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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Friday, March 25, 2005

Tests on household dust in seven states show that we’re breathing in a hodgepodge of chemicals from consumer products, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. On the shortlist of 35 toxic industrial chemicals found are phthalates, plasticizers that soften products with vinyl, including shoes, face and body lotions, upholstery, shower curtains, nail polish and garden hoses; PFOA, the Teflon chemical, in everything from pots and pans to Scotchguard and StainMaster carpeting, waterproof jackets, and stain-resistant clothing; flame retardants, found in mattresses, carpet and curtains; and pesticides.

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Not content to pander to the cosmetics industry by requiring no safety testing on American personal care products, the Bush administration is now working to thwart Europe’s attempts at improving product safety. Government correspondence uncovered by staff of the House Committee on Government Reform shows that the administration mixed with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for a lobbying campaign to cripple Europe’s new laws, the Oakland Tribune reports.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Bush Administration says it will allow coal-burning power plans and other mercury polluters to trade emissions allowances, rather than requiring each facility to meet stricter standards. The cap-and-trade policy allows facilities in mercury “hot spots” to continue emitting high amounts of mercury.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

 

The Associated Press reports that Congress is considering cutting food programs for the poor instead of reforming wasteful farm subsidies to huge agribusinesses. The farm programs cost taxpayers billions while hurting small family farms and ranches.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Congressional Quarterly reports that Senator Grassley (R-IA) won support on his amendment to reasonably limit wasteful farm payments.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Oakland Tribune devoted three days and thousands of words to telling the story of one local family's exposure to toxic chemicals. The paper's superb series presents a new and updated take on the pollution in people pioneered by the Environmental Working Group's ground breaking 2003 report, Body Burden, which tested the blood of nine Americans for more than 200 contaminants. EWG staff advised reporter Douglas Fischer on what to test for, where to test it, and what the results mean.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) took the EPA to task this week for using fuzzy math and ignoring health effects to bolster President Bush’s cap-and-trade proposal for mercury emissions from power plants, The Washington Post reports. The EPA skewed its analysis to indicate that the administration’s proposal would garner greater savings than enforcing pollution caps on all plants, the technology-based plan favored by conservationists.

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Friday, March 4, 2005

Spikes in bladder cancer in dogs and hermaphroditic amphibians show a connection to increased pesticide use in the United States, two new studies show. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that a study at Purdue University revealed that Scottish terriers exposed to lawns or gardens treated with herbicides and insecticides showed a significant increase in the risk of bladder cancer over dogs exposed to untreated areas. The risk of bladder cancer was higher in dogs exposed to the most commonly used agricultural chemical, phenoxy acid herbicides.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2005

DuPont Corp. has agreed to pay a settlement of over $100 million to residents of Parkersburg, WV, after knowingly contaminating their drinking water with PFOA, a toxic chemical used to make Teflon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

In the wake of the W.R. Grace indictment for asbestos poisoning in Libby, Mont., Australian building products company James Hardie Industries is working hard to make sure it escapes responsibility for asbestos building products and brake linings it exported to the U.S. from the 1960s to the 1980s.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

New tests by Toronto's Globe and Mail and CTV News show some of the world's highest levels of chemical fire retardants in common Canadian foods.

Friday, February 11, 2005

With the Bush administration dragging its heels on limiting mercury emissions from power plants, concerned New Hampshire citizens are calling for legislation independent of federal regulations, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports. A new bill in the state Senate requires an 80 percent reduction in mercury emissions in eight years, as well as a cap on carbon dioxide.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

The Washington Post reports that half the fish consumed worldwide will be farm-raised instead of wild-caught by the year 2025, exposing Americans to more fish with plenty of healthy omega-3s and dangerous levels of toxic PCBs.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered a possible link between asbestos and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Monday, January 31, 2005

In her new book "It's My Party Too,” former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christie Whitman's accuses the chemical industry's lobbying arm, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), of foiling her efforts to protect chemical plants from attack after September 11.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

In a landmark decision, citizens of Crested Butte, Colo., were told they have no right to challenge the Interior Department’s giveaway of public land in their backyards.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The international mining giant, Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., is under fire for dangerously polluting Indonesian communities in violation of US environmental standards. Now, an Environmental Working Group (EWG) search of US government electronic records it has posted on its web site (www.ewg.org/mining/) shows the company holds more acres of mining claims on Western public land than any other metal mining company. Newmont holds 347,458 acres of claims in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington.

Monday, December 20, 2004

An investigation by the Riverside Press Enterprise documents how industries that make and use the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate have worked to undermine sound science on its health effects -- even rewriting an article in a federally funded journal. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein says widespread contamination of water and food makes a national rocket fuel safety standard an urgent need.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

EWG joins environmentalists nationwide in mourning the untimely passing of fellow activist Mary Beth Doyle in Ann Arbor, MI. Mary Beth brought warmth, passion and energy to her work on toxics and environmental justice issues at the Ecology Center.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Washington Post reports that a toxic chemical component of rocket fuel, in concentrations 80 times what the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for human consumption, has been found near a reservoir that supplies drinking water to the District of Columbia.

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