- A New 66 Million-Year History of Carbon Dioxide Offers Little Comfort for Todayby Kevin Krajick on Dec 7, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Scientists have produced a new curve of how atmospheric carbon dioxide affects climate. It makes clear that its effects can be long lasting.
- Paving the Way for Backpack Climate Science: North Cascades Glacier Climate Project Turns 40by Jenna Travers on Dec 7, 2023 at 6:17 pm
Forty years after Mauri Pelto began studying the glaciers in northern Washington, much has changed about the glaciers, the project and the people involved.
- EWG recognizes Congress for taking steps to address ‘forever chemicals’ in NDAAby Iris Myers on Dec 7, 2023 at 5:31 pm
EWG recognizes Congress for taking steps to address ‘forever chemicals’ in NDAA Iris Myers December 7, 2023 WASHINGTON – The Environmental Working Group applauds Congress for including several provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for fiscal year 2024 to tackle the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS. The NDAA is legislation that Congress passes each year to make changes to the policies and organization of U.S. defense agencies and to guide how military funding can be spent. The House and Senate have finalized text for the fiscal year 2024 NDAA. To tackle forever chemicals, the 2024 NDAA includes provisions that will: Require the Department of Defense to develop a separate annual budget proposal for PFAS activities, including efforts to cleanup bases contaminated with PFAS. Require the DOD to provide and periodically update a PFAS cleanup schedule and cost estimates. Help communities participate in the PFAS cleanup process. Require the Government Accountability Office to report on PFAS testing and cleanup efforts. Provide funding to study the impact of PFAS on defense communities’ health, conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. “These provisions will keep the pressure on the DOD to address PFAS contamination at military facilities and reduce exposure to military communities and families,” said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs. “However, Congress must do much more to accelerate the pace of cleanup, including more funding.” Cleanup funding included in the NDAA for FY 2024 is the lowest level since FY 2019, and EWG has found expected cleanup costs are outstripping available funds. “Defense communities should not have to wait 50 years or more for their neighbor, the DOD, to clean up the toxic plumes threatening their health,” Faber added. PFAS chemicals have been confirmed at more than 450 DOD installations, and hundreds more sites may be contaminated. Studies show that exposure to very low levels of PFAS can increase the risk of cancer, harm fetal development and reduce vaccine effectiveness. PFAS are known as “forever chemicals,” because they build up in our blood and organs, and do not break down in the environment. EWG applauds the work of: Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Roger Wicker (R-M.S.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-M.I.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-M.A.), Richard Blumenthal (D-C.T.), and Mark Kelly (D-A.Z.). Reps. Mike Rogers (R-A.L.), Adam Smith (D-W.A.), Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), Madeleine Dean (D-P.A.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H), Marilyn Strickland (D-W.A.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-P.A.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Andy Kim (D-.N.J.), Jennifer Kiggans (R-V.A.), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Jasmine Crockett (D-T.X.), Abigail Spanberger (D-V.A.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Kevin Mullin (D-C.A.), Summer Lee (D-P.A.), Salud Carbajal (D-C.A), Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Raul Grijalva (D-A.Z.), Rick Larsen (D-W.A.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-T.X.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Marc Veasey (D-T.X.), Steven Cohen (D-T.N.), Mary Peltola (D-A.K.), Al Green (D-T.X.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), Brad Schneider (D-I.L.), Greg Casar (D-T.X.), Sylvia Garcia (D-T.X.), Chris Deluzio (D-P.A.), Jamie Raskin (D-M.D.), Ed Case (D-H.I.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-I.L.), Hillary Sholten (D-M.I.), Matt Gaetz (R-F.L.), Earl Blumenauer (D-O.R.), Jason Crow (D-C.O.), Seth Moulton (D-M.A.), Linda Sanchez (D-C.A.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Mike Levin (D-C.A.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Haley Stevens (D-M.I.), Bill Keating (D-M.A.), Derrick Van Orden (R-W.I.), Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.), Bobby Scott (D-V.A.), Jim McGovern (D-M.A.), and Lizzie Fletcher (D-T.X.) The NDAA will be brought to the full House and Senate this December, marking the 63rd consecutive year this bipartisan legislation has passed Congress and been signed into law. ### The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action. Areas of Focus Toxic Chemicals Disqus Comments Press Contact Monica Amarelo email@example.com (202) 939-9140 December 7, 2023
- How EWG saved Christmas: Healthy stocking stuffers under $20by Iris Myers on Dec 7, 2023 at 3:57 pm
How EWG saved Christmas: Healthy stocking stuffers under $20 Iris Myers December 7, 2023 Rushing downstairs on Christmas morning to check your stocking is one of the oldest and most treasured yuletide traditions. But finding the perfect stocking stuffers isn’t always as enjoyable. Those small gifts can quickly add up – especially if you have a large family. That’s why EWG is offering safer cosmetic holiday gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Every product below costs less than $20 and most are available on Amazon or from big box stores like CVS, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Using our Skin Deep® database, we’ve found the perfect stocking-size presents. Every product rates either a 1 or a 2 in Skin Deep, meaning a low hazard rating and fair or better ingredient data availability. Or it’s EWG VERIFIED® – meaning it meets EWG’s rigorous standards for health and transparency. Bubble bath Bubble bath brings out the child in all of us. But some may contain skin-irritating chemicals and harmful fragrance ingredients. Whether you’re giving the gift of a playful bath-time experience or a relaxing, self-care soak, make sure no toxic chemicals lurk in the suds. Babo Botanica Sensitive Baby Bubble Bath, Wash & Shampoo, Fragrance Free Available online at Walmart, $16.50 Honest Bubble Bath, Lavender, Sweet Orange Vanilla, Sweet Almond, Fragrance Free Available in store at Target, $12.99; Walgreens, $13.29; Available online at Amazon, $11.04 The Honest Company Comfort Baby Bubble Bath, Sweet Cream Available in store at Walmart, $12.97 TruKid Bubble Podz Sensitive Care, Unscented Available online at Target, $11.99; Available online at Amazon, $9.34 Alaffia Everyday Shea Bubble Bath, Lavender Available in store at CVS and Walgreens, $9.99; Available online at Amazon, $15.95 Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Bubble Bath & Body Wash Available online at Walmart, $18.71; Available online at Amazon, $14.45 Alaffia Babies & Kids Bubble Bath Unrefined Shea Butter, Lemon Lavender Available in store at Target, $14.99; Available online at Amazon, $9.99 Hand lotion During the dry winter months, a quality hand lotion is essential – hydrated skin is less likely to crack and get irritated. But some lotions could do more harm than good, with harmful ingredients that can be absorbed through the skin. ATTITUDE Sensitive Skin Hand Cream, Chamomile Available online at Walmart, $14.76; Available online at Amazon, $13.86 Bioderma Cicabio Hand Cream, Unscented Available in store at Walgreens, $10.99; online at Target and Walmart, $9.99; Available online at Amazon, $9.49 Burt’s Bees Hand Salve Available in store at CVS, $10.99; Walgreens, $9.99; Walmart $8.87; Available online at Amazon, $8.19 Yes to Avocado Daily Hand Cream, Fragrance Free Available in store at CVS, $5.99; Walmart $18.77; Available online at Amazon, $14.99 (two pack) Up & Up Hand Cream Available in store at Target, $5.59 Shikai Borage Therapy Hand Cream Available online Target, $11.19; Walmart, $9.73; Available online at Amazon, $9.14 Face masks Quite possibly the ultimate self-care gift: a face mask. With products that promote hydration, brightening and anti-aging benefits, there’s something for everyone. But some face masks can include skin-irritating fragrances and chemicals. Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask Available in store at Target, $19.99; online at Walmart, $19.99; Available online at Amazon, $9.75 Freeman Cosmic Steam Eye Mask, Rose Quartz Available in store at Walmart, $3 Walgreens Refining Pink Clay Mask Available in store at Walgreens, $2.29 Cocokind Clay Mask, Sea Kale Available in store at Target, $18.99; Available online at Amazon, $20.99 Avatara Brightening Peach Mask, Juicy Peach Beach Available in store at Target, $3.19; Walmart, $3; Available online at Amazon, $12 (five pack) Avatara Juicy Hydrating Watermelon Mask Available in store at Target, $3.19; Walmart, $3 Rael Beauty, Vitamin C Brighten + Glow Facial Sheet Masks Available in store at CVS, $3.99; Walgreens, $3.49; Available online at Amazon, $14.90 (five pack) Lip balm Chapped and cracking lips are common during the coldest months of the year. Lip balm adds a protective layer while sealing in hydration. But some brands could expose you to allergens and toxic chemicals. Honest Tinted Lip Balm, Blood Orange, Fruit Punch, Plum Drop, White Nectarine, Lychee Fruit, Summer Melon, Dragon Fruit Available online at Target, $9.99; in store at Walgreens, $10.99; and online at Walmart, $19.80; Available online at Amazon, $9.99 Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm, Rose, Lemon Lime, Naked, Peppermint, Orange Ginger, Cherry Blossom Available in store at Target, $3.99; Walgreens, $3.79; and online at Walmart, $9.99; Available online at Amazon, $14.99 (two pack) Attitude Lip Balm SPF 15, Coconut Available online at Walmart, $9.99; Available online at Amazon $7 Attitude Lip Balm Watermelon, Mint, Coconut, Unscented Available online at Walmart, $8.48; Available online at Amazon, $11.45 Hello Vegan Lip Balm, Strawberry Available online at Walmart, $17.64; Available online at Amazon, $5.99 Burt’s Bees Rescue Balm with Turmeric, Unscented Available online at Walmart, $7.89 Organic Fiji Lip Balm, Peppermint Available online at Walmart, $13.50; Available online at Amazon, $9.49 (two pack) Pixi Skintreats Botanical Collagen Lip Gloss Available in store at Target, $16 Eco Lips Mongo Kiss Lip Balm, Vanilla Honey Available in store at Walmart, $2.49; Available online at Amazon, $18.99 (six pack) Cocokind All-Over Moisture Stick, Mymatcha Available in store at Target, $8.99; Available online at Amazon, $8.98 Aquaphor Immediate Relief Lip Repair Available in store at Target, $8.39; Walgreens, $10.99; Walmart, $8.36; Available online at Amazon, $8.24 (two pack) Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, Watermelon, Vanilla Bean, Cranberry Spritz, Peppermint, Honey, Tropical Pineapple Available in store at CVS, $4.29; Target, $3.49; Walgreens, $4.29; Walmart, $3.77; Available online at Amazon, $6.98 (two pack) Vaseline Original Lip Therapy Stick Available in store at Target, $2.49 (two pack); Walgreens, $1.25; Available online at Amazon, $5 (four pack) Eos Smooth Lip Balm, Watermelon Frose Available in store at Target, $3.19; online at Walmart, $4.97 (two pack); Available online at Amazon, $3.59 Eos 100% Natural Organic Lip Balm, Sweet Mint Available in store at CVS, $3.89; Target, $4.99; online at Walmart, $5.05; Available online at Amazon, $5.49 (two pack) EWG is on a mission this season to make your holiday shopping experience easy. We polled our staff to find out what they’ll be giving their friends and family this year; our 2023 gift guide contains our best ideas for presents that are good for your loved ones and the planet. Or check our guide of EWG VERIFIED gift ideas. You can also consult Skin Deep to find the best personal care products for you. And use our Healthy Living app for product ratings when shopping on the go. Disclaimer: The prices of products in this article were accurate at the time of writing but may have changed since publication. Local availability may vary. ### Areas of Focus Personal Care Products Disqus Comments Authors JR Culpepper Guest Authors Shavonne Strelevitz, Communications intern December 7, 2023
- How much carbon can oysters store? Scientists are trying to find out.by Emily Jones on Dec 7, 2023 at 9:45 am
Oysters stabilize shorelines, trap carbon-rich sediment, and help marshes grow.
- What would it take to end the meat culture wars?by Max Graham on Dec 7, 2023 at 9:30 am
A COP28 proposal to eat less meat would come amid a right-wing backlash against alternatives.
- Dredging up New York City’s Glacial Memoryby Olga Rukovets on Dec 6, 2023 at 7:11 pm
Glaciologist Elizabeth Case spoke to New Yorkers about the role glaciers have played in designing the city’s landscape.
- Why are there so many fossil fuel lobbyists at COP28?by Jake Bittle on Dec 6, 2023 at 5:24 pm
A record 2,400 lobbyists are at the conference representing national governments, business groups, and carbon offset advocates.
- American Geophysical Union 2023: Key Research From the Columbia Climate Schoolby Kevin Krajick on Dec 6, 2023 at 4:25 pm
A guide to notable research to be presented at the world’s largest gathering of earth and space scientists.
- TikTok made cottage cheese cool. Can it do the same for climate-friendly eating?by Claire Elise Thompson on Dec 6, 2023 at 3:35 pm
A growing contingent of plant-based and low-waste creators suggests that sustainable eating could “go viral” — but maybe not in the way we expect.
- In France, zero-waste experiments tackle a tough problem: People’s habitsby Joseph Winters on Dec 6, 2023 at 9:45 am
Local initiatives in Roubaix and Nouvelle-Aquitaine try different strategies for waste reduction — and behavior change.
- At COP28, world leaders turn a belated spotlight on human healthby Zoya Teirstein on Dec 6, 2023 at 9:30 am
Climate health experts applauded the milestone but emphasized the need to phaseout fossil fuels.
- Most Americans want to electrify their homes — if they can keep their gas stovesby Tik Root on Dec 6, 2023 at 9:15 am
A poll finds less than one-third of Americans want a fully electric home. That number jumps to 60 percent if people can continue cooking with methane.
- In Michigan, the controversial Line 5 pipeline gets one step closer to the finish lineby Izzy Ross on Dec 6, 2023 at 9:00 am
Opponents have called the decision by the state’s Public Service Commission “disastrous” and “reprehensible.”
- Clean energy advocates decry California’s disastrous decision to slash residential solar program, triggering widespread job losses and bankruptcies in the state’s solar industry.by Iris Myers on Dec 5, 2023 at 8:07 pm
Clean energy advocates decry California’s disastrous decision to slash residential solar program, triggering widespread job losses and bankruptcies in the state’s solar industry. Iris Myers December 5, 2023 SAN FRANCISCO – Join clean energy leaders on a webinar on December 7 at 10 a.m. PST for a discussion of the calamitous decision, in April, of the California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, to gut the state’s rooftop solar incentives. That decision has now led to the loss of over 17,000 solar jobs in California, according to a new analysis by the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA), with more layoffs and bankruptcies likely by the end of the year. “The CPUC’s decision caused the nation’s largest-ever loss of clean energy jobs, pushing thriving businesses into bankruptcy and derailing California’s path to a clean energy future,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Association. What: Webinar on the impacts of the once-booming solar industry in California following the CPUC’s gutting of rooftop solar incentives. When: Thursday December 7, 2023, 10 a.m. PST. Featuring: Bernadette Del Chiaro, California Solar and Storage Association executive director. Dave Rosenfeld, Solar Rights Alliance executive director. Laura Deehan, Environment California state director. Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group president, EWG. Webinar link: https://ewg-org.zoom.us/j/84005811806?pwd=OTcxWDV2NE0vN2tkcC80YzFZTHRJUT09 Passcode: 077580 ### Disqus Comments Press Contact Alex Formuzis firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 667-6982 December 6, 2023
- Inside the Marshall Islands’ life-or-death plan to survive climate changeby Jake Bittle on Dec 5, 2023 at 10:50 am
The Pacific island nation is seeking $35 billion to protect against sea-level rise and prevent a mass exodus.
- The overlooked climate solution making headway at COP28: Doing more with lessby Akielly Hu on Dec 5, 2023 at 9:45 am
Doubling the annual pace of energy efficiency progress would achieve half of the emissions reductions needed by 2030.
- Illinois governor cancels migrant tent city on toxic landby Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco on Dec 5, 2023 at 9:30 am
It’s a major win for activists who opposed the controversial project.
- Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Unsafe for wildlifeby Iris Myers on Dec 4, 2023 at 6:31 pm
Microplastics in the Great Lakes: Unsafe for wildlife Iris Myers December 4, 2023 From Milwaukee to Buffalo, the Great Lakes span over 500 miles and contain 84 percent of North America’s surface freshwater. But the iconic lakes – and the wildlife they’re home to – may be in danger. The lakes are polluted with alarming amounts of the tiny plastic particles known as microplastics. If left unchecked, microplastic pollution in the lakes could harm the communities that rely on them for food, water and income. The contamination threatens the 300,000 jobs they support, their ecosystem of over 3,500 species of plants and animals, and the drinking water supply of more than 40 million people. Ninety percent of water samples taken from the Great Lakes over the past 10 years are contaminated with microplastics at levels that are unsafe for wildlife, according to a recent study from the University of Toronto. Where microplastics come from Microplastics are defined as plastic particles under 5 millimeters in size. They can be intentionally manufactured or formed from the degradation of larger plastics. Fibers from clothing or debris from larger pieces of plastic can contribute to microplastic pollution in waterways like the Great Lakes. This pollution can also come from “nurdles,” small pieces of plastic used to produce larger plastic products. The breakdown of single-use plastics is a major contributor to microplastic pollution. Microplastics end up in the lakes from many sources, including city water runoff, heavy winds and rain storms. Because they’re so small and come from many different sources, they take a lot of time for policymakers and scientists to study. Possible health risks Microplastics have been found in human blood, organs and even breast milk. We don’t know exactly how they affect human health, but the harm they can cause wildlife has been well documented. It can come from material pollution and the chemical pollution that microplastics take up and release. Microplastics have been known to absorb chemicals like flame retardants, the toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, and many others absorbed by the plastic and then ingested by wildlife. Studies have also shown that animals that have come in contact with microplastics may experience developmental delays, reduced mental processing, infertility and weakened immune systems. Widespread pollution An estimated 22 million pounds of plastic enter the Great Lakes every year. A study of three Lake Michigan tributaries discovered that 85 percent of the fish sampled had microplastics in their digestive tracts. Microplastic pollution can be found in every part of the food web, including mussels, algae, invertebrates and birds. Ingested microplastics can fill up an animal’s stomach, causing it to think it’s full without providing any nutrition. Because microplastics have become so ubiquitous in water environments, animals do not have to actively eat microplastics to become contaminated. They can absorb plastic through drinking lake water, ingesting sediment or simply coming in contact with it as it floats through the ecosystem. Contaminated fish and other lake-dwelling animals are consumed by people throughout the Great Lakes region and beyond, with unknown health consequences. Tackling plastic pollution Because microplastics are so widespread, they have been hard to regulate. Some cities have begun to address this issue. Areas like Chicago have started installing filters on storm drains and sewage systems to catch macro and microplastics before they enter the water systems. But much of the microplastic pollution in the Great Lakes comes from airborne particles, not water runoff, making these filters a less effective protective measure. Many experts say we must use less plastic if we are to curb the flow of microplastics into the Great Lakes. The U.S. is among the world’s biggest producers of plastic waste, and the amount we use is only expected to increase. Instead of trying to get manufacturers to clean up plastic pollution, experts urge them to cut back on the amount of plastic they produce in the first place. International efforts The pollution researchers are beginning to uncover in this region is only a small piece of the microplastic puzzle. While ocean plastic pollution is often in the spotlight, plastics in freshwater are just as pervasive. Only about 3 percent of the earth’s surface water is freshwater, so it’s crucial to make the protection of these ecosystems a priority. The European Union prohibits intentionally added microplastics in all products, with the goal of reducing microplastic waste by 30 percent by 2030. The ban includes microplastics in cosmetics, detergents, fertilizers, glitter, toys and medicine, among other products. The timeline for the EU’s ban on these products ranges anywhere from four to 12 years, depending on the availability of alternatives, and it affects both products the EU imports from the U.S. and those made in the EU. The U.S. has also taken some steps, for example, with a ban on “rinse off” microplastics, in 2015 – those added to products that will get washed away. Any product that contains microplastic beads that get washed down the drain, like facial cleanser or toothpaste, is considered a rinse-off product. But the U.S. needs to do more to ensure meaningful change. How you can help There are some steps you can take to help reduce the use of plastic and, in turn, fight microplastic pollution. You can: Reduce personal plastic consumption. For instance, dispose of plastics properly and lower your consumption of single-use plastics like straws and bottles. Perform car maintenance regularly. Tire wear and other car-related mechanical processes can release microplastics into the atmosphere, especially with poorly maintained tires. Use public or alternative transportation when possible. This is a great way to reduce the amount of microplastics released from driving. Rethink how you do your laundry. Microplastics are released in mass during the laundry process, especially by your dryer. Polymer fabrics like acrylic, polyester and nylon can shed them in the washing machine. Doing laundry less often, air drying or using a washing bag or filter can help. ### Areas of Focus Toxic Chemicals Disqus Comments Guest Authors Kendall Rozen, Communications Intern December 5, 2023
- Why Did This Journalist Enroll in the Climate and Society Program?by Columbia Climate School on Dec 4, 2023 at 4:58 pm
Vishal Manve is looking for new ways to help make the world more sustainable and just.