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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The people who know DuPont best – its workers – have launched a website that pulls no punches about the company’s health and safety practices. “Throughout its history, DuPont has ignored scientific evidence whenever it threatens to hurt company profits,” reads the home page.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

In a proposal that “drew praise from the mining industry”, the EPA recently suggested we all stop worrying about air quality in America’s less populous areas, insisting that dust from those fruited plains and majestic mountains can’t possibly hurt you, as if the only air pollution in the world was the black stuff from tailpipes and smokestacks.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

A study of CDC employees designed to test new methods of looking for the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in humans stumbled upon unusually high levels of perchlorate in its subjects. Since Atlanta's water has extremely low levels of the chemical, and all 62 subjects' urine tested higher than the water, CDC scientists suspect that perchlorate is getting into people through their diets at higher levels than previously believed.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

A new study from the University of California Berkeley found that combinations of low doses of toxic chemicals can be more harmful than any of the chemicals alone, suggesting that the vacuum EPA and other government agencies study individual chemicals' toxicity in does not mirror conditions in the real world.

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Thursday, February 2, 2006

It depends on what your definition of "import" is. Turns out the president was simply, well, exploiting American anxiety when he vowed during his State of the Union speech to break our addiction to Middle East oil in coming decades.

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Friday, January 6, 2006

Maybe President Bush still had a New Year's hangover when he signed this particular appropriations bill into law on January 3rd. The bill funding the Health and Human Services Agency contained a tiny rider (compliments of Sen. Durbin of Ill.) that means agencies like the FDA, NIH, and CDC may actually get back to using science to protect public health.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Apparently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relies on the same sources of information as the general public to learn what's in popular foods: the newspaper.

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Friday, December 23, 2005

When the Senate voted Dec. 21 to block his bid to force open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling by breaking Senate rules and tacking the measure onto the annual defense spending bill , Sen. Ted Stevens told reporters "this has been the saddest day of my life."

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Chicago Tribune is running a powerful series this week on mercury in seafood, including test results for eight different kinds of fish purchased in Chicago-area fish markets and supermarkets.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

The independent Congressional Research Service has put out a report stating that the EPA skewed its research on air pollution to favor the Bush administration's Clear Skies Initiative, exaggerating the costs of pollution curbs and downplaying the health and economic benefits. Clear Skies is currently stuck in the Senate.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2005
 

A legislative hearing last week revealed that 3M managers called the shots during a meeting at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). When state scientists laid out plans to study Scotchgard chemical water contamination, 3M reps told them not to bother – and MPCA bosses sat by and said nothing. The agency is run by former 3M manager Sheryl Corrigan. Last week marked the second hearing on 3M pollution that Corrigan refused to attend, sending her deputy to take the heat from frustrated senators.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Ore., is leading the way in getting toxics out of hospital cleaning products – and finding, through the hospital's infection control department's surveillance, that green cleaners work just as well as harsh chemicals. The hospital has also started using recycled paper products, and plans to switch to a safer germicide to disinfect operating rooms, as well as to remove carpet to prevent PCPs and other chemicals from leaching into the air.
Thursday, November 10, 2005

There's no improving the headline of this Monday article from the Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon, or their lead: "Those who wondered where the EPA under the Bush administration draws the line on tolerance for polluters have their answer: At the door of Chicago’s Blommer Brothers Co. chocolate factory."

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Wednesday, November 9, 2005

This New York Times article brings the tips on what to watch out for when buying organic milk. For example, while organic means that the cows weren't fed synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics or pesticides, the requirement that the animals have "access to pasture" is a standard that varies widely across companies.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Environmental Defence Canada has released "Toxic Nation" the first Canadian BodyBurden study, with 11 participants tested for 88 chemicals, including PCBs, fire retardants, PFOS (a chemical in the same family as the Teflon chemical PFOA) and heavy metals, all of which are suspected of causing cancer, birth defects, or reproductive or hormonal harm.

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

This year, the New York Times reports, both farmers and the federal government are covering corn at potentially record levels. Farmers are struggling to store this year's bountiful corn harvest, even buying massive tarps to cover mountains of corn that must be left outdoors.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Lead acetate, an ingredient used in personal care products such as men's hair dye, has been banned in Canada over fears of cancer and reproductive toxicity. The chemical has been banned in Europe, and California considers it a carcinogen. Canadians' products must be free of the chemical by the end of 2006.

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Monday, November 7, 2005

DuPont disclosed in its SEC filing last week that the company earns $1 billion per year in revenues from the Teflon chemical PFOA or C8. Those revenues could be in danger if EPA decides to regulate the toxic chemical as a result of the agency's lawsuit against DuPont for withholding information about the Teflon chemical's health effects.

Monday, November 7, 2005

The University of Montana has put out its annual Kids Count report for 2005, addressing child mortality, uninsurance rates, economic status and, for the first time, health care costs from environmental pollutants. Montana spends an estimated $400 million annually for kids with lead poisoning, asthma, cancer, birth defects and other disorders.

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