FYI Column: May 2022

Here is this month's roundup of recent news articles of interest.

Personal Care Products

How the government regulates cosmetics and what chemicals consumers should be cautious of, is set out in this explainer from Michigan Today.

Testing of more than 200 skin lightening and anti-aging creams sold by major online retailers revealed that close to half of them contain levels of mercury far above the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's limit of one part per million, writes the Guardian and Environmental Working Group.

It's not just mercury— writes about the spate of products recently found to contain the carcinogen benzene. In fact, the makers of Suave deodorant have recalled some of their products due to the presence of benzene, wrote the Sun.

Medicine and OTC Products

Another recall—drugmaker Pfizer has pulled certain lots of its blood pressure medications due to the presence of the carcinogen nitrosamine, reports

The Express writes about the cancer risk from the herbal remedies containing aristolochic acid.


Another legal fight is brewing in the dispute over the cancer risks posed by glyphosate, writes Investors in Bayer are not happy with how the company's purchase of Monsanto went down, alleging in a lawsuit they were misled about the cancer risks of Roundup.

Meanwhile, a scientific paper bolsters claims of Roundup's carcinogenicity through a study of how specific Roundup formulations affect rat DNA, writes Beyond Pesticides.

The city of Montreal in Canada has banned sales of Roundup, but customers are still finding it in stores, according to Yahoo News.


One chemical class continues to grab much attention—PFAS with Consumer Reports writing that researchers are linking the chemicals to liver disease.

Starbucks is the latest company to pledge to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from its food packaging—promising to remove it in U.S. stores by 2022 and internationally by 2023, writes Environmental Health News. Meanwhile, coverage continues of the wider issue of PFAS in fast food packaging, including in

And it's not just the packaging—Environmental Health News writes about testing that has found indicators of PFAS in four brands of organic pasta sauces.

Farms that have used biosolids—which contain PFAS—as fertilizer are now facing huge problems with soil and water contamination, writes the Guardian.

Chemours, the maker of the PFAS chemical GenX, is seeking to head off regulatory limits on the chemical by arguing that it is crucial for certain green technologies and will help fight climate change, reports the Intercept.


Other chemicals still bedevil efforts to ensure clean drinking water, with Environment America releasing test results that it says show lead contamination in school drinking water is more widespread than previously thought.

And California is the first state to push for drinking water limits on hexavalent chromium aka the "Erin Brokovich" chemical, but the real Erin Brokovich is not happy, reports The Hill.


Many pesticides used in California contain chemicals listed under Proposition 65 and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has published a chart which breaks down the amount of various Prop 65-listed pesticides used over a ten-year period.

Consumer Products

A plan to distribute clear backpacks at a school in North Carolina was muddied after people saw Prop. 65 warnings attached, as covered by WCNC.

The Manila Bulletin writes about a group seeking to remove phthalates from children's erasers

Danger even lurks in your own clothes, according to this article from Impakter which talks about synthetic ingredients in clothing and the potential harm they pose to the environment and human health.


Just in time, the European Union has issued its biggest plan yet on chemical safety by seeking bans on large classes of chemicals, writes the Guardian.

CBS reports on a PE teacher raising alarms about the potential cancer risk from phenylmercuric acetate found in rubberized gym floors in schools.

Should you take your shoes off when you come home? Yes, because your shoes are spreading nasty chemicals all over your floor and increasing your exposure, according to this story by Inverse.

Want to know what sorts of nasty chemicals may be lurking in your home? Well, a test of your pet's poo and pee could tell you a lot, according to Health Day.

An even bigger threat to human health—well a threat to humanity, actually—is plastic pollution, according to Salon. As sperm counts drop dramatically around the world, there is a growing infertility crisis and scientists are pointing the finger at plastics, according to the story.

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California Department of Pesticide Regulation has published a chart Jan 4, 2022

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