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Women's health: An Enviroblog round-up

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

While it may be true that for each and every day, week and month on the American calendar there is something to celebrate or advocate, this week we're into it. Why?

Because it's National Women's Health Week. It's also a few days after mother's day, so rather than focus on kids - a concern to us and many women - we decided to shine some light on women's health.

So we pulled together a little round-up to celebrate National Women's Health Week. From body burden to safe cosmetics, and from mercury to breast cancer, we've blogged about it in 2009.

Whether you're young or not-so-young, a mother or a grandmother or neither, there are environmental health issues that affect you, and we do our very best to see that they're addressed by policy makers. Here is a sampling:

Pollution in people: It's an inside job. Beverly Wright has done battle with oil refineries and landfills. She has dug her New Orleans East neighborhood out from under tons of contaminated sludge smeared across the landscape by Hurricane Katrina.

Mercury in fish: Why does the debate go on? The topic of mercury and fish is once again in the news. This time it was prompted by public comments submitted to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) about its controversial (hurry-up-and-get-it-out-before-George-leaves) mercury report, which largely concludes that the toxic effects of mercury in fish are mostly overcome by the beneficial fats in fish. Here at EWG an eyebrow or two (OK, more than that) were raised when these "findings" were released.

A new target for deadly lead? Yesterday Janet Raloff of Science News wrote about a new study linking lead levels in older women to an increased risk of mortality. Naila Khalil and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh report that women whose blood lead levels measure > 8 micrograms per deciliter were a whopping 60% more likely to die during the study.

Pregnancy Today: A lesson in toxics. When I was pregnant for the first time, I was all about prenatal yoga, checking my baby's amazing developing body online, and comparing symptoms with friends. As it should be.

Lead in lipstick: More enduring than love? With Valentine's Day right around the corner, there's a lot of puckering up to be done. But if you're not into lead poisoning, we recommend that you go natural. That's right, ditch the lipstick, ladies.

Breast Cancer Fund study finds strong cancer-chemical link. A new survey of scientific evidence conducted by researchers working with the Breast Cancer Fund makes a persuasive case that the industrialized world's rising breast cancer rate may stem from exposure to radiation and chemicals in plastics, pesticides, cosmetics and other common household goods.

So that's what's been on our minds related to women's health in 2009. You?

[Photo courtesy of MrUllmi on Flickr]

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