EWG News Roundup (7/2): Enjoying a Healthy (and Safe) Independence Day, PFAS Provisions Added to Military Spending Bill and More

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters by a team of U.S. and international scientists recommends classifying all toxic fluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS, as concerning and calls for an end to all non-essential uses of the family of chemicals.

“The regulation of toxic PFAS chemicals using a one-chemical-at-a-time approach has completely failed to protect public health,” said David Andrews, Ph.D., co-author of the article and a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group. “Decades after knowing about the harms caused by PFAS such as DuPont’s Teflon and 3M’s Scotchgard, our government has not set laws banning use, establishing drinking water limits or even classifying these chemicals as hazardous substances and requiring cleanup.”

On Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee voted to include vital reforms to the regulation of PFAS in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021, which funds the Department of Defense. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) led the charge in proposing these amendments.

“Our service members risk everything to keep us safe,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “We need to do everything we can to protect them from toxic PFAS. EWG applauds Reps. Slotkin, Haaland, Torres Small and Houlahan for putting the health of our service members first.”

Due to the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are struggling to pay their utility bills. The federal government has provided only limited relief to households, leaving states to deal with the mounting pressures millions of middle-and-low-income families face.

And finally, folks around the nation are gearing up to celebrate Independence Day (in what we hope is a socially distanced way). EWG has provided a number of tips for sun safety, protection from algal blooms, identifying effective bug repellants and generally having a healthy (and safe) Fourth of July.

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

Children’s Health

MindBodyGreen: 8 Best Sunscreen For Babies & Kids: Natural & Safe For Sensitive Skin

An option vetted by the Environmental Working Group, this is a good find for the environment and your kid.

My Baba: How Can I Stop My Child Picking? Tips By Top Paediatrician

He is an advocate for children’s environmental health and a board member of EWG, one of the Nation’s premiere environmental protection groups.

COVID-19 Map and Meatpacking Plants 

Montana Free Press: The peak that wasn’t: how Montana avoided the worst of COVID-19

Counties with meatpacking plants have double the COVID-19 rate of those without plants, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

COVID-19 and Food Processing Plants

Epoch Times: No Evidence of Food and Food Packaging Spreading the CCP Virus: CDC

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a national charity, has compiled reports of the CCP virus spreading in food processing facilities and it said the outbreaks in America’s food processing facilities are not as pervasive as at the meatpacking facilities.

Powder & Bulk Solids: Union: 28 Food Processing Workers Dead from COVID-19

Another report released earlier in June by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that some 1,200 food processing workers in the United States have contracted the virus at 60 plants.

EWG 10 State Nitrate Pollution Report

All On Georgia: Group says Rome, Floyd County water supplies show ‘unsafe’ levels of carcinogen

The Environmental Working Group reports that the chemical known as "chromium-6," made famous in the 2000 film "Erin Brockovich," is dangerous, and took more than 60,000 samples across the U.S.

Door County Daily News: Wisconsin still struggling with nitrate pollution

According to the Environmental Working Group, Wisconsin is one of 10 states with increasing problems with nitrates in their drinking water as it looked at 4,000 community water systems from 2003 to 2017.

Reprinted by NewsBreak

Waunakee Tribune (Wis.): Waunakee Utilities: Drinking water safe

The State Journal article referenced a report from the Environmental Working Group, which reveals levels of contaminants in water tested in communities across the nation and finds some in the Madison suburbs rising.

AB 2762: California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act

LexBlog: Cosmetics Sold in California are Set for a Face Lift

The bill was introduced by Assembly members Al Muratsuchi, Bill Quirk, and Buffy Wicks in February 2019 and is coauthored by Assembly member Bloom and cosponsored by Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Environmental Working Group, and the California Public Interest Research Group.

Bayer-Monsanto Settlement

Nation of Change: Bayer to pay $10 billion in cancer lawsuits over Roundup

According to EWG, glyphosate is mostly applied to corn, soybean, and wheat crops, but is increasingly sprayed just before harvest on oats, chickpeas, and other crops as a drying agent, or desiccant, to speed the harvest.

Red Green and Blue: Monsanto owner Bayer reaches $10 billion settlement over Roundup cancer lawsuits

According to Ken Cook, president of advocacy group Environmental Working Group, the settlement represents “vindication for all those who have fallen ill with cancer as a result of being exposed to this chemical.”

Cleaning Products

Healthline: The 13 Best Organic and Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products of 2020

Groups like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publish annual reports on organic and natural cleaning products with rankings from best to worst. 

WUSA9 (D.C.): VERIFY: No, Dawn doesn’t contain ammonia but yes, you should never mix bleach and ammonia.

You can check detailed ingredient information for products at the Environmental Working Group's Guide To Healthy Cleaning.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Today: Give your skin care routine a healthy boost with 39 clean beauty products

According to the Environmental Working Group, there are over 80,000 chemicals on the market today but only about 30 are banned by regulators in the United States.

EcoCult: 62 Black-Owned Non-Toxic Beauty Brands

According to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), 75% of mainstream products marketed to Black women are considered toxic.

Enspire Magazine: Non-Toxic Cruelty-Free Body Care Product Line Advocates For Clean Waterways and Waste Reduction

Hall said the company also supports The Environmental Working Group (EWG) because its mission is directly linked to Sea Witch Botanicals’ pursuit of educating consumers on health concerns connected to many toxic ingredients used in home and personal care products. 

Longevity: Why and What Toxic Beauty Products Are Damaging Your Health

Organizations like EWG are working hard at motivating cosmetic companies to verify their ingredients so consumers are empowered.

Peninsula Clarion (Alaska): Opinion: Breast cancer, chemicals and environmental justice

Environmental Working Group in 2016 assessed 1,200 products marketed specifically to Black women and concluded that fewer products made without hazardous ingredients are available for this group.


Harper’s Bazaar: The Best Natural and Organic Perfumes

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is paving the way for non-toxic scents vetted by the Environmental Working Group and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Duke Energy

E&E News: Electricity, COVID-19 and carbon: 3 issues to watch

But the Environmental Working Group argues that Duke has barriers to energy efficiency programs and clean energy technologies, both of which contribute to cheaper utility bills

Lead Pollution at Outdoor Firing Ranges

USA Carry: Reducing Lead Exposure from Firearms: Risks and Dangers

“If totally dissolved in the water supply, the lead contained in a single bullet could contaminate the amount of water consumed daily by hundreds of thousands of people,” according to the EPA’s Environmental Working Group’s study.”

PFAS Military Map

Military.com: Military Firefighters Say DoD Isn’t Moving Fast Enough to Protect Them from Toxic Chemicals

Scott Faber, vice president of the Environmental Working Group, which tracks contamination across the country, said the proposals build on progress from last year.

Chemical & Engineering News: Protective gear could expose firefighters to PFAS

David Q. Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group who has studied the PFAS content of fast food wrappers with Peaslee but was not involved in this work, wonders what additional dust samples from storage areas could reveal about the amount of PFAS shed from turnout gear.

Stars and Stripes: Senate bill introduced to ban DOD from buying products with toxic PFAS chemicals

Recent data from the Environmental Working Group found 28 bases with PFAS levels in drinking water at levels above some state standards.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

CNN Underscored: Everything you need to make Funfetti dip at home

Conventionally grown strawberries are the produce that is most likely to contain pesticide residue, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Adapted to Win: 12 Best Keto Items at Costco plus 4 You Should Avoid

Tomatoes are on the to EWG’s dirty dozen list because of the pesticide residue found on conventional tomatoes, which is why I like to buy this organic sauce.

The Caregiver: Weekly Wellness Challenge: Choose clean fruits for weight loss

Environmental Working Group analyzed the USDA tests to create their 2020 Shopper’s Guide.

The Packer: Survey says: sustainability and Dirty Dozen feedback

We recently added a pop-up survey to our coverage of the Dirty Dozen list published by the Environmental Working Group. 

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

CNN Underscored: How to turn your backyard into a water park this summer

One study found that less than 0.01% of zinc oxide sunscreen is absorbed into the skin, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Reprinted by The World NewsMSN

Medical Daily: Best Sunscreens To Keep Your Kids Safe This Summer

An Environmental Working Group-approved option, this sunscreen from Babo Botanicals is friendly both to the environment and also to your young ones.

Tap Water Database

Forward Kentucky: Forever chemicals in Louisville drinking water – Is it time for action?

The study from the Environmental Working Group found 22 parts per trillion of GenX in Louisville’s drinking water, the highest level of any sampled site except for Brunswick County, North Carolina.

A Green Living: Consumer Reports finds high arsenic level in Whole Foods bottled water

EWG warns ‘forever chemicals’ are contaminating US drinking water at levels far worse than expected

USDA Livestock Incineration Petition

Farm Progress: Petition seeks to ban livestock incineration, mass burial

Other groups joining the petition include: Animal Legal Defense Fund, Association of Irritated Residents, Cape Fear River Water, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, Environmental Working Group, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, MountainTrue, Sound Rivers and Waterkeeper Alliance.

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