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Trump showerhead rule on more water flow goes down the drain

Trump showerhead rule on more water flow goes down the drain

The Biden administration is reversing a Trump-era rule on showerheads that was approved after then-President Donald Trump complained he couldn’t get wet enough because of limits on their water flowBy MATTHEW DALY Associated PressJuly 16, 2021, 5:31 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleWASHINGTON — So much for Donald Trump’s quest for “perfect” hair.The Biden administration is reversing a Trump-era rule approved after the former president complained he wasn’t getting wet enough because of limits on water flow from showerheads.Now, with a new president in office, the Energy Department is going back to a standard adopted in 2013, saying it provides plenty of water for a good soak and a thorough clean.The rule change will have little practical effect, since nearly all commercially made showerheads comply with the 2013 rule — the pet peeve of the former president notwithstanding.The Energy Department said the action clarifies what’s been happening in the marketplace. Showers that provide the extra supply of water desired by Trump are not easily found, officials said.Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new showerheads should not pour more than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) of water per minute. As newer shower fixtures came out with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration defined the showerhead restrictions to apply to what comes out in total. So if there are four nozzles, no more than 2.5 gallons total should come out among all four.The Trump-era rule, finalized in December, allows each nozzle to spray as much as 2.5 gallons, not just the overall showerhead.A proposed rule change, set to be published in the Federal Register next week, reverts to the Obama-era standard. The public will have 60 days to comment before a final rule is developed.The change will ensure that consumers continue to save money while reducing water use and paying lower energy bills, the Energy Department said. Officials estimated that the Obama-era rule saved households about $38 a year, and the Energy Department expects similar savings by reverting to the 2013 standard.“As many parts of America experience historic droughts, this commonsense proposal means consumers can purchase showerheads that conserve water and save them money on their utility bills,” Kelly Speakes-Backman, acting assistant secretary for the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said Friday.While publicly talking about the need to keep his hair “perfect,” Trump made increasing water flow and dialing back longstanding appliance conservation standards — including for light bulbs, toilets and dishwashers — a personal issue.“So showerheads — you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out,” Trump said at the White House last year. “So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair — I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect.”But consumer and conservation groups said the 2020 rule change was silly, unnecessary and wasteful, especially as the West bakes through a historic two-decade-long megadrought.With four or five or more nozzles, “you could have 10, 15 gallons per minute powering out of the showerhead, literally probably washing you out of the bathroom,” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the energy conservation group Appliance Standards Awareness Project. “At a time when a good portion of the country is experiencing serious drought exacerbated by climate change, there’s no place for showerheads that use needless amounts of water.”DeLaski and officials at Consumer Reports said there’s been no public outcry or need for change. The Energy Department’s database of 12,499 showerheads showed 74% of them use 2 gallons (7.5 liters) or less water per minute, which is 20% less than the federal standard.A 2016 test of showerheads by Consumer Reports found that the best-rated showerheads, including a $20 model, provided a pleasing amount of water flow and met federal standards.The Energy Department also is proposing to remove the definition of “body spray” adopted in the 2020 final rule. The rule allows “body sprays” to circumvent congressional intent to promote water conservation simply based on orientation of the water flow — a side spray rather than overhead.

Biden ends large-scale logging on huge Alaska rainforest

Biden ends large-scale logging on huge Alaska rainforest

The Biden administration is ending large-scale, old-growth timber sales on the nation’s largest national forest and will instead focus on forest restoration, recreation and other non-commercial usesBy MATTHEW DALY Associated PressJuly 15, 2021, 4:34 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleWASHINGTON — The Biden administration said Thursday it is ending large-scale, old-growth timber sales on the nation’s largest national forest — the Tongass National Forest in Alaska — and will instead focus on forest restoration, recreation and other non-commercial uses.The announcement by the U.S. Forest Service reverses a Trump administration decision to lift restrictions on logging and road-building in the southeast Alaska rainforest, which provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon.Smaller timber sales, including some old-growth trees, will still be offered for local communities and cultural uses such as totem poles, canoes and tribal artisan use, the Forest Service said.The Agriculture Department, which includes the Forest Service, also said it will take steps to restore the so-called Roadless Rule for the Tongass. The 2001 rule prohibits road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions on nearly one-third of national forest land. The Trump administration moved last year to exempt the Tongass, winning plaudits from Alaska’s Republican governor and its all-Republican congressional delegation.By restoring roadless-rule protections, officials are “returning stability and certainty to the conservation of 9.3 million acres of the world’s largest temperate old growth rainforest,” the Agriculture Department said.Conservationists cheered the announcement, which the administration had signaled last month.“Old-growth forests are critical to addressing climate change, so restoring roadless protections to the Tongass is critical,” said Andy Moderow of the Alaska Wilderness League.“With Alaska experiencing climate impacts more acutely than most, we shouldn’t be discussing the continued clearcutting” of a national forest long considered the crown jewel of the U.S. forest system, Moderow said.“Alaskans love their old-growth forests and the timber industry in Southeast (Alaska) is now a relic of the past,” he said. “The Tongass is an unmatched treasure and with smart action now we can properly manage it for future generations.”Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy criticized the administration’s announcement last month that it planned to “repeal or replace” the Trump administration’s decision last year to lift restrictions on logging and road building in the Tongass. Dunleavy, a Republican, vowed to use “every tool available to push back.”Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said the Biden administration was “literally throwing away” years of work by the Forest Service and Agriculture Department under former President Donald Trump.“We need to end this ‘yo-yo effect’ as the lives of Alaskans who live and work in the Tongass are upended every time we have a new president,” Murkowski said last month. “This has to end.”The action on the Tongass follows a decision by the Biden administration last month to suspend oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A 2017 tax-cut law passed by congressional Republicans called for two lease sales to be held in the refuge. A January lease sale in the refuge drew a tepid response.In an action that angered environmentalists, the Biden administration has defended a Trump-era decision to approve a major oil project on Alaska’s North Slope that Alaska political leaders have supported.More than 9 million of the Tongass’ roughly 16.7 million acres are considered roadless areas, according to a federal environmental review last year. The majority of the Tongass is in a natural condition, and the forest is one of the largest relatively intact temperate rainforests in the world, the review said.

Watchdog: 2 Trump EPA appointees defrauded agency of $130K

Watchdog: 2 Trump EPA appointees defrauded agency of $130K

WASHINGTON — Two high-ranking Trump political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency engaged in fraudulent payroll activities — including payments to employees after they were fired and to one of the officials when he was absent from work — that cost the agency more than $130,000, a report by an internal watchdog says.Former chief of staff Ryan Jackson and former White House liaison Charles Munoz submitted “official timesheets and personnel forms that contained materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements” to mislead EPA personnel and facilitate improper payments over multiple months, according to a report by EPA’s Office of Inspector General.The two men, who have since left the EPA, arranged for former agency employees to continue collecting nearly $38,000 salaries even after they were fired, the report says. Separately, Munoz also received an improper raise and submitted “fraudulent timesheets” during periods when he was not at his work station that cost the EPA almost $96,000, the report said.The March 31 report was released this week. In a statement Friday to The Associated Press, Inspector General Sean O’Donnell said, “Continuing to pay fired political staff, creating fraudulent records and authorizing improper pay increases represent serious waste of taxpayer funds.”While the Justice Department has declined to prosecute the former Trump-era officials, “the EPA OIG will do everything within its power to ensure that public officials are held accountable for acts of misconduct during their service,” O’Donnell said.A spokesperson for EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the agency “is evaluating the report and potential next steps.”The 25-page report blacks out the names of the two former employees who received payments after being fired. The Washington Post, citing an earlier version of the report, named the fired employees as Madeline Morris and Kevin Chmielewski. Morris was terminated from her job as a scheduler for former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in August 2017, while Chmielewski is a former EPA deputy chief of staff who was forced to leave the agency in February 2018, the newspaper said.Federal prosecutors declined to press charges over any of the inspector general’s findings. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment Friday.Jackson, a former aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., left the EPA in February 2020 to become vice president for government and political affairs at the National Mining Association. He could not be reached for comment, and a spokesperson for the mining group did not return calls and emails.Munoz, who left the EPA in January when the Biden administration took office, also could not be reached for comment.The report follows years of controversies at the EPA throughout President Donald Trump’s term in office. His first EPA administrator, Pruitt, resigned in 2018 following a series of scandals and ethics investigations, including frequent first-class flights, heavy spending on personal security and a sweetheart condo lease connected to a fossil-fuel lobbyist whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from EPA.Chmielewski, one of the fired employees, provided detailed information to House and Senate lawmakers about alleged wrongdoing by Pruitt. Chmielewski has filed a lawsuit alleging that Pruitt and other officials violated his free speech and due process rights.The inspector general’s report said Jackson, the former chief of staff, met with the scheduler on Aug. 31, 2017, to tell her “we’ll take care of you” by providing “severance pay,” even though he knew severance pay was not allowed. Jackson directed Munoz to tell EPA’s human resources division that she was on an extended telework schedule, even though she was no longer working, the report said. Munoz amended her time-and-attendance reports so she could continue being paid.Munoz told investigators Jackson also directed him to provide “severance pay” to the other employee on the condition that he resign, even though the EPA cannot provide severance packages, the report said.The employee told investigators he refused to resign and was escorted from the building by armed security guards.The inspector general’s report also faults Jackson and Munoz for an improper raise for Munoz granted by Jackson when Munoz was transferred to a regional office in Las Vegas. Munoz grew up in Nevada and was the Trump campaign’s Nevada state director in 2016.”Pursuant to federal law, regulation and EPA policy, when a federal employee is appointed to a new position at the same grade level without a break in service, an increase in (pay) is not permitted,” the report said, adding: “No justification had been given to support the increase.”

In break with Trump, House GOP forms group on climate change

In break with Trump, House GOP forms group on climate change

WASHINGTON — Utah Rep. John Curtis says he’s tired of hearing that Republicans — his party colleagues — don’t care about climate change or slowing global warming.A former Provo mayor who has served in Congress since 2017, Curtis says Republicans can push for serious climate solutions while holding fast to conservative values. To prove the point, he has formed the Conservative Climate Caucus, an all-GOP group aimed at educating fellow Republicans on climate change and advancing market-based policies to counter the Green New Deal and other Democratic proposals.“Those who watch this caucus will see Republicans do care about this Earth — deeply,” Curtis said at a news conference Wednesday.”We, too, want to leave this Earth better than we found it. We don’t need to kill the U.S. economy to reach our climate goals. In fact, it’s just the opposite. There is a way to lower emissions without sacrificing American jobs and principles. And I believe Republicans are the ones to lead on this.”Leading Republicans, most notably former President Donald Trump, have mocked climate change as a hoax and downplayed the effects of warming temperatures caused by fossil fuel emissions. Trump withdrew the United States from the global Paris climate accord, and his Environmental Protection Agency refused to update a website highlighting evidence of climate change in the United States, including rising temperatures, increased ocean acidity and more severe droughts and wildfires.Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan, another caucus member, said it’s long past time for Republicans to acknowledge the reality of climate change and put forward solutions that reduce carbon emissions while remaining “aligned with our business community.”Climate caucus members “are not going to be bringing snowballs onto the House floor,” Meijer said. “We’re bringing solutions. We’re not using this as a cheap talking point.”Meijer was referring to a 2015 incident when Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., brought a snowball to the Senate floor to dispute global warming.Meijer, a freshman who voted to impeach Trump in January, acknowledged that Republicans have an image problem on climate change, but he said Democrats must answer for excesses of their own.“Far too often,” he said, “our colleagues on the other side of the aisle look at the environment as a cloak they can wrap around any policy, as just another adjective in front of a nebulously defined justice that can encompass whatever their talking points want.”Curtis, who voted against impeachment but supported a bipartisan commission on the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, said he has not talked to Trump about the climate caucus. The group includes some strong Trump supporters, but all are “independent thinkers,” Curtis said in an interview.Calling climate change a serious threat, he said, “We’ve been missing from the table for too long as conservatives.”A total of 56 Republicans — a quarter of the GOP caucus — had joined the climate group as of Wednesday, including Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves, the top Republican on the House Select Committee on Climate; Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on Energy and Commerce; and Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, top Republican on Natural Resources.None of the top three GOP leaders in the House belongs to the climate group, although House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has pledged to form a GOP task force on energy and climate issues.Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, the Democratic chair of the full House climate panel, said she hopes Republicans are serious about addressing climate change and are not just trying to score political points.“As a dangerous heatwave threatens to break all-time temperature records across the West, and as families and farmers struggle with rising costs, it is clearer than ever that Congress must act now to expand clean energy and cost-saving energy efficiency,” Castor said. “There is no more time for half measures. If my Republicans colleagues really want to do something, they need to start voting in favor of real solutions.”David Doniger, a top climate strategist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said his organization welcomes Republican engagement on climate. “The key question is: Will they support actual limits on carbon pollution to cut emissions in half in the next 10 years and reach net-zero (greenhouse gas emissions) by 2050?” he said.Curtis and other caucus member cited private-sector innovation and development of technologies that capture and store carbon emissions as crucial to address climate change, and said the United States is the global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas exports from Russia produce about 40 percent more carbon emissions than U.S. gas exports, Graves said, citing a 2019 Energy Department study.“We didn’t do it with mandates, we didn’t do it with picking technological winners or losers. We did it because of America’s innovators, because of the same people that allowed the United States to be this amazing economy,” he said.

Senators press Interior Secretary Haaland on oil lease pause

Senators press Interior Secretary Haaland on oil lease pause

WASHINGTON — Both Republican and Democratic senators pressed Interior Secretary Deb Haaland for answers Wednesday after a federal court blocked the Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.In a sharply worded ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana ordered that plans for lease sales continue in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Alaska and in “all eligible onshore properties” nationwide. The ruling came after President Joe Biden shut down oil and gas lease sales from the nation’s vast public lands and waters in his first days in office, citing worries about climate change.“It’s a fresh decision. Our department is reviewing the judge’s opinion as we speak and consulting with the Justice Department,” Haaland said under questioning at a Senate hearing on her department’s budget.“We will respect the judge’s decision. Any other information will be forthcoming,” she said.Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Interior subcommittee, said she was flabbergasted that Haaland did not address the court ruling — or the government’s vast oil and gas leasing program — in her prepared remarks.“I was really struck by the fact that in 17 pages of discussions outlining the budget there really is no recognition for the production on our federal land and the role that plays,” Murkowski said.In light of the court ruling, she told Haaland: “I expect to hear your plans to resume implementation of those lease sales. We expect you to follow the law.”Haaland, a former Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico, responded, “I will always follow the law.”Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana also appeared impatient with Haaland, saying the review ordered by Biden — nearly two months before Haaland took office in mid-March — appeared to be dragging on.“As this review rolls on, a leasing pause gives folks in the oil and gas industry a lot of uncertainty,” Tester said. “It’s getting harder and harder to extend that trust without hard information in the review.”Tester asked Haaland when the review will “be ready for prime time.”Officials have “said all along early summer … so my guess is they’ll be getting it sometime in the near future,” Haaland said.“I’m taking that as it’ll be out in the next month,” Tester replied. Haaland did not commit to a firm timetable.The back-and-forth over the leasing pause and the court decision showed the stakes of Biden’s effort to reform — and likely scale back — the multibillion-dollar leasing program without crushing a significant sector of the U.S. economy.Doughty’s ruling, in a lawsuit filed by Louisiana Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states, is a blow to Biden’s efforts to transition the nation away from fossil fuels and stave off the worst effects of climate change, including catastrophic droughts, floods and wildfires.Biden and Haaland have said the leasing ban is only temporary, though officials have declined to say how long it will last. And it’s unclear how much legal authority the government has to stop drilling on about 23 million acres (93,000 square kilometers) previously leased to energy companies.Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, called the judge’s decision “a victory for the rule of law and American energy workers.”Biden’s “illegal ban (on new lease sales) has hurt workers and deprived Wyoming and other states of a principal source of revenue that they use for public education,” Barrasso said. “President Biden should immediately rescind his punishing ban and let Americans get back to work.”Following Biden’s Jan. 27 order, the Interior Department canceled oil and gas lease sales from public lands through June — affecting Nevada, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, as well as offshore sales in the Gulf of Mexico. The department also abandoned a public comment period for a planned offshore sale in Alaska.The 13 states that sued said that the administration bypassed comment periods and other bureaucratic steps required before such delays can be undertaken and said that the moratorium would cost the states money and jobs.Doughty, who was nominated to the federal bench by President Donald Trump in 2017, said “millions and possibly billions of dollars are at stake” for local governments and other public uses.

Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals

Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals

WASHINGTON — More than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada are awash with a toxic industrial compound associated with serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight, according to a new study.Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained fluorine — an indicator of PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that are used in nonstick frying pans, rugs and countless other consumer products.Some of the highest PFAS levels were found in waterproof mascara (82%) and long-lasting lipstick (62%), according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Twenty-nine products with higher fluorine concentrations were tested further and found to contain between four and 13 specific PFAS chemicals, the study found. Only one item listed PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, as an ingredient on the label.A spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics, said the agency does not comment on specific studies. The FDA said on its website that there have been few studies of the presence of the chemicals in cosmetics, and the ones that have been published generally found the concentration is at very low levels not likely to harm people, in the parts per billion level to the 100s of parts per million.A fact sheet posted on the agency’s website says that, “As the science on PFAS in cosmetics continues to advance, the FDA will continue to monitor″ voluntary data submitted by industry as well as published research.But PFAS chemicals are an issue of increasing concern for lawmakers who are working to regulate their use in consumer products. The study results were announced as a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to ban the use of PFAS in cosmetics and other beauty products.The move to ban PFAS comes as Congress considers wide-ranging legislation to set a national drinking water standard for certain PFAS chemicals and clean up contaminated sites across the country, including military bases where high rates of PFAS have been discovered.“There is nothing safe and nothing good about PFAS,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who introduced the cosmetics bill with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “These chemicals are a menace hidden in plain sight that people literally display on their faces every day.”Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who has sponsored several PFAS-related bills in the House, said she has looked for PFAS in her own makeup and lipstick, but could not see if they were present because the products were not properly labeled.“How do I know it doesn’t have PFAS?” she asked at a news conference Tuesday, referring to the eye makeup, foundation and lipstick she was wearing.The Environmental Protection Agency also is moving to collect industry data on PFAS chemical uses and health risks as it considers regulations to reduce potential risks caused by the chemicals.The Personal Care Products Council, a trade association representing the cosmetics industry, said in a statement that a small number of PFAS chemicals may be found as ingredients or at trace levels in products such as lotion, nail polish, eye makeup and foundation. The chemicals are used for product consistency and texture and are subject to safety requirements by the FDA, said Alexandra Kowcz, the council’s chief scientist.“Our member companies take their responsibility for product safety and the trust families put in those products very seriously,″ she said, adding that the group supports prohibition of certain PFAS from use in cosmetics. “Science and safety are the foundation for everything we do.”But Graham Peaslee, a physics professor at Notre Dame and the principal investigator of the study, said the cosmetics poses an immediate and long-term risk. “PFAS is a persistent chemical. When it gets into the bloodstream, it stays there and accumulates,” Peaslee said.No specific companies were named in the study.The chemicals also pose the risk of environmental contamination associated with manufacturing and disposal, he said.The man-made compounds are used in countless products, including nonstick cookware, water-repellent sports gear, cosmetics and grease-resistant food packaging, along with firefighting foams.Public health studies on exposed populations have associated the chemicals with an array of health problems, including some cancers, weakened immunity and low birth weight. Widespread testing in recent years has found high levels of PFAS in many public water systems and military bases.Blumenthal, a former state attorney general and self-described “crusader” on behalf of consumers, said he does not use cosmetics. But speaking on behalf of millions of cosmetics users, he said they have a message for the industry: “We’ve trusted you and you betrayed us.”Brands that want to avoid likely government regulation should voluntarily go PFAS-free, Blumenthal said. “Aware and angry consumers are the most effective advocate” for change, he said.

Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals

Study: Half of US cosmetics contain toxic chemicals

WASHINGTON — More than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada are awash with a toxic industrial compound associated with serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight, according to a new study.Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained fluorine — an indicator of PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that are used in nonstick frying pans, rugs and countless other consumer products.Some of the highest PFAS levels were found in waterproof mascara (82%) and long-lasting lipstick (62%), according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Twenty-nine products with higher fluorine concentrations were tested further and found to contain between four and 13 specific PFAS chemicals, the study found. Only one item listed PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, as an ingredient on the label.A spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics, said the agency does not comment on specific studies. The FDA said on its website that there have been few studies of the presence of the chemicals in cosmetics, and the ones that have been published generally found the concentration is at very low levels not likely to harm people, in the parts per billion level to the 100s of parts per million.A fact sheet posted on the agency’s website says that, “As the science on PFAS in cosmetics continues to advance, the FDA will continue to monitor″ voluntary data submitted by industry as well as published research.But PFAS chemicals are an issue of increasing concern for lawmakers who are working to regulate their use in consumer products. The study results were announced as a bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill to ban the use of PFAS in cosmetics and other beauty products.The move to ban PFAS comes as Congress considers wide-ranging legislation to set a national drinking water standard for certain PFAS chemicals and clean up contaminated sites across the country, including military bases where high rates of PFAS have been discovered.“There is nothing safe and nothing good about PFAS,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who introduced the cosmetics bill with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “These chemicals are a menace hidden in plain sight that people literally display on their faces every day.”Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., who has sponsored several PFAS-related bills in the House, said she has looked for PFAS in her own makeup and lipstick, but could not see if they were present because the products were not properly labeled.“How do I know it doesn’t have PFAS?” she asked at a news conference Tuesday, referring to the eye makeup, foundation and lipstick she was wearing.The Environmental Protection Agency also is moving to collect industry data on PFAS chemical uses and health risks as it considers regulations to reduce potential risks caused by the chemicals.The Personal Care Products Council, a trade association representing the cosmetics industry, said in a statement that a small number of PFAS chemicals may be found as ingredients or at trace levels in products such as lotion, nail polish, eye makeup and foundation. The chemicals are used for product consistency and texture and are subject to safety requirements by the FDA, said Alexandra Kowcz, the council’s chief scientist.“Our member companies take their responsibility for product safety and the trust families put in those products very seriously,″ she said, adding that the group supports prohibition of certain PFAS from use in cosmetics. “Science and safety are the foundation for everything we do.”But Graham Peaslee, a physics professor at Notre Dame and the principal investigator of the study, said the cosmetics poses an immediate and long-term risk. “PFAS is a persistent chemical. When it gets into the bloodstream, it stays there and accumulates,” Peaslee said.No specific companies were named in the study.The chemicals also pose the risk of environmental contamination associated with manufacturing and disposal, he said.The man-made compounds are used in countless products, including nonstick cookware, water-repellent sports gear, cosmetics and grease-resistant food packaging, along with firefighting foams.Public health studies on exposed populations have associated the chemicals with an array of health problems, including some cancers, weakened immunity and low birth weight. Widespread testing in recent years has found high levels of PFAS in many public water systems and military bases.Blumenthal, a former state attorney general and self-described “crusader” on behalf of consumers, said he does not use cosmetics. But speaking on behalf of millions of cosmetics users, he said they have a message for the industry: “We’ve trusted you and you betrayed us.”Brands that want to avoid likely government regulation should voluntarily go PFAS-free, Blumenthal said. “Aware and angry consumers are the most effective advocate” for change, he said.