In the news: November 3, 2006
Breast cancer may be linked to mother's childhood— New thinking on the causes of breast cancer suggests the disease's origins may be found not in anything a woman has done, but in what her mother — and possibly her grandmother — did before her. The findings further suggest that tiny exposure to hormone-like industrial chemicals early in life can have profound effects not just later in adulthood, but in future generations as well.
Fisheries face collapse by 2048- All of the world's fishing stocks will collapse before midcentury, devastating food supplies, if overfishing and other human impacts continue at their current pace. Already, nearly one-third of species that are fished — including bluefin tuna, Atlantic cod, Alaskan king crab, Pacific salmon and an array in California fisheries — have collapsed, and the pace is accelerating.
U.S. pesticide stockpile under scrutiny- The Bush administration is seeking world permission to produce thousand of tons of a pesticide that an international treaty banned nearly two years ago, even though U.S. companies already have assembled huge stockpiles of the chemical. Methyl bromide has been used for decades by farmers to help grow plump, sweet strawberries, robust peppers and other crops, but it also depletes the Earth's protective ozone. The United States and other countries signed a 1987 treaty promising to end its use by 2005.
Illinois closer to stronger mercury rules- Taking a swipe at the Bush administration's environmental policy, Illinois moved closer Thursday to requiring deep cuts in mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. The limits endorsed by a state rule-making panel would make Illinois one of two dozen states that have rejected a slower, more lenient approach adopted by the federal government. What makes the Illinois regulations stand out is that Illinois is a major coal producer and user.
Ukraine to reprocess toxic rocket fuel- Ukraine said Thursday it planned to reprocess tons of highly toxic rocket fuel left over from Soviet times and convert it into environmentally safe fertilizer. "It is dangerous rocket fuel and it should be recycled," said Defense Minister Anatoly Grytsenko.