Environmental Working Group

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Mission Statement

Know your environment. Protect your health. For 25 years EWG has worked to protect people from toxic chemicals – in their homes, food, tap water and everyday household products.
EWG’s long-term goal is to reform the nation’s broken chemical safety and agriculture laws, and to give the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration the authority and resources they need to be the fierce watchdogs of public health they were intended to be. We want to ensure health-harming chemicals never make it to market, into our environment or into our bodies.
But until that happens, EWG will work in their stead.

Description

You may have seen our work
  • Skin Deep® cosmetics database lists easy-to-navigate hazard ratings for nearly 70,000 products and 9,000 ingredients on the market.
  • Guide to Healthy Cleaning is a free, searchable online tool providing consumers with safety ratings for common household cleaners
  • Tap Water Database look up your local water system to find out which pollutants might be of concern, and find suggestions on the best kinds of home filters to remove those chemicals.
  • Food Scores database rates more than 80,000 foods in a simple, searchable online format to empower people to shop smarter and eat healthier. Each item in the database is scored based on three factors: nutrition, ingredient concerns and degree of processing.
  • Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ help you decide when to splurge for organic fruits and vegetables, and when you should save money by buying conventional.
  • Interactive pollution mapping of tap water contamination and agricultural pollution.
Why we fight
Because our national chemical laws are so weak and outdated, the FDA and EPA do not require manufacturers to test chemical ingredients used in many consumer products for safety or health impacts before they are used.
This includes ingredients used in household cleaners, cosmetics, personal care products and some building supplies. Manufacturers get to gamble with our health, using chemicals that are untested and even hazardous, with few mechanisms to remove them from the market once dangers are known.
Meanwhile, millions of pounds of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and animal waste from industrial agriculture leach into our groundwater, food and air – contaminating not just our environment, but our bodies as well.
Many of these hazardous chemical exposures occur everyday, in minute amounts that build up over time.
Our strategy
We use our unique expertise to gather and analyze mountains of data – on personal care products, household cleaners, processed foods, drinking water contaminants, oil and gas pollution, and agricultural damage – to expose risky practices and products, confront manufacturers and industries directly, and challenge the chemical status quo.
Our signature shopping guides and databases push companies to make cleaner, greener products and give consumers the information they need to make safer choices today.
Our teams in D.C., Sacramento and Minneapolis go directly to lawmakers to educate them about these issues and push for the regulatory reforms we need.

Program Details

What’s next
This is a key moment in EWG’s history. Over the last two decades, our consumer education campaigns have created demand for safer products and resulted in entirely new product categories – from organic baby food to paraben-free cosmetics.
We are now taking our efficacy to the next level by working directly with manufacturers to meet our strict safety standards and remove chemicals of concern from products during the research and development phase. Doing so will put the burden of avoiding dangerous chemicals on the companies themselves, and will make it easier for consumers to find safer products.
Write the standards: EWG is defining strict industry standards for chemicals used in a wide range of consumer products.
Change consumer demand: We are educating consumers with actionable information about specific chemicals of concern and inspiring demand for safer products.
Change the industry: By creating demand for safer products and engaging manufacturers and retailers directly, we are pushing whole industries to adapt to our standards and take a stand against chemicals of concern.
Change the law: By relentlessly pursuing chemical policy protections from the federal government, EPA, FDA and at state and local levels, EWG is slowly but surely making it easier to remove the worst chemicals from the marketplace.
Primary Issue
Pollution
Secondary Issue
Water
Address
1436 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
United States
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