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EWG News Roundup (8/23): Big Energy Bends the Truth About Solar, Trump Team Hypocrites on Asbestos and More

In the News
Friday, August 23, 2019

Duke Energy, the utility giant that supplies electricity to 7.7 million Americans, pushed the outlandish claim that solar energy will drive an increase in air pollution in North Carolina. Duke claims the spike in nitrogen oxide pollution occurs when gas plants are forced to stop and start, temporarily disabling emission controls, in order to accommodate a surge in solar energy to the power grid during the day.

“I hope everyone who reads Duke’s claims will try to picture a herd of highly paid executives clustered around a conference table fretting themselves sick about the pollution being caused by solar panels and windmills,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group.

This week, EWG also broke down the “clean” claims made by three major beauty subscription boxes – Ipsy’s Glam Bag, Birchbox’s Ingredient Conscious Box and Birchbox’s Easy-Effort Box.

A new study published in the Chemical Engineering Journal dispelled chemical industry claims that the new generation of toxic fluorinated compounds, or PFAS, are safer than two banned PFAS chemicals linked to cancer.

“This study shows that the chemical industry’s claim that the next generation of PFAS are far safer than the group of older, long-chain fluorinated chemicals cannot pass the scrutiny of actual scientific, peer-reviewed data,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG’s vice president for science investigations.

And finally, Bloomberg reported this week that a number of President Trump’s key advisors have temporarily relocated offices at the White House while asbestos is being removed, even as the Trump administration is manipulating a federal chemical safety law to keep legal the notorious carcinogen that kills tens of thousands of Americans each year.

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

Duke Energy

Clean Technica: Duke Energy Spreads FUD About Renewables In North Carolina

“I hope everyone who reads Duke’s claims will try to picture a herd of highly paid executives clustered around a conference table fretting themselves sick about the pollution being caused by solar panels and windmills,” says Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group

Trump Administration

Seattle PI: Air pollution gets worse in big cities across America under the Trump administration

“EPA chief Andrew Wheeler can attempt to spin this report all he wants, but any effort to call it a ‘win’ for public health is putting lipstick on a pig,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group.

Counter Punch: Is Environmental Protection Possible?

In 1999, the Environmental Working Group published a brief summary of the deplorable and largely unethical political connections of former senior EPA officials with pesticide companies and polluters.

Workers’ Compensation: White House Contamination Highlights Asbestos Controversy

The Environmental Working Group Action Fund’s analysis of federal mortality data estimates that asbestos-triggered diseases kill an estimated 15,000 Americans a year.

City Slickers Report on Farm Bailouts

Before It’s News: The Trade War Is Going So Well That Trump Might Bail Out Apple

Again, look at how the farm bailout was handled. An analysis by the Environmental Working Group, an agriculture policy center, found that 54 percent of the first $8.4 billion spent by the Trump administration’s tariff relief program flowed to just 10 percent of farmers receiving aid.

The New Food Economy: City dwellers continue to collect bailout money meant for farmers

Trade war bailout money intended to support farmers and ranchers is flowing into the hands of more than 9,000 city-dwellers, according to a new analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Successful Farming: ‘City Slickers’ Get Trump Tariff Payments

More than 9,000 people living in the largest U.S. cities received thousands of dollars in Trump tariff payments intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war on U.S. agriculture, said the Environmental Working Group on Thursday.

The Week: Trump’s trade war socialism

Still, data collected by the Environmental Working Group using a Freedom of Information Act inquiry finds the agricultural subsidies Trump is using to compensate farmers for their trade war losses overwhelmingly funnels money to counties that went for the president in 2016.

Westside Gazette (Facebook newspaper): Rep. Waters to American Farmers: Denounce Donald Trump & His Lies!

According to a recent analysis of USDA data by the Environmental Working Group, more than half of the farmer aid payments have been doled out to the top one-tenth of recipients.

Dog Deaths Linked to Harmful Algae Blooms

ABC 4 (Salt Lake City UT): Experts warn Utah dog owners about toxic algae blooms amid fatal cases in other states

The Environmental Working Group said they’ve recorded fatal dog cyanobacteria poisoning cases in North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Minnesota so far this year.

Algae Blooms and Microcystins

Patch Toms River NJ: Reports Say Toxins Have Been Found At 18 NJ Swim, Drinking Sites

Researchers at the Environmental Working Group, an activist nonprofit group, have just released a report identifying 10 water sites – in addition to at least eight spots identified by state and county agencies –that have had trouble with a harmful toxins often cased by algae blooms over the past decade.

Jefferson Public Radio (Southern Oregon University): Harmful “Algae” Blooms Grow In Size And Frequency

The Environmental Working Group tracks how widespread the microcystin outbreaks are in a recent report.

Mercola: Why Swimming in Lakes Will Soon Be Banned

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) created an interactive map showing the location of algae blooms reported from 2010 to the present, and they’ve increased alarmingly. Reprinted by HealthgluThe Breaking News

Bottled Water

HealthiNation: Is Bottled Water Healthier Than Your Average Tap Water?

In 2008, the Environmental Working Group conducted an analysis of 10 major bottled water brands and found at least 38 different pollutants, including disinfection byproducts that are linked to cancer and reproductive problems, a cancer-causing chemical known as bromodichloromethane, heavy metals, fertilizer residue, and pharmaceuticals like Tylenol. Reprinted by The CWNBC 2 (Fort Myers FL)NBC 29 (Charlottesville VA)10 KTEN (TX, OK)KAKE ABC (Wichita KS); 2 other media outlets

Bug Repellents Guide

Bustle: Kinfield’s DEET-Free, Plant-Based Bug Repellent Is Made With A Special Citronella Strain That Mosquitoes Hate

But it's a small price to pay when you think about the fact that it doesn't contain any DEET or synthetic fragrances and only uses ingredients that are approved by the EWG (Environment Working Group).

Moms Rising: Tackling Air Pollution from the Inside Out

Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit advocacy group with practical guidelines for everyday living.

California’s Safer Consumer Products

Natural Resources Defense Fund: Now’s the Time to Fortify CA Safer Consumer Products Program

NRDC, Clean Water Action, and Environmental Working Group have been working closely with Senator Allen’s office to advance that legislation.

Cell Phone Radiation

Daily Mail: Apple and Samsung smart phones may leak unsafe levels of radiation, investigation claims

California has been distrustful of these limits and cell phones' safety, as have expert groups like the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Reprinted by Express DigestCelebrity Best NewsAngle News;Health Medicine NetworkBrinkwire

Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database

Allure: The Secret Life of a Beauty Buyer

Henderson spent years working in public health before she came across a very alarming Environmental Working Group report.

Beauty Independent: Brand Founders Share What They’d Put On Clean Beauty Forbidden Ingredient Lists

For example, one of our products was banned from a particular retailer due to inclusion of acrylate, which is EWG category 1, and their reasoning was based on a 1950 study in Canada.

Daily Vanity (Singapore): Synthetic ingredients may actually be better for your skin than natural ingredients – find out why

The EWG published its first Skin Deep cosmetics database – this contains more than 73,000 products and ingredients, giving them a rating for their potential hazards based on a complicated set of data and methodology.

Whole Foods Magazine:Body Beautiful: The latest on achieving glowing, ageless skin, a radiant smile and more

But not all detergents are created equal, either. Some have ingredients with a lower hazard rating on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database than others.”


Elle Canada: Herbal Essences Taps Into The Power Of Nature – With A Modern Twist

First, Herbal Essences sulfate-free shampoos are the first mass shampoos to be granted the “EWG Verified” seal—a sign that they don’t contain any ingredients that the Environmental Working Group considers concerning.

Milk and Coco: Sun Care that is Good for Us and the Environment

What is EWG Verified you ask? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American activist group that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of agricultural subsidies, toxic chemicals, drinking water pollutants, and corporate accountability.


U.S. News & World Report: What to Know About Glyphosate, the Pesticide in Roundup Weed Killer

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit activist group, recently petitioned the CDC to include the chemical in its National Biomonitoring Program.

Legal Reader: Does Roundup Weed Killer Cause Cancer?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 21 General Mills products, including various flavors of Cheerios cereal and Nature Valley granola bars, and found that they all contained trace amounts of glyphosate residue.

Mercola: Home Depot and Lowes sued over Roundup

The average level of glyphosate in cereal samples was 360 parts per billion (ppb), which FOE noted is more than twice the level set by Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists for lifetime cancer risk in children. Reprinted by HealthgluHealth Nut News

Lead in Schools

Mercola: More than 1,600 school fountains test positive for lead

Susan Little, Environmental Working Group’s senior advocate for government affairs in California, said, “One-fifth of all K-12 schools have found at least one faucet on their campus that delivers a dose of lead to the children who use them.

Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health

FootPrint: ‘Frankenfish’ – Will Buyers Take the Bait?

“At a time when consumers are asking more and more questions about the use of genetic engineering, [the new rules] will further undermine the technology by sowing greater confusion among Americans who simply want the right to know if their food is genetically modified — the same right held by consumers in 64 other countries,” said Scott Faber, senior vice-president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group, a US-based NGO.

Pets and Pollution

Blogarama: How to Cleanse and Detoxify Your Dog

A study by the Environmental Working Group in 2008 found that most of the American Pets are polluted by all the synthetic chemicals that your dogs are exposed.

PFAS in Cosmetics

Business Insider: 'Forever chemicals' linked to cancer and developmental issues lurk in the blood of almost every American. Here's how to avoid them.

That research relied on data from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which examined 75,000 cosmetics and personal-care products, nearly 200 of which contained PFAS. Reprinted by Markets InsiderStamford Advocate (CT)News Times (Danbury CT)The Hour (Norwalk CT); 6 other media outlets 

PFAS in Takeout Bowls

Mercola: Warning: Biodegradable bowls contain toxic chemicals

Helpful tips can also be found in the EWG’s “Guide to Avoiding PFCS.” Reprinted by HealthgluHealthy Nut News

2019 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Mercola: Try Mercola’s savory top recipes and eat your way to health

Plus, you can now check the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list1 which, along with the Clean Fifteen, informs you of the most and least pesticide-laden produce. Reprinted by Healthglu

Metro Source: This is what’s Really in Your Food

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) updates its list of which fruits and vegetables are DIRTY (should only be bought organic) or CLEAN (OK to buy conventionally grown). Keep it in mind next time you hit the produce section.

The Packer: Consumers crave organic avocados

With avocados ranking No. 1 on the Environmental Working Group’s Clean Fifteen list of produce items, you might think sales of the organic version of the fruit would be minimal, at least judging from a pesticide residue standpoint. Reprinted by Produce Market Guide

Real Simple: No Need to Spend Money on Organic Avocados – or Any of These 14 Fruits and Veggies

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) releases a Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, aka “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen.” Reprinted by Yahoo!Food & Wine

Westsound Home & Garden (Port Orchard WA): The Versatile Peaches

It is also important to select organically grown fruit if possible, as peaches tend to be laden with pesticides and are No. 7 on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.

EWG's Guide to Sunscreen

Reader’s Digest: The 15 Safest Sunscreens You Can Buy

Confused about what’s safe and what’s not when it comes to sunscreen? The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer-safety watchdog organization, provides some clear answers in its annual online buying guide.

Bustle: The 5 Best Cruelty-Free Sunscreens

It also has top rating by the EWG, and is certified animal-friendly by Leaping Bunny.

Goop: Spray Sunscreens Go Deep into Your Lungs (among Other Reasons to Quit Them for Good)

“Small particles of the spray can get deep into the lungs and cause irreversible damage,” says Nneka Leiba, the vice president of healthy living science at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that assesses the health effects of chemical exposure from day-to-day products. Reprinted by Follow News

Medium: 8 Incredibly Easy Tips To Travel More Eco-Friendly

Also look for the QAI, BDIH and EWG signs, that certify that only organic components were used in production and the sunscreen is safe for use.

Tap Water Database

Activist Post: Another Reason To End Fluoridation: Fluoride Consumption During Pregnancy Lowers IQ Of Children

Based on the findings of the study, the respected Environmental Working Group — a non-profit research organization environmental watchdog — lobbied to have fluoride in tap water be added to the U.S. government’s classified list of substances known or anticipated to cause cancer.

Nitrate in Drinking Water

Environment Guru: On The Radio – Drinking water and your health

The Environmental Working Group released a study that links nitrate consumption through water to an increased risk for cancer. 

PFAS in Drinking Water

CNN: A New Mexico farmer is dumping 12,000 gallons of milk a day. Here’s why

A tally by the clean water advocates at the Environmental Working Group shows 712 locations in 49 states have been discovered to be contaminated -- including public water systems, military bases and airports. Reprinted by ABC 7 (Fort Myers FL)Erie News Now (PA)Fox 40 (Vestal NY); 21 other media outlets

CNN Transcripts: CNN Newsroom

PFAS contamination sites are everywhere, 712 locations in 49 states have been discovered, according to the Environmental Working Group, an activist nonprofit.

Bennington Banner (VT): Advocate driven by PFOA’s effects on Hoosick Falls area, and its residents

Other groups that have worked with the local residents on programs or appearances include the Environmental Working Group, Earth Justice, the Center for Environmental Health and the Toxics Action Center.

Michigan Live: Here’s what Ann Arbor-area lawmakers are doing about PFAS

At least 712 sites in 49 states have been contaminated with PFAS, Dingell said, citing Environmental Working Group data.

Michigan Live: Officials hosting PFAS contamination crisis’ forum in Ypsilanti

With at least 192 sites contaminated, Michigan has the most known PFAS sites in the United States, Dingell’s office noted, referencing data from the Environmental Working Group.

Twin Cities Pioneer Press (MN): Billion-dollar lawsuits: Will non-stick chemicals finally stick on 3M?

About 610 locations in 43 states are contaminated with the chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit. Reprinted by Market ScreenerBrainerd Dispatch (MN)West Central Tribune (Willmar MN)Post Bulletin (Rochester MN)Forum News ServiceDuluth News Tribune (MN)River Towns


The New York Times: Workers at Big Government Lab Sue Over Exposure to a Toxic Chemial

Because of its more widespread use in the past, it contaminates more than 700 sites across the country and is present in the drinking water of 14 million Americans, the bipartisan nonprofit group Environmental Working Group estimated last year.


Dr. Weil: Can Triclosan Cause Osteoporosis?

You can find a comprehensive list of products that contain triclosan on the website of the Environmental Working Group.



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