EWG News Roundup (8/20): 10 Ways the Trump Administration Has Made Life More Toxic, Racial Disparities Fueling COVID-19’s Force and More

As we’re nearing the end of President Trump’s first term, EWG counted down 10 ways his administration has made American life more toxic, especially for children.

In a recent study published in the journal Chemosphere, EWG scientists concluded that burning, discarding and flushing materials containing the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS do not effectively contain or destroy them but rather end up just returning either the same chemicals or their byproducts back into the environment. 

EWG also broke down two recent studies that show how racial disparities and lack of access to health care affect how sick kids get with COVID-19.

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

Children’s Health

Circle of Blue: Report: When Reopening Schools, Don’t Forget About Lead

The Environmental Working Group reported this week that schools may want to test their water for lead and bacteria before reopening this fall.

PFAS Waste Disposal

Waste Today: Research

According to a study published in Chemosphere, scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Washington, D.C., have concluded that burning, discarding and flushing waste containing the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) all contribute to environmental contamination.

Bottled Water

Eat This, Not That!: 5 Secret Dangers of Drinking Bottled Water

According to a 2008 report from the Environmental Working Group, various trihalomethanes were detected in four brands of bottled water, including Sam's Choice and Acadia, at two to three times greater levels than the bottled water industry's voluntary standard of 10 ppb. 

Cleaning Products

Before It’s News: Essential oils proven to neutralize the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) explains that commercial cleaning products can cause many health problems, including asthma, allergies, chemical

Greatist: We Scoured the Internet for the Best Green Cleaning Products in Every Category

Keeping this list in mind, we scoured the internet for products recommended by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit that reports on and grades green cleaning products.

RealSimple: The Only Green Cleaning Guide You’ll Ever Need

A reusable cloth without disinfectant is a fine option for routine cleaning, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Consumer Guides

Cleveland Clinic: How Environmental Toxins Can Impact Your Health

The Environmental Working Group is a great resource and offers helpful consumer guides.

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Marie Claire: Greenwashing: The Ultimate Betrayal

There’s the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep catalogue which rates over 70,000 personal care products, annual Ethical Fashion Reports which rate fashion brands on transparency and sustainability, apps like goodonyou with a similar rating system, and eco documentaries like The True Cost -  my favourite to date -  Damon Gameau's 2040.

Beauty News NYC: Beauty Best Bet: Stone and Tumble, A Natural Cure for Skin Inflammation

Its effectiveness for combatting skincare issues such as acne, inflammation, psoriasis, general redness, and irritations of the skin have been tested. Stone & Tumble is created within the EWG (Environmental Working Group) guidelines.

Berkeley Wellness (Calif.): Looking for Safer Cosmetics

Kim Harley, PhD, one of the authors of the study, recommends the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, which allows you to search more than 60,000 products, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, which provides guidance about how to avoid potentially risky chemicals in products.

The Zoe Report: The Biossance Friends & Family Sale Means All Squalane Everything For 25% Off

Some of the best finds — all vegan, cruelty-free, Environmental Working Group-certified, and free from 2,000 blacklisted ingredients — ahead.


Bustle: The Best Face Masks That Are *Actually* Organic

This mask hasn’t (yet) been officially certified organic by a third-party agency, though it is verified by EWG, a private non-profit that monitors toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products.

Bustle: These Innovative Korean Shampoos Will Transform Your Hair — & They're All On Amazon

Key ingredients in this EWG-verified formula include French cypress, pine leaf, and eucalyptus oils, which give this shampoo a woodsy, spa-like scent and invigorating feel.

Marin: The Best Natural Skincare Products for At-Home Routines

Many EO products are EWG verified and have earned other important certifications. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an American non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, certification ensures items are free from harsh and harmful ingredients.

Patch; Malden, Mass.: Care-Full Clean-Personal & Natural Laundry Service

Products used are hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free, dermatologist tested, NEA Certified, EWG Verified and eco-friendly.

Prevention: Prevention’s 2020 Wellness Awards: The Top Tools You Need to Fulfill a Well-Balanced Lifestyle

This EWG-verified spray is made with natural ingredients, and testers loved the light lavender scent. Reprinted by MSN

Seattleite: Summer 2020 Essentials + Tempting Treats to Try, Too

Before heading outside, we’re diligent about lathering up with sun care products by MyChelle Dermaceuticals, a company we’re happy to support because its: a founding member of the Environmental Working Group’s “Verified for Your Health” program; a PETA-certified, cruelty-free company; and certified by Leaping Bunny.

Thrive Global: Cecily Pan: “Confidence is the key! When you’re confident in yourself, you will feel the beauty shines through from within”

That’s why we insist our products to be certified by COSMOS AND verified by EWG (Environmental Working Group), even though this increases the difficulty and cost of product development immensely.

Who What Wear: I Wore a Different Perfume Every Day for a Month—These 10 Earned Me Compliments

It's gorgeous, and like all of Henry Rose's fragrances, it's verified by the Environmental Working Group and certified by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Farm Subsidies

The American Prospect: Farmers Reject Biden’s Pro-Corporate Rural Advisers

Over half of the money went to the richest 10 percent of farmers, according to a study from the Environmental Working Group, with the bottom 80 percent getting on average just $5,000.

KPC News (Kendallville, Ind.): Welfare for the rich: the basics

Indeed, according to the Environmental Working Group, which tracks farm subsidies and crop insurance payments, 50 billionaire members of the Forbes 400 got over $6.3 million in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2014.

Fields of Filth: North Carolina CAFO Report

PETA: 10 Facts Reveal How North Carolina’s Meat Industry Kills People of Color

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) extensive analysis of new and expanding farms in North Carolina makes one thing clear: The Tar Heel State’s meat industry doesn’t give a damn about people of color.

Food Scores

Purist: Ask The Dr.

Pay attention to labels, but get the real lowdown on ingredients, and how items are processed, from research- intensive sites like the Environmental Working Group’s Food Scores Guide (ewg.org), rather than the manufacturers’ ingredient lists, which are virtually impossible to decipher (unless you’re a food scientist).

Glyphosate in Hummus

Food Network: Should You Be Concerned About Weed Killer In Hummus?

You may have seen headlines claiming that hummus isn’t safe to eat. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) claims store-bought hummus contains levels of glyphosate, a commonly used herbicide, that are unsafe.

Common Dreams: Groundbreaking Study Shows Organic Diets Drastically Lower Glyphosate Levels in the Body

In July, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released an analysis of lab testing that showed glyphosate in 90% of non-organic hummus and chickpea samples.

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

Live Strong: 6 Canned Proteins You Haven’t Tried Before — and Delicious Ways to Use Them

While farmed and wild salmon are both great ways to get more fatty fish in your diet, wild salmon has lower levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which have been linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

PFAS Tap Water Contamination

The Washington Post: Fred Tutman sees himself as the voice of the Patuxent, and he says the river has a warning for us

A report in January issued by the Environmental Working Group, a D.C.-based environmental activist organization specializing in chemical research, concluded that drinking water in the District and Prince George’s County contained levels of PFAS that the EWG considered unsafe.

Food Safety Magazine: The Growing Challenge of Safe Water for Use in Food Processing Operations

A recent report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) cites the latest statistics on PFAS’ reach into everyday life: Drinking water systems serving an estimated 19 million people, in at least 610 locations across 43 states, are known to be contaminated with one or more of the thousands of known PFAS.

LA Progressive: Antietam Creek Revisited

The Upper Potomac Riverkeeper’s  Antietam Creek PFAS Sampling Project cites a study by the Environmental Working Group that calls for maximum contaminant levels for PFAS in drinking water to be established at 1 ppt.

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Cheapism: 25 'Superfoods' That Aren't as Super as You Think

And according to the Environmental Working Group, some non-organic kale has been found to be contaminated with a potentially carcinogenic pesticide that is banned in the European Union.  

Lehigh Valley Style (Pa.): How to Build Your Immune System

Costs can be a big factor, but helpful tools like the Environmental Working Group’s 2020 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce can help consumers make choices regarding when it is most critical to choose organic over conventional.

Village Living Magazine: Improve Your Digestive System by Optimizing Your Microbiome

The key to avoiding glysophyte is eating organic foods. If you are unsure where to start with organics, look at EWG’s site for their “dirty dozen” list.

Woman’s World: How to Clean Stained Tupperware in Just a Few Seconds

Strawberries, which typically top the Environmental Working Group’s list of “dirty dozen” foods prone to holding onto potentially toxic pesticides, are especially in need of more than a quick rinse.

EWG Guide to Sunscreens

Alive: Is Sunscreen Worth It?

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), scientists and public health agencies “have found little evidence that the use of sunscreens in isolation from other sun protective measures prevents most types of skin cancer.”

Organic Authority: The Sunscreen Ingredients You Want to Avoid (and How to Choose the Good Stuff + Product Picks)

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends against using powder and spray sunscreens due to the inhalation risk, which they report has a more direct route to the system than absorption through the skin.

KVCR (Southern Calif.): August 13: Lifestyles with Lillian Vasquez

This week on Lifestyles, Lillian speaks with Carla Burns, research analyst for the Environmental Working Group. She’s also a part of the Healthy Living Science Team. Carla talks about sun safety products, including sunscreen and bug repellant, and explains how to protect ourselves from the sun and limit daily exposure to chemicals.

Tap Water Database

Money: The Best Water Filters for Your Money

Though laws like the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act promote the regulation of contaminants in water, it doesn’t mean that all pollutants are regulated, or that violations aren’t widespread. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are more than 287 contaminants found in US tap water.

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