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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A landmark study led by Courtney Carignan of the Dartmouth Center for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research has found that the blood of 11 female collegiate gymnasts ages 18 to 22 contained a potentially hazardous flame retardant known as PentaBDE in average concentrations 4 to 6.5 times higher than average for Americans.The research team attributed the gymnasts’ extraordinary levels of PentaBDE to constant exposure to gym pads made of polyurethane foam treated with fire retardants.  Foam padding and furniture have been routinely infused with toxic fire retardants in large part because of outdated fire safety standards that have encouraged manufacturers to rely on chemicals instead of non-chemical ways to make foam products less flammable.  

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

In the United States, the framework for safeguarding people and the environment against the dangers of toxic chemicals comprises three mutually reinforcing legal systems: federal regulation, state and federal civil justice systems, and state regulation.  Each part of the framework however, has been substantially weakened — the civil justice systems by years of tort "reform," and federal and state regulatory systems by outdated laws and an ongoing campaign by industry and its allies against protective regulation. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

People will go to great lengths to be “beautiful,” and cosmetics companies know it.   It was not until 1938 that Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which gave the FDA power to act against dangerous cosmetics through the Department of Justice and federal court system. But the agency’s ability to address unsavory beauty products was limited.  In 2004, EWG launched the Skin Deep cosmetics database, an online resource where EWG scientists have researched ingredients in popular cosmetics and personal care products.  It aimed to fill in where industry and government left off. Today, Skin Deep lists more than 78,000 items.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It is essential to take fully into account the long-term risks and costs to health, environment and communities of all energy resources and to adopt policies based on least cost to consumers and minimal risk.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What’s worth denying even a single child with cancer available and potentially life-saving treatment? Nothing – in my book.  By shuttering the federal government, the Tea Party wing of the House of Representatives has done exactly this

Monday, September 30, 2013

McDonald's restaurants finish the job of eliminating polystyrene containers as they switch to paper cups for hot beverages.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Last Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a major bill that promises to regulate fracking in California for the first time. But don’t get too excited. Sen. Fran Pavley’s fracking bill, known as S.B. 4, is part big win, part big loss, with an incredible amount of mess thrown in.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, September 26, 2013

Michael Bradley of Tunnel Hill, Georgia has spent the past 17 months in and out of surgery  fighting peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare and usually fatal abdominal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.  He has lost 150 pounds and must wear a colostomy bag.  Chemotherapy has failed. He has no health insurance. He is now undergoing experimental treatment and hoping for a miracle.

He is 29 years old.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I had two challenging pregnancies filled with uncertainty and stress. Thankfully, the end result was two healthy kids. One thing was certain, though – I could handle the truth. I wanted all the facts and I wanted to make my own decisions about what to eat, when to exercise, when to sleep.  When it comes to our health and the health of our kids, most of the parents I know will choose the advice and opinions of doctors over the chemical industry’s false reassurance every day. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

There are safe, affordable alternatives to the dangerous chemicals like the ones used in the Texas fertilizer plant that exploded in April. But instead of making the switch, the chemical industry has chosen to spend its money lobbying Congress so that it can keep putting millions needlessly at risk. And up until now, that strategy was working.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Toxic “fracking” fluids that spilled into a Kentucky creek after they were used to drill four natural gas wells were the cause of a major fish kill that included a threatened species, a new federal study has concluded.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There are more than 12,000 chemical plants that put Americans at risk with large amounts of chemicals, and 89 of those endanger more than 1 million people. Unfortunately, those most at risk in the examples below live in low-income communities of color.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer. It is almost always caused by inhaling tiny asbestos fibers, which pass through the lungs and become embedded in the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that surrounds the internal organs.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Yesterday marked a major victory for American consumers as mega-retailer Walmart announced a Sustainable Chemistry initiative that takes an important step toward protecting the health and wellness its customers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

There’s a growing consensus – except in the chemical industry and among its lobbyists and allies in Congress – that when it comes to protecting people and the environment from dangerous chemicals, the latest proposal to “reform” the nation’s outdated toxics law is a step in exactly the wrong direction.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Putting “clean coal,” gas, nuclear, and unsustainable biomass under the “clean” umbrella is a triumph of rhetoric over reality. Nowhere does the "Clean Energy Standard" under discussion in Washington set goals for reducing dependence on coal, natural gas or nuclear and increasing reliance on truly clean, renewable energy sources.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The energy industry spends millions of dollars on lobbying and public relations to fend off pressure for necessary changes to their core businesses. The way to fight back is for local groups, grassroots organizations and concerned citizens to band together to show that dirty energy is no longer acceptable.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Earlier this year a disturbing study showed that the brominated fire retardant TBBPA, which is widely used in consumer products, triggers cancer in lab animals. Now a new study suggests that the chemical may do so by interfering with the hormone system and may stimulate estrogen activity in much the same way as the toxic flame retardant it replaced.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I spend lots of time thinking about toxic chemicals, so when I shop I get pretty annoyed. It’s flame retardants again. They’re in everything – kids’ pajamas, nap mats, nursing pillows, even some of those princess tents and kid tunnels.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Alarmed by current U.S. energy policy, 60 Americans from all over the country came together in 2012 and  earlier this year in Cambridge, Mass., to explore alternatives to the dangerous and misleading course being taken by industry and the nation’s political leaders. In three days of intense discussion, the group came up with the “American Clean Energy Agenda,” nine principles to put us on a course toward truly renewable, non-polluting energy.