The Environmental Working Group is an environmental health advocacy group that conducts original research into toxic hazards present in everyday products and lobbies for their remediation. Regular readers of the Allentown Family Health Examiner's column are likely already aware of the EWG's "Skin Deep" cosmetics database, its "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" lists of highest and lowest pesticide contamination levels in non-organic produce, and its annually updated sunscreen guide. Other research products from the EWG include a guide to household cleaning products, a water filter guide, and a guide to minimizing the hazards of cell phone radiation.
The aforementioned consumer guides, as well as other research products, are available free of charge on the EWG.org website. The research that goes into these guides, as well as the production of magnets and paper wallet guides, is not free, however, and the EWG relies on support from concerned citizens to fund its continuing operations and special projects. The EWG concentrates its research in the areas of consumer products, energy, farming, food, water, and toxic substances -- issues of importance to environmentally conscious Americans as well as those who just want to keep their families safe.
During the year-end competition for individuals' tax-deductible contributions, many organizations offer special bonuses to donors, and the EWG is no exception. The first 500 people to give $50 or more will receive a copy of Bonnie Raitt's two-CD set, Now & Then. Interested parties may donate by following this link, or visiting EWG.org and clicking the "donate" button on the upper-right portion of the page. Other thank-you gifts for donation include magnets with guides to seasonal produce for donations of $10 or more. Although not Christmas-related, a donation to the Environmental Working Group might be the perfect gift for someone who "has everything" -- a donation can always be made on a friend's behalf, and what better gift than helping to ensure a less toxic future for all of us?