FYI Column: June 2022

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

Personal Care Products

Environmental racism extends into the world of personal care products, with products marketed to women of color often containing more toxic ingredients than those marketed to white women, according to a recent story map and research project created by public health researchers at Harvard University, writes Environmental Defense Fund.

Product recalls due to the detection of the carcinogen benzene continue, with Australian regulators recalling several sunscreens containing benzene, as covered by Sky News and

Meanwhile, Proctor & Gamble has reached a tentative settlement of several class action lawsuits filed earlier this year after several of their deodorants were recalled over benzene, according to Top Class Actions.

The CEO of an independent laboratory that issued findings last year showing benzene in sunscreens interviewed by WBNS.

And there is another blood pressure medication recall due to elevated levels of the carcinogen nitrosamine, with Pfizer recalling certain batches of its medication Accupril, writes WUSA9.

Food Packaging

There are more than 3,000 different chemicals found in food packaging and food-related materials according to a recent study from the Swiss nonprofit Food Packaging Forum, writes the Guardian.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has rejected several petitions filed by environmental and public health groups seeking a ban on phthalates in food packaging, according to The Hill.

Baby Food

A class action lawsuit filed against baby food maker Sprout Foods Inc. over the presence of heavy metals in its food was dismissed by a federal district court judge who called the case too speculative, according to Keller & Heckman's The Daily Intake blog.


Lawsuits over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in drinking water, soil and all sorts of consumer products have been proliferating in recent years, with several companies facing possible responsibility for billions of dollars in damages, writes Bloomberg Law.

Green Queen details the pioneering move underway in the European Union to ban a whole panoply of chemicals to protect human health.

A BBC journalist writes about getting her own blood tested for chemicals and the process to understand the potential implications once she gets the results.

The Guardian writes about a study that tested products sold at U.S. dollar stores and found that more than half the products contained harmful chemicals such as lead and phthalates.

While the state of California bars farmers from using fracking wastewater to irrigate their crops, it has no such ban on using wastewater pulled up during oil extraction—called produced water—despite the fact that it contains many of the same chemicals, writes Inside Climate News.

People can often get exposed to benzene in the first few minutes after turning on their car air conditioner, according to Motor Biscuit.

Not so green old green books—watch out for any 19th Century books with green covers as the dye used to get the brilliant emerald green hue unfortunately contains arsenic, writes National Geographic.

How far will you go for the perfect baguette? Julia Child did recommend putting an asbestos tile, which is very heat resistant, in a pan of water in the oven below the baking bread to get best results. To be fair this was before the dangers of asbestos were widely understood, writes Mashed.

Who needs Prop. 65 when you have the Toxic Avenger? The 1980s cult classic film of that name is being rebooted and while the hero is a victim of too much chemical exposure, Happy Media does not reveal if the plot involves him filing any notices of violation for failure to warn under the state proposition.

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