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Toxics

Industry doesn’t have to test chemicals for safety before they go on the market. EWG steps in where government leaves off, giving you the resources to protect yourself and your family.

Sunday, March 1, 1998

Every year, polluting industries send millions of pounds of waste materials to fertilizer companies, presumably for use as raw materials in fertilizer production. Even though these wastes are often laden with toxic metal and chemical impurities, fertilizer manufacturers use steel mill smokestack ash and air pollution scrubber brine, and other industrial byproducts as the raw materials for a substantial portion of the nation’s fertilizers.

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Monday, October 27, 1997

An analysis of campaign contributions and air pollution data released today by the Environmental Working Group concludes that too many politicians side with their contributors and against their constituents on air pollution, even in metropolitan areas where air pollution prematurely ends thousands of lives each year.

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News Release
Tuesday, October 21, 1997

EWG's analysis of campaign gifts and air pollution data concludes that too many politicians in the House of Representatives side with their contributors and against their constituents on air pollution, even in U.S. metropolitan areas where air pollution prematurely ends thousands of lives each year.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Wednesday, October 1, 1997

On Aug. 21, 1997, owners of the Nakama Ranch began fumigating a 90-acre strawberry field in Camarillo, Calif., with methyl bromide. The field is next to the Lamplighter Mobile Home Estates, whose residents, concerned about the dangers of exposure to the acutely toxic pesticide, had appealed to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to stop the fumigation. DPR denied the appeal, and fumigation proceeded, 10 acres at a time, through Sept. 8.

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Sunday, August 31, 1997

As the result of a law passed by Congress last year, millions of Americans and hundreds of water suppliers across the Midwest- ern United States have a new, first line of defense against the agricultural weed killers that have contaminated their tap water for decades.

 

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Monday, August 18, 1997

EWG Air Monitoring Finds Hazardous Levels of Methyl Bromide in Yards of Castroville Residents State's Tighter Restrictions Not Enough; Neighbors Call for Ban of Chemical

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News Release
Wednesday, August 13, 1997

Mounting concern over long term health risks and the skyrocketing cost of water treatment associated with pesticide contaminated tapwater in hundreds of midwestern towns has forged an unprecedented alliance between water utilities, engineers, and chemists, and environmental protection groups.

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News Release
Friday, August 1, 1997

EPA's supplemental notice (1996) and draft Final Rule reflect major concessions made to the industry. The chief consultant for the American Hospital Association (AHA) has referred to the EPA proposal as "painless," acknowledging a reversal in EPA's direction on the rule.

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Friday, July 11, 1997
About 500 cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the United States each year are associated with microscopic airborne particles of soot (particulate matter), a new study has found. Read More
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News Release
Thursday, July 10, 1997

A recently published peer-reviewed study (Woodruff et al. 1997) found a statistically significant relationship between particulate air pollution in the United States and postneonatal infant mortality. Postneonatal mortality was defined as infant death that occurred between the age of 28 to 364 days. The study analyzed the relationship between PM10 levels and post- neonatal mortality within a population of approximately 4 million infants born in 86 metropolitan areas in the United States between 1989 and 1991 (Woodruff et al. 1997).

 
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Wednesday, June 25, 1997

Since March 1996, when the California Legislature moved to overturn the state ban on methyl bromide, the issue of unsafe levels of the pesticide drifting from agricultural fields into nearby communities has grown from a local concern to a statewide controversy. In concert with community groups from across the state, Environmental Working Group has released a series of reports detailing the results of EWG air monitoring and documenting the flaws in methyl bromide safety standards set by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. 

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Thursday, June 12, 1997
Rural areas are largely unaffected by toxic airborne particle pollution that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeks to reduce in order to save thousands of lives in major urban areas, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Read More
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News Release
Wednesday, June 11, 1997

Residents of communities of color in California will be among the prime beneficiaries of an embattled EPA proposal to cut toxic airborne particle pollution by half. An Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of air pollution data from 161 locations across the state shows that residents of communities of color are nearly three times more likely to breathe dangerous levels of air pollution than Californians living in predominantly white communities.

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Wednesday, June 4, 1997

Approximately 109,000 children in California breathe unhealthy air at school, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) computer analysis. These children attend one of the 147 schools in the state located in areas where monitored air pollution levels exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new standards for microscopic toxic airborne particles.

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Thursday, May 1, 1997

Tens of thousands of people die prematurely each year from microscopic toxic particles in the air we breathe. To reduce particle pollution to safe levels, EPA has proposed updating the decade-old health standard for so-called “particulate matter”. According to the EPA, updated health standards, in combination with other ongoing pollution control initiatives, will save 35,000 lives each year (EPA 1997).

 

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Saturday, February 1, 1997

Testing in suburban California neighborhoods revealed methyl bromide in the air well beyond state mandated “buffer” zones at 12 out of 16 locations tested. The levels detected ranged from less than 1 part per billion to 294 parts per billion (ppb) on average over 12 to 24 hours. Single point measurements were as high as 1,900 ppb. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has estab- lished rules that allow individuals, including pregnant women and children, to be exposed to an average of 210 ppb of methyl bromide in the air over a 24 hour period as a result of agricultural application. Methyl bromide is known to cause birth defects (CCR 1994, OEHHA 1993) and is extremely toxic to the nervous sys- tem (CDPR 1995a, Pease 1996).

 

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Saturday, February 1, 1997

During the past two years, anti-environmental corporations vigorously attempted to convince the U.S. Senate to undo environmental health and safety standards. EWG searched public disclosure records to determine whether generous contributions from PACs associated with an anti-environmental agenda were an effective tool to help them persuade senators to support such an agenda.

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Reports & Consumer Guides
Monday, September 2, 1996

Under existing federal pollution control laws, the American people are kept in the dark about the vast majority of toxic pollution spewed into the environment by U.S. industry. Even the most comprehensive toxic pollution reporting system in the nation, the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), accounts for only about 5 percent of all toxic pollution of the environment each year (GAO 1991, EPA 1996c).

 
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Thursday, August 22, 1996

Testing of air in two California neighborhoods adjacent to agricultural fields receiving applications of the soil fumigant methyl bromide revealed high levels of this extremely toxic pesticide outside state mandated buffer zones. Buffer zones are recommended based on the size of the field and the rate of methyl bromide application and are intended to protect the public from exposure to unsafe levels methyl bromide. Air monitoring was conducted using a state-of-the-art remote sensing device, the open-path FTIR. This system is approved by the US EPA to monitor toxic gas emissions and to measure air pollution releases from factories and refineries. It is recognized as superior to testing methods used by the state of California for monitoring pesticide gases like methyl bromide.

 

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Saturday, July 1, 1995

To determine the extent of pesticide contamination of baby food, we tested eight foods (applesauce, garden vegetables or pea and carrot blend, green beans, peaches, pears, plums, squash and sweet potatoes) made by the three major baby food producers that account for 96 percent of all baby food sales -- Gerber, Heinz, and Beech-Nut. All samples were purchased at retail from grocery stores in three major metropolitan areas; Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco. They were tested for pesticides using the Food and Drug Administration's standard pesticide analytical methods.

 
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