid: ammonia, chlorine, glycol solvents, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, artificial colorants, phosphates and petroleum distillates.


North Phoenix Family: Holiday Cleaning & Hazardous Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Environmental Working Group have a list of products that meet a “safer choice” requirement. For their full list, visit epa.gov/saferchoice. Similarly, sites like ewg.org will tell you how toxic your household cleaning supplies are, you can also research your current cleaning products and the EWG will let you know how toxic they are.



The Daily Mail: Don't let Halloween haunt your SKIN! Beauty experts warn makeup brushes may be left covered in acne-causing bacteria after the spooky season - and detail exactly how to clean them

'It's really important that we push people away from the idea of preservative-free,' Nneka Leiba, deputy director of research for the Environmental Working Group, told Well + Good


Beauty Undercover: The Business of Beauty – Expanscience Acquires Babo Botanicals

Babo Botanicals, certified by the Environmental Working Group, was founded in 2010 by Kate Solomon, a young mother searching for safe, efficacious, and natural products for her children.


Influenster: Meet the Brand Giving Gen Z a Cleaner Beauty Option

As if that weren't enough, C'est Moi also is EWG Verified (meaning it meets the very intense safe ingredient standards of the Environmental Working Group) and boasts recyclable and sustainable packaging. 



Sierra: Have You Been Snacking on Cancer-Causing Chemicals?

Based on independent tests that showed the flavors were causing cancer in laboratory animals, the Center for Food Safety, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice in May 2018 asked a court to order the FDA to make a final decision about banning the offending agents.



EcoWatch: 10 Healthy-ish Halloween Treats That Won’t Make Your Kids Roll Their Eyes ... Much

Given our unique resources at the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—the Food Scores database, which rates thousands of food items based on nutrition, ingredient hazards and degree of processing; scientific expertise in GMOs, pesticides, food colors and flavors; and EWG nutritionist and mom Dawn Undurraga—we wanted to give you some ideas (beyond whole walnuts, pennies and dental floss) to help you shop a little smarter and a little healthier this year.


Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

MSN: 50 Foods You Should Never Eat

Opt for organic strawberries. The Environmental Working Group, which analyzes U.S. Department of Agriculture pesticide-residue data, has found 13 different pesticide residues on conventionally grown strawberries.


EWG's Guide to Sunscreen

Honolulu Magazine: The Sunscreen Ban in Hawai‘i is Creating Opportunities for Local Businesses

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which releases a yearly review of hundreds of sunscreens, has seen a rise in the availability of mineral sunscreens that don’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, or any chemical sunscreen ingredient at all. They rely instead on the FDA-approved ingredients zinc oxide or titanium oxide.


National Tap Water Database 

Bloomberg Businessweek: 3M’s ‘Forever,’ Everywhere Problem: Cancer-Linked Chemicals In Tap Water

Water tests show that 110 million Americans have levels of PFAS in their water that the most cautious scientists call unsafe, according to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that advocates for public health issues. 


VICE: America's Next Water Contamination Crisis May Already Be Here

It’s difficult to say how many communities have been affected by PFAS, but most observers agree the contamination is widespread. The Environmental Working Group, a DC-based nonprofit, argued in May that “more than 1,500 drinking water systems, serving up to 110 million Americans, may be contaminated” with some level of the chemicals. David Andrews, a senior scientist with the organization, said virtually every American has PFAS in their blood.

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