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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NRDC / Flilckr

Trump, Pruitt Slash EPA Staff to 30-Year Lows as Drinking Water, Climate Change Crises Mount

By October of this year, the staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be reduced to levels not seen since the Reagan administration, 30 years ago, according to a report by Brady Dennis with the Washington Post.

The dramatic reduction in staff will almost certainly include career scientists and other staff who are often called into local communities where an environmental disaster is occurring, like Houston following Hurricane Harvey. These staffers also work on less urgent, but serious problems like the widespread drinking water contamination that impacts virtually every American.

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Pruitt's EPA Cedes Pesticide Oversight to Agriculture Department

Internal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents show that Administrator Scott Pruitt has effectively relinquished the EPA's oversight of pesticide safety to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), said Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) senior vice president of government affairs.

More than 700 pages of emails and other records show that Pruitt and other EPA officials consulted closely with agribusiness interests and top officials at the USDA on the decision not to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide that has been shown to harm children's brains at even very low levels, according to The New York Times.

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Monsanto GMO Guru Attacks Pesticides in Produce Shopper's Guide

By Alex Formuzis

We'd like to thank Rob Fraley, chief technology official at Monsanto, who's largely responsible for introducing genetically modified foods to the U.S. and Big Ag's surge in pesticide use that ensued.

We aren't thanking him for that catastrophe, but for his recent Huffington Post attack on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and our Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which he called propaganda. (At least he didn't say fake news).

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New Report Finds 'Erin Brockovich' Carcinogen in Water Supply for 250 Million Americans

By Robert Coleman

In 2016, an EWG report found that chromium-6—a cancer-causing compound made notorious by the film "Erin Brockovich"—contaminated the tap water supplies of 218 million Americans in all 50 states. But our just-released Tap Water Database shows the problem is even worse than that.

Based on test results obtained directly from almost 50,000 local water utilities, drinking water supplies for about 250 million Americans are contaminated with chromium-6. For about 231 million people, drinking water supplies have average levels of chromium-6 exceeding the one-in-a-million cancer risk level determined by California state scientists.

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Before Buying a Water Filter, Read This

By Robert Coleman

The findings of the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) just-released Tap Water Database may be shocking to many Americans, as they show that the drinking water supplies of nearly everyone in the nation are tainted with chemicals at levels exceeding at least one health-protective guideline.

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Did You Know ... Most Imported Cosmetics Are Never Tested by the FDA

By Melanie Benesh

According to a New York Times story published Wednesday, contaminants such as mercury, lead and bacteria, and other banned ingredients, are showing up in an alarming number of imported personal care products. This follows recent news that asbestos was found in tests of imported makeup marketed to tweens.

The Times story is based on a letter sent to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the letter, the FDA revealed that imports of personal care products have doubled in the last decade and that imports from China have increased 79 percent in the last five years. The FDA also disclosed that in 2016, 15 percent of imported personal care products inspected had adverse findings and 20 percent of products the FDA tested in its own labs had adverse findings.

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100 Cancer-Causing Contaminants Found in U.S. Drinking Water

By Robert Coleman

The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) just-released Tap Water Database shows that a startling number of cancer-causing chemicals contaminate the nation's drinking water. Of 250 different contaminants detected in tests by local utilities, 93 are linked to an increased risk of developing cancer.

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Find Out What's in Your Tap Water

Starting Wednesday, the vast majority of Americans can learn about every potentially harmful chemical in their drinking water and what scientists say are the safe levels of those contaminants. The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) new national Tap Water Database is the most complete source available on the quality of U.S. drinking water, aggregating and analyzing data from almost 50,000 public water systems in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The organization has earned a reputation for ambitious data-mining research projects that shake up policy debates and consumer markets. EWG's online Farm Subsidy Database, listing millions of subsidy recipients, and its Skin Deep guide to more than 70,000 personal care products, draw tens of millions of visitors every year.

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Mike Mozart

California Scientists: Safe Level of Roundup Is 100x Lower Than EPA Allowance

By Olga V. Naidenko, Ph.D.

In a landmark rule with global repercussions, California state scientists are preparing to issue the world's first health guideline for Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide based on its cancer risk. The state's proposed safe level is more than 100 times lower than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) legal allowance for the average-sized American.

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