Filed Under: The Green Fringe

Lead for Me But Not for Thee

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an environmental research and advocacy group that specializes in sounding the alarm over toxic substances. When it comes to lead, EWG seems to have a zero-tolerance policy, as shown from this 2009 blog post on its website:

Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) have found lead, a potent neurotoxin, in 100 percent of 10 popular children’s face paints. The amounts were low – but, as CSC points out, there’s no safe level of lead exposure, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends protecting children from it.

But after our study on Monday showed that many reusable grocery bags contained almost seven times the lead limit set by many states, the EWG was suddenly slightly less concerned:

"We don't see any need to turn away from reusable bags," because contamination can occur in disposable ones as well, says Leeann Brown, spokeswoman for the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based, non-profit advocacy group. She recommends consumers carefully wash their hands and produce and look for reusable bags that have been independently tested for lead.

So let's see if we have this straight: EWG won't stand for lead in cosmetics, but when it comes to one of its sacred cows, it's nothing a little soap and water can't solve? Can anyone else spot the inconsistencies?

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