The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization whose mission is “to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.” By providing integrated and detailed information on toxins in a variety of products, EWG encourages readers to advocate for themselves and their health by making educated purchasing decisions. Their staff covers a wide variety of disciplines, including a team of scientists, policy experts, lawyers, communication experts and programmers all focused on reducing our environmental exposures. In the past, they have found that their education efforts have enabled the public to put pressure on companies to remove potentially hazardous chemical ingredients as well as improving their overall practices. Overall, they diligently work to inform the public, provide specific tips to reduce exposure, and influence policy to create a healthier world for us all.
The homepage has a large amount of information related to environmental chemicals, current research, and helpful tips on how to reduce your exposure. In order to navigate the material, there are a couple different search options that can help you find what you are looking for. In addition to a search box, there are seven main tabs including:
- About Us: Covers the staff at the Environmental Working Group, the board members, their strategic plan, office locations, funding information, past success stories, job openings, and annual reports.
- News: Provides news articles and media content that include their Agmag publication, EnviroBlog, Planet Trump, news releases, videos, testimony and official correspondence, and statements.
- Key Issues: Detailed information on the different causes addresses by EWG, which include consumer products, energy, farming, food, water, toxics, the Midwest, and children’s health.
- Research: Provides the scientific information around the importance of reducing chemical exposure. These articles are easy to read and follow, and often provide extensive resources and links for additional reading should you want to dive deeper into the material. This is a great place to get up-to-date information about current challenges and concerns to be aware of, and provides an in-depth glance at the science behind EWG’s advocacy efforts. It’s an extensive list, highlights of which include the following titles; Farming and the Environment, EWG’s Food Scores, EWG’s Conservation Database, Erin Brockovich Carcinogen in Tap Water of More Than 200 Million Americans, Mapping a Contamination Crisis, Retired Sensitive Cropland: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Organic Within Reach, NC Bill to Shield Cafos’ Liability Would Curb Legal Rights for Hundreds of Thousands, Cancer-Causing Pesticide Garbage Taints Tap Water for Millions in California, Growing Organic, and more.
- Consumer Guides: EWG provides various consumer guides that help guide purchase decisions with specific recommendations on what to look for to reduce your exposure. Some of the topics they cover include cosmetics, personal care products, sunscreens, cleaning products, produce, seafood, water filters, and ways to avoid genetically modified food.
- Support Our Work: Learn how to support the Environmental Working Group though donating online, private sector engagement, in-kind support, stocks, and sponsoring a child in EWG’s Healthy Child Healthy World program. This is also where you can join their mailing list and/or email them directly with any questions.
- EWG Verified: This section of the website focuses on the standards EWG uses to rate products and creates transparency in what chemicals are present in different brands.
The homepage also has direct links to updated blog articles, current political updates, a call-to-action center to learn more about getting involved, and a specific section on rethinking cancer.
One of the most helpful components of EWG.org is the consumer guides and suggested tips on how to reduce your exposure to toxins, which can lead to a lower risk of breast cancer. For example, their cosmetics guide evaluates up to 80,000 products and contains insightful articles on how chemicals in our personal care products can impact our health. Another helpful consumer guide tackles the summer challenge of finding sunscreen that does not contain artificial ingredients that may have long term consequences. In addition to this comprehensive list, they provide a downloadable PDF that encourages readers to take active steps in choosing safe sunscreens. They also include their own EWG Verification system that rates common products according to the toxins they contain, empowering readers to made conscious and educated purchases with ease.
Overall, this website is a great resource for those hoping to learn about practical and realistic ways to reduce exposure to harmful toxins. With detailed guides that address the science behind environmental chemicals, how these toxins affect the body, and specific product recommendations EWG.org is an essential source of a wide array of knowledge and advice. While the homepage includes content that spans the entirety of the topics they cover, it is easy to navigate around and search for areas of specific interest. EWG also provides insight into the political causes for concern, and keep a good collection of news and media content to help you stay informed.
To check out EWG.org click here!
This review was written by ZBC Program Manager Cailen Wright.