By now, you all know that I worked as the Environmental Working Group’s Environmental Health research intern this summer. Because the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is bursting with brilliance and talent, I had the chance to contribute to a wide variety of groundbreaking research projects; network with renowned staff and board members; receive career advice from EWG’s executive director, Heather White; build lasting bonds with my internship cohort; and learn the true meaning of a 40-hour workweek!
Here’s a brief run-down of the projects that I worked on this summer:
As previously mentioned, I completed a comparative analysis of cosmetic regulatory policies in the United States and those in the European Union. The analysis included information on differences in cosmetic ingredient restriction levels, restrictions on animal testing, the processes for doing chemical review of ingredients, who is responsible for chemical reviews, and how often reviews are done.
I organized raw toxicity data for EWG’s forthcoming Food Database. I assisted the Skin Deep team by resolving approximately 500 unparsed ingredients and flagging approximately 100 products in the cosmetic database.
Of course, my Nicholas School blog posts were vital portions of my summer experience.
Researching and writing my “Manufacturers Deceive Consumers with ‘Organic’ Product Names” blog was the most challenging and rewarding of my posts this summer. Doing so revealed how little information manufacturers provide to consumers—simply to achieve the maximum sales possible. Although receiving this information was disheartening, it further communicates how vital cosmetic ingredient education is and why I need to pave the way with my own green product line.
I am proud to share that EWG posted said blog on their site. It has had 1,500 views to date.
In addition to my own blogs, I worked with a fellow intern on a blog discussing the happenings at the CIR panel review meeting and the positive impact that voicing one’s opinion can have on group decision-making processes.
Ultimately, my internship experience further confirmed by passion for safe cosmetic development, supplied me with more information to educate others, showed me the value of being meticulous, the importance of always substantiating statements made in my work and those lengthy daily commutes instilled within me endurance and dedication!
It is clear that this summer was not just about adding another experience to my resume—it was about growth and sacrificing so that my dreams of launching my own green hair-product line become a reality.
As a result of my commitment to my position, I have also been invited to attend EWG’s 20th-year anniversary gala in Washington, D.C, this fall! Wow!
I thank you all for your support and for taking the time to read my posts. I truly appreciate you all. And keep reading those product labels!! 🙂