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enviroblog

Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A new EPA study fed 23 Seattle children an all-organic diet for a week and saw the pesticide levels in their blood drop to virtually zero. As soon as the kids started back on their conventional diets, their pesticide levels rocketed back up.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Tomato giant Ag-Mart couldn't be in bigger trouble in North Carolina for alleged pesticide violations that may have caused birth defects in three field workers' children, but the state ag department says it's powerless to ensure that the company shapes up.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Talk about taking matters into your own hands! Seeing that there was no answer to the question, ‘How’s our environment doing?’, a nature-loving Gopher-stater took it upon himself to find out. His composite report, paid for with privately raised funds, shows development and population trends that threaten the green spaces the Land of 10,000 Lakes is famous for.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Associated Press reported that Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine testified in a court case over lead paint that swallowing a chip of lead paint just half the size of his (Landrigan's) fingernail could send a child into a coma or convulsions.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

AP reports that some Washington state farmers may have faked results in tests of a federal conservation program designed to reduce pesticide and fertilizer use. The farmers received tens of thousands of dollars in subsidies under the Conservation Security Program for using greener practices, but an audit of the program found that some individuals may have altered soil samples and given false information.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Whether or not you agree with the Bush Administration on energy policy, one thing is clear: when a President brings up the need to become energy independent in a State of the Union address, public debate increases. And as Martha Stewart says, "that's a good thing."

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Friday, February 17, 2006

New York state is suing the EPA for its refusal to release information on the smog-causing properties of some common household chemicals. Smog-heavy states like New York and California need the records to plan for reducing pollution in order to meet their stringent Clean Air Act requirements.

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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.

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