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Health

170 Million Americans Drink Radioactive Tap Water

Drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that may increase the risk of cancer, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) investigation released Thursday.

Radiation in tap water is a serious health threat, especially during pregnancy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's legal limits for the most widespread radioactive elements are more than 40 years old. But President Trump's nominee to be the White House environment czar rejects the need for water systems to comply even with those inadequate standards.

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Energy

FERC Rejection of Coal and Nuclear Bailout Is Big Win for Renewable Energy

By Alex Formuzis

Federal regulators' rejection Monday of the White House's scheme to prop up the coal and nuclear power industries is a big win for electricity customers and renewable energy, said Environmental Working Group (EWG) President Ken Cook. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) denied a petition by Energy Sec. Rick Perry to require the use of electricity from coal and nuclear plants, even when cheaper sources are available—a move analysts said would drive up Americans' utility bills by billions of dollars a year.

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Health
Claire's Bedazzled Rainbow Heart Makeup Set is among the company's products to be recalled for asbestos testing. claires.com

Asbestos-Laced Makeup: Children’s Products Continue to Be Contaminated With Deadly Fiber

The troubling news about the presence of asbestos in children's makeup is just the latest example of the deadly fiber contaminating imported products marketed toward children, said Environmental Working Group (EWG).

The national retail chain Claire's, which sells jewelry, makeup and other items targeted toward young girls and children, recently announced it was recalling a number of its makeup products after they tested positive for asbestos.

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Trump Watch
Methylene chloride is a cancer-causing chemical used in paint strippers, and easily found in hardware and paint stores. CAPublic Health / YouTube

Trump EPA Delays Deadly Chemical Bans Indefinitely

The Trump administration last week proposed to indefinitely delay proposed bans of high-risk uses of three toxic chemicals: Methylene chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone, or NMP, in paint strippers and trichloroethylene, or TCE, in degreasing.

The proposed chemical bans and restrictions were stripped from the administration's "Unified Agenda"—and are among hundreds of deregulatory actions that put the health and safety of Americans at risk by weakening protections.

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Health
Pexels

Cell Phone Radiation Risks: California Issues Groundbreaking Guidelines

By Olga Naidenko

This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children's developing brains could be at greater risk.

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2017 Toyota Prius Prime Premium. motortrend.com

Toyota Urged to Reject Tainted 'Partnership' Claimed by Destructive EPA Chief

The Environmental Working Group is urging Toyota to reject a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), because EPA chief Scott Pruitt's plan to "evaluate management practices" is cover for his real agenda of destroying the agency's ability to do its job.

In a letter sent Wednesday to James Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, EWG President Ken Cook wrote that helping Pruitt "manage EPA into the ground" would betray the ideals of quality, effectiveness and efficiency represented by the vaunted "Toyota Way" and the company's reputation for and commitment to environmental responsibility.

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Health

Costs of White House Bailout of Coal and Nukes: 27,000 Early Deaths, $263 Billion

By Grant Smith and Bill Walker

The Trump administration's scheme to make utility customers subsidize dirty, dangerous and aging coal and nuclear power plants would result in 27,000 premature deaths and a net cost of $263 billion by 2045, according to projections by independent researchers. Another analysis estimates that the coal bailout alone would cause about 1,400 premature deaths and 23,000 cases of asthma each year.

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Health
Shutterstock

Study Suggests Teflon Phaseout Has Prevented Thousands of Low-Weight Births, Saved Billions in Health Care Costs

By Bill Walker

The phaseout of a hazardous chemical formerly used to make Teflon has likely prevented thousands of low-weight births in the U.S. each year, saving billions of dollars in health care costs, according to a new study from researchers at New York University.

The overall number of American babies born underweight has been rising. But low-weight births that the researchers specifically attributed to the Teflon chemical exposure have declined by more than 10,000 a year since the phaseout began, according to the analysis published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.

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Fracking

Fracking Chemicals Remain Secret Despite EPA Knowledge of Health Hazards

By Tasha Stoiber

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows that dozens of the chemicals used in fracking pose health hazards. The agency not only allows their use, but also lets the oil and gas industry keep the chemicals secret, according to a new report.

Between 2003 and 2014 the EPA identified health hazards for 41 chemicals used in fracking, according to a report from the Partnership for Policy Integrity and Earthworks, based on documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Fracking is the injection of a chemical slurry into drilling sites to free up underground oil and gas deposits. Hazards from the chemicals used included irritation to eyes and skin; harm to the liver, kidney and nervous system; and damage to the developing fetus.

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