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EWG News Roundup (2/8): Kardashian Stands Up for #BeautyMadeBetter, Babies Born Pre-Polluted with Teflon Chemicals and More

In the News
Friday, February 8, 2019

This week, Kourtney Kardashian appeared on NBC’s Today Show to voice her support for EWG’s #BeautyMadeBetter campaign. We launched the campaign to help shine a light on the need for real cosmetics safety reform, urging Congress to pass the first federal law to regulate the cosmetics industry in more than 80 years.

The public health crisis surrounding toxic fluorinated chemicals, or PFAS, has received national attention, with millions of Americans exposed to the toxic substances through food, cookware, drinking water and even personal care products. But exposure to PFAS first takes place where you might not expect. This week EWG published an analysis of umbilical cord blood testing we previously commissioned, which showed that every baby we tested was pre-polluted with this class of chemicals before leaving the womb.

 

Despite the public outcry over the ballooning PFAS crisis, the Trump Environmental Protection Agency continues to drag its feet in putting forth a serious plan to address it. In the past two weeks, Politico has reported that the EPA has indicated it will not set a legal limit for PFAS chemicals in public drinking water. It has also put a former chemical and fossil fuel industry executive in a leading role shaping the agency’s plan to address the ongoing crisis.

The man President Trump tapped to head the EPA, former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, saw his nomination advance, passing the Senate committee this week. Wheeler’s full Senate confirmation vote is expected in the coming weeks.

“For any senator who truly cares about the health of her or his constituents, opposing Andrew Wheeler’s nomination should be an easy decision,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “As acting EPA administrator, Wheeler has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s as unfit to be in charge of protecting the public from pollution as a career thief would be as police chief.”

In more uplifting news out of the nation’s capital, EWG officially endorsed the Green New Deal, introduced on Thursday by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). EWG joined more than 640 other organizations in calling on Congress to use the Green New Deal to push ahead with an ambitious and reachable goal of transitioning the entire U.S. electricity grid to 100 percent renewable energy sources by no later than 2035.

We also assessed whether the U.S. has done enough to promote safe cellphone use by kids, conducted pesticide testing in San Francisco drinking water, reviewed a recent study that shows ties between cosmetic chemicals and childhood lung damage, and pushed back against the Department of Energy’s downplaying of growing renewable energy revolution.

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

Ban on Oxybenzone and Octinoxate in Key West, Fla.

TIME: Key West Is Banning Sunscreens Containing Two Common Chemicals to Protect the Great Florida Reef

While many sunscreen formulations still contain oxybenzone and octinoxate — including some from Banana Boat, Coppertone and Australian Gold, according to the Environmental Working Group — brands have increasingly begun dropping the chemicals from their products, both for environmental and human health reasons.

 

Travel+Leisure: How to Know if Your Sunscreen Is Killing Coral Reefs — and 11 Brands to Try Instead

This sunscreen has a perfect score on EWG, and doesn’t contain any biologically toxic chemicals. It is water-resistant for up 80 minutes and is absorbed easily by your skin. The brand also makes a face sunscreen (amazon.com, $12). Reprinted by MSN.

 

Treehugger: Key West to ban sunscreen with coral-harming chemicals

The consumer health and environment watchdog Environmental Working Group (EWG) also has a great guide for healthy sunscreens here.

 

Kourtney Kardashian on Cosmetics Reform

NBC TODAY: Kourtney Kardashian talks advocating for safe cosmetics

If you want to keep up with Kourtney Kardashian, you’re going to have to head to Washington, D.C. The mom and reality TV star joins TODAY to talk about how her push for new regulations on personal care products took her to Capitol Hill.

 

Daily Mail: Kourtney Kardashian bares all in sheer top in NYC... after getting shout out from Michelle Pfeiffer

As a board member of the Environmental Working Group, I'm so proud of Kourtney Kardashian for supporting cosmetics reform!' the 60-year-old actress gushed.  

 

Daily Mail: Kim and Kourtney Kardashian glam up for ladies night with gal pal La La Anthony in NYC

Kourtney's talk show appearance was far more serious Thursday with her promoting the Environmental Working Group and California Senator Diane Feinstein's Personal Care Products Safety Act on the TODAY show. 

 

E News: The Message Kourtney Kardashian Hopes to Spread by Co-Parenting With Scott Disick 

“I shouldn't have to be standing in the bathroom scanning to know that products I am using are safe or not safe,” Kourtney, who has teamed up with the Environmental Working Group, said. “Especially products for my kids.”

 

Elite Daily: Kourtney Kardashian's & Scott Disick's Co-Parenting Relationship Sets An Example, She Says

During her appearance on TODAY, Kardashian mostly spoke about her work with Environmental Working Group, an organization that specializes in research and advocacy in areas like “agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants and corporate accountability.”

 

Entertainment Tonight: Kourtney Kardashian Reveals Whether She'd Ever Run for Political Office

Her advocacy on the issue has even taken her to Washington, D.C. Back in April of 2018,she spoke at a briefing with Senate staffers from the Environmental Working Group, which pushed for legislation to better regulate cosmetics. Reprinted by AOL,  CBS8: KFMB (San Diego, Calif.)Click2Houston and Yahoo!.

 

InStyle: Kourtney Kardashian Hopes To Spread This Co-Parenting Message With Scott Disick

“I shouldn't have to be standing in the bathroom scanning to know that products I am using are safe or not safe,” Kourtney, who has teamed up with the Environmental Working Group, said. “Especially products for my kids.”

 

USA Today: Kourtney Kardashian says her co-parenting style has a 'good message"

Kardashian was on the show to discuss meeting with congressional leaders about new cosmetics regulations. She has teamed up with Environmental Working Group to make products safer.

 

Environmental Protection Agency and Andrew Wheeler

ThinkProgress: Senate committee approves friend of fossil fuel, chemical industries to head Trump’s EPA

“For any senator who truly cares about the health of her or his constituents, opposing Andrew Wheeler’s nomination should be an easy decision,” Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook said Tuesday in a statement. “As acting EPA administrator, Wheeler has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s as unfit to be in charge of protecting the public from pollution as a career thief would be as police chief.”

 

Augusta Free Press (Staunton, Va.): Senate panel approves Andrew Wheeler, former coal lobbyist, to be EPA chief

“For any senator who truly cares about the health of her or his constituents, opposing Andrew Wheeler’s nomination should be an easy decision,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “As acting EPA administrator, Wheeler has repeatedly demonstrated that he’s as unfit to be in charge of protecting the public from pollution as a career thief would be as police chief.”

 

EPA and David Dunlap

HuffPost: Official Helping Craft EPA Response On Toxic Chemicals Once Worked For Koch Brothers

Politico’s reporting has set off alarm among public health advocacy groups. The Environmental Working Group said that it hoped Dunlap would follow the EPA mission statement “instead of the demands of the chemical industry.”

 

American Council on Science and Health

TruthOut: Corporate Front Group, American Council on Science and Health, Smears List of Its Enemies as “Deniers for Hire”

Smeared by the site are scientists Tyrone Hayes, Stephanie Seneff, and Gilles-Éric Séralini; New York Times reporter Danny Hakim and columnist Mark Bittman; well-known food and science writer Michael Pollan; nutrition and food studies professor Marion Nestle; public interest groups like US Right to Know, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Sierra Club, the Environmental Working Group, and Union of Concerned Scientists; past and present CMD staff, and many other individuals ACSH does not like.

  

Cosmetics

Womens’s Health: The 17 Best Natural Skincare Products That Will Turn You Into A Clean Beauty Convert

PEGS a.k.a. polyethylene glycol, this ingredient can function as an emulsifier or solvent, allowing other ingredients to better penetrate the skin. The issue? PEGs are often contaminated with ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen) and 1,4- dioxane (a likely carcinogen), according to the Environmental Working Group.

 

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.

 

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Citizens of Beauty: Best Non-Toxic Drugstore Cosmetics Guide

I certainly can’t say that these options are all natural drugstore makeup brands, but they are safe according to the EWG.  To find which products were considered toxin-free makeup, I used an app called Think Dirty (which is pretty strict guidelines) and also checked out the EWG Skin Deep for ratings which I also trust for finding safe cosmetics. 

 

HerWorld: 7 up-and-coming K-beauty brands

Their popular Moisture Cream has just 14 ingredients that you can read and understand, all with a low-risk Environmental Working Group (EWG) rating. The brand carries a small but substantial line with just the necessities – cleanser, toner, and moisturiser.

 

Endocrine Disruptors

GOOP: 6 Common Toxic Chemicals—and How to Avoid Them

Consider the seafood you consume. Use EWG’s Seafood Calculator to choose the best options for fish and shellfish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury.

 

Food Additives

Mercola: Phosphates May Make You Feel Lazy

The Environmental Working Group also joined with the Kidney Foundation to raise concerns and added it to its Dirty Dozen guide to food additives.

 

GMOs

Well+Good: This “pro-GMO” brand says its chocolate is better for the planet

The Environmental Working Group, which is historically skeptical of GMOs, declined to comment for this story. Similarly, the Non-GMO Project also declined a request for comment. Both organizations believe that consumers have a right to know whether or not the food they buy contains GMOs. Those wary of GMOs cite concern about potential long-term health effects connected to relatively new technology used in genetic engineering.

 

Healthy Living App

City Pulse (Lansing, Mich.): Ann Arbor author questions toxic potential of household products

Klement recommends EWG’s Healthy Living App which is free and rates more than 120,000 food and personal care products. The author remembers using the app while sitting on the floor of Whole Foods and scanning more than two dozen home cleaning products before she found one that met her requirements.

 

Monsanto’s Glyphosate

Friends of the Earth: New Study: Multiple dangerous pesticides found in food made and sold by Kroger, Walmart, Costco and Albertsons

The average level of glyphosate found in cereal samples (360 parts per billion) was more than twice the level set by scientists at Environmental Working Group for lifetime cancer risk for children. The average level of glyphosate found in pinto beans (509 ppb) was more than 4.5 times the benchmark.

 

Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Popsugar: Your Celery Will Last a Lot Longer (and Your Juice Will Taste Better) With This Storage Hack

Before you make your fresh juice, you need to thoroughly clean the celery. In 2018, celery was No. 10 on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) "Dirty Dozen" list. "More than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticide," the EWG reported.

 

Well+ Good: Hear me out: A few bugs in your organic veggies won’t kill you

Instead, she recommends consulting the Environmental Working Group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists. The group analyzes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program yearly report and figures out which conventionally grown produce has the most and least pesticide residue.

 

EWG's Guide to Sunscreens

Yahoo! News: The best sunscreens for toddlers: 'It's the only thing I trust on my son with eczema'

This mineral sunscreen by Kiss My Face is one of the select few that’s earned a No. 1 rating by the Environmental Working Group for safe sunscreens for kids. Reprinted byYahoo! Entertainment and Yahoo! Finance

 

Tap Water Database

E&E News/Greenwire: 'EPA was always bad on drinking water'

David Andrews, senior scientist at Environmental Working Group, agreed. “EPA's inability to protect human health is frightening,” he said.

 

Lead in Drinking Water

Newsday: NYCHA failed to share lead-testing data with tenants

Olga Naidenko, senior science adviser for children’s environmental health at the Environmental Working Group, an environmental health nonprofit, said: “If I were to read this letter . . . I probably would have done what I had done before. I think a public housing resident would take it as the water is OK.” Reprinted by AM New York.

 

Nitrate in Drinking Water

KJZZ (Tempe, Ariz.): Study: Hispanic Residents Have Highest Nitrate Levels In Drinking Water

According to the Environmental Working Group, 85 utilities in Arizona  have drinking water with nitrate levels above 5 ppm, affecting 403,910 Arizonans.

 

PFAS in Drinking Water

Mother Jones: Trump’s EPA Refuses to Limit the Nasty Teflon Chemicals Lurking in Our Drinking Water

A 2016 study by researchers from Harvard, the University of California–Berkeley, the University of North Carolina, and the EPA found that the drinking water for six million US residents exceeds the EPA’s voluntary limit. Environmental Working Group has a map of sites across the nation where drinking water is potentially contaminated with worrisome levels of PFAS.

 

N.J. Spotlight: DEP Says EPA Didn’t Consider Many Health Risks When Approving PFAS Replacements

The Environmental Working Group, a national advocacy nonprofit, also accused the EPA of not doing enough to determine whether GenX and other replacement chemicals are safe. “Given what we know now about its hazards to human health, the EPA should have done a lot more research on GenX before approving it as a replacement for PFOA,” said Olga Naidenko, senior science advisor for EWG.

 

Chemical Watch: Comments in for US draft assessments of GenX and PFBS chemicals (subscription)

“The single-chemical-by-single-chemical approach to assessing toxicity and setting regulations is untenable for PFAS compounds,” the Environmental Working Group says in its comments. Treating PFAS chemicals as a group will “more efficiently and effectively protect public health" and stop the chemical industry "transitioning from one concerning chemical to another without providing substantiating data.”

 

Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Connecticut must do more to protect water

A 2018 report by the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University and the Environmental Working Group documented contamination in 94 sites, in 40 states.

 

WHYY (Philadelphia, Penn.): N.J. DEP says feds didn’t consider several health risks before approving PFAs substitutes

Olga Naidenko, senior science advisor for the Environmental Working Group, a national advocacy nonprofit, also said the EPA “should have done a lot more research” before approving the substitutes. Reprinted by WITF (Harrisburg, Penn.).

 

 

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