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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Six West Viriginia and Ohio lawyers received the 2005 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation July 26 for their work on behalf of residents drinking Teflon-contaminated water from DuPont's nearby Washington Works plant. DuPont was sued for dumping the persistent Teflon chemical into community water supplies, although the company has known of its toxicity and potential to cause human health effects for decades.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Asarco, a subsidiary of mining conglomerate Grupo Mexico, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, leaving taxpayers holding the bag on an estimated $1 billion in environmental cleanups in a dozen states that the company has dragged its feet on for more than a decade. The copper mining company has also been implicated in 95,000 personal-injury asbestos lawsuits.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Lovely County Citizen reports on one woman's winning effort to prevent the state of Arkansas from mandating fluoride in drinking water statewide, and on how one state official publicly mocked her at a conference cosponsored by the American Dental Association.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

In the past week, activists have pressed Teflon maker DuPont to clean up its act on two fronts. Environmental groups demanded that the company monitor groundwater around its local plant, the only one in the US that makes this indestructible, cancer-causing chemical, and the steeworkers' union urged carpet and clothing retailers and fast food companies to warn consumers that their products may be coated with chemicals that break down into DuPont's toxic Teflon chemical.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Uruguay is following in Brazil's footsteps, announcing July 26 that it will file a WTO complaint against the U.S. over rice subsidies. Increasing international pressure has finally forced Congress to deal with the bloated farm subsidies program, and next month they'll debate whether to cut subsidies or food stamps.

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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