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Environmental connections to public health >>

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Monday, August 8, 2005

David Kirby, a New York Times reporter and author of "Evidence of Harm", and Dr. Harvey Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine, discussed the possible link between the increase of mercury in vaccinations between 1988 and 1992, and the explosion of autism cases in the last 90s.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2005

According to Agriculture Online, a poll released on August 2 finds that 67 per cent of voters surveyed in Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota support limiting farm subsidy payments to $250,000 per farm. Senators Grassley of Iowa and Dorgan of North Dakota this year proposed such a limit.

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Monday, August 1, 2005

The New York Times maps out that tiny fraction of U.S. lands still unscathed by mining, farming, logging and other human endeavors. We better enjoy it while we can -- trends suggest these pristine lands are about to go the way of the dinosaur.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

According to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald, a newly-published study found that the more air pollution women were exposed to, the lower their babies' birth weights were. Low birth weight is a risk factor for other health problems.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Congress shot down a scheme to shield oil companies from lawsuits over MTBE water contamination after EWG published documents proving it was the industry's idea to add the suspected carcinogen to gasoline. It's a defeat with major repercussions for politicians like Rep. Joe Barton, who insisted on the bailout for Texas refiners, and Rep. Charlie Bass, whose support could have thrown out a lawsuit by his home state of New Hampshire.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that California Assembly's Health Committee advanced a bill that would require manufacturers of personal care products to inform the state's Department of Health Services whenever they are making products with chemicals linked to cancer or birth defects.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Supported by local health and environmental activists, the Air Pollution Control Board in Louisville, Ky., made admirable history last week with the Strategic Toxic Air Reduction (STAR) program. Three years ago, according to the Courier-Journal, the EPA rated the city’s air the worst in the entire Southeast, but as of July 1, Louisville will have some of the nation’s strongest, healthiest air quality standards. The plan will reduce 37 specific chemicals emitted by industrial activity; programs to reduce emissions from cars and other sources will be implemented soon.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

As the Senate considers the energy bill, the major issue is energy independence. Industry and administration sources have long argued that the key to breaking our addiction to foreign oil and gas is opening our public lands to more drilling. "We've taken large chunks of the country and put it off limits to any kind of exploration or development," Vice President Cheney told a town meeting in Arkansas last year. "Large parts of the Rocky Mountain West are off limits."

Friday, June 3, 2005

A major investigation by The Riverside Press-Enterprise finds that an industry-funded study, relied on by federal scientists to recommend drinking water standards for a toxic rocket fuel chemical, erroneously reported no effects on people from low doses of the chemical.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Scott Canon's front-page Kansas City Star story shows many ways our food choices make political, health and environmental statements. EWG's food research has contributed to the debate.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Businesses that object to tough pollution standards often hold communities or states hostage by threatening to take their jobs and move. Now the shoe is on the other foot in West Virginia, where a frozen-foods company refused to bring its plant to the town of Parkersburg, where the water is contaminated with the Teflon chemical C8.

Friday, May 20, 2005

In the latest study of toxic chemicals in people, the BBC reports that seven British TV personalities were tested for 104 industrial compounds in their blood. All were contaminated with toxins, and one had 30 different chemicals in her sysem. Scientists tested for commonly found chemicals including banned pesticides like DDT, flame retardants and the PFOA chemical found in Teflon and other nonstick pans and stain repellents.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A recent news item tells the story of where the environment and public health rank in Washington’s priorities -- just about dead last. The Washington Post delivers the bad news in a grim headline: House Panel Receives Detailed Spending Plan for ’06; Legislators Among Groups Marked for Increased Funding as Ax Falls on Environmental Programs.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

An EPA whistle-blower has exposed the agency for secretly delaying completion of required rules to protect children and construction workers from lead poisoning from paint and dust in favor of voluntary compliance standards, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Monday, May 16, 2005

Despite Tom Delay and his lapdogs recent efforts to protect MTBE polluters, a federal court ruled MTBE producers and manufacturers must pay to clean up their mess.

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Thursday, May 5, 2005

USDA's new food pyramid encourages Americans to make fruits and vegetables the lion's share of their diets, but this policy, the Chicago Tribune points out, doesn't stack up with the crops the agency pays farmers to grow.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

In his April 22 broadcast, conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh claimed that the federal government spends as much on environmental protections as it does on defense and homeland security. Said Limbaugh: “We’re spending as much on environmental protections as we are on defense and homeland security. And, yet when there’s a crisis of deficits, do you ever hear anybody say, ‘We need to reduce our expenditures on the environment?’ No, they always focus on the military.”

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Wednesday, May 4, 2005

A retired oil-industry geologist told a group of conservative Swiss bankers last week that while the world’s supply of oil won’t run out for many years, peak production may come as early as next year, the London Guardian reports.

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Thursday, April 28, 2005

One California city is taking no chances on a toxic rocket fuel in its drinking water. Although neither the EPA nor the state has made a final decision on safe levels of perchlorate, the Associated Press reports that Rialto, a working-class Los Angeles suburb, is taking a zero-tolerance stance and shutting down all wells that have tested positive for the chemical.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

An Iowa state senator who called public workers requesting better retirement benefits “bottom feeders with their hand out” has been caught with his own hand in the cookie jar. Sen. Mark Zieman was forced to admit that he and his wife have received over $1 million in federal farm subsidies since 1993.

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