Sign up to receive email updates, action alerts, health tips, promotions to support our work and more from EWG. You can opt-out at any time. [Privacy]

 

enviroblog

Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Today, Wall Street Journal health reporter Tara Parker-Pope discloses her favorite home health references worth buying in print. I wish I could repost Tara’s descriptions of each book, but WSJ gets a little upset about that sort of thing—instead I’ll link you to the Amazon description of each of her top picks.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Combating Autism Act of 2006, unanimously passed by the Senate in August, passed in the House on Friday. The bill, sponsored by Representative Mary Bono (R-CA) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), will award research grants, education on autism and statewide autism screening, diagnosis, and intervention programs and systems.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

EPA's new system for measuring fuel efficiency should bring cars’ advertised MPG closer to their actual gas mileage. At present, fuel efficiency testing is not done under real world driving conditions, so the sticker numbers represent inflated fuel mileage.

Key Issues: 
Monday, December 11, 2006

Feel guilty about those documents you print out, only to be read once and then tossed? Not guilty enough to strain your eyes reading every last word from your computer screen? Xerox Corporation thinks the answer may lie in “erasable paper”—a printing technology still in early R & D, which relies on specific wavelengths of light to print images that fade completely in 16-24 hours leaving blank paper for reuse. If the technology proves commercially viable it should drastically offset the amount of paper going to waste. According to Xerox, two out of every five pages are read only once before being trashed or recycled.

Key Issues: 
Friday, December 8, 2006

New players in the farm subsidy debate could have a dramatic impact on the 2007 federal Farm Bill. While farm subsidies have traditionally protected commodity crops, like cotton and corn, produce farmers are pushing for their cut. This is like the tectonic plates of farm policy shifting, because you have a completely new player coming in and demanding money, said EWG President Kenneth A. Cook to Alexei Barrionuevo of the New York Times.

Key Issues: 
Friday, December 8, 2006

Battery makers and lead smelters have been lobbying the Bush administration to roll back standards that keep lead out of gasoline and their efforts may prove successful for industry, that is. According to a statement released by the EPA earlier this week, the agency is considering dropping the lead limits in light of " the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant.

Key Issues: 
Thursday, December 7, 2006

"Neighborhood activists from California to Washington, D.C., are using a growing body of research on how pollutants exacerbate illness to block the building of facilities, relocate residents from contaminated communities and gain other concessions from large firms." [ LinkUSA Today ]

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Today children's author and environmentalist Lynne Cherry joined EWG staff for lunch and to present some of her famous works. Cherry who is perhaps best known for her story The Great Kapok Tree has been the catalyst for some impressive conservation triumphs. While writing Flute's Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush, Cherry learned of the Episcopal church's plan to develop a 600 acre swath of old-growth forest called Belt Woods.

Key Issues: 
Monday, December 4, 2006

As the excitement of the Olympics begins, so does the need to increase environmental awareness. London, the winner of the 2012 Olympics bid, has promised to make the 2012 games the greenest in history. They'll be cleaning up brownfield sites for use, setting goals for minimizing waste and other pollution.

Key Issues: 
Friday, December 1, 2006

EPA administrator Stephen Johnson has announced that the administration is dropping its plan to excuse companies from annual reporting of their toxic chemical releases. At face value this is a step in the right direction. However, the EPA is still planning a drastic rollback to the inventory requirements of the TRI to ease the regulatory burden on polluting companies.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Environment Agency (UK) has published its Top 100 eco-heroes as voted by their peers ("peers" is code for "the staff of The Environment Agency"). Many of the obvious trailblazers have made the cut. Not surprisingly, Rachel Carson takes first place for bringing awareness to the effects of indiscriminate use of pesticides.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In a little-noticed but dramatic turnaround, the nation's leading fluoride advocate, The American Dental Association (ADA), issued an alert on November 9th urging parents to avoid fluoridated water when reconstituting infant formula.

Key Issues: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Time to get tough on fraudulent science says a panel looking into why the fabricated "advancements" of a South Korean stem cell scientist weren't exposed before publication in the prestigious journal Science.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Can fish really be “organic?” Well, that depends how the USDA shapes that definition in the coming years. Currently the agency has no standards for what qualifies a fish as organic and it seems they are moving towards guidelines that favor aquaculture—the factory farming of the sea—rather than wild caught fish.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In 1991 the FDA let the beverage industry decide what to do about benzene in its soft drinks, without offering any guidelines for eliminating the carcinogen. Fifteen years later, benzene was still forming in soft drinks containing the ingredients sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

OSHA scientist Ira Wainless is facing unpaid suspension for standing by his assertion that mechanics should be warned of possible asbestos exposure from brake pads. Most people, including mechanics, assume that the import of asbestos-containing products has been banned in the U.S. as it has in most other countries. Think again. The Baltimore Sun reports an 83% increase in asbestos-laden imported brakes in the last decade.

Key Issues: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

In Venice, the International Environmental Sciences Academy will meet to consider a court to penalize nations for pollution. Nobel Peace Prize Adolfo Perez Esquivel, president of the Academy, has proposed that the United Nations establish an International Penal Court for the Environment. The court would punish nations for intentional environmental "crimes against humanity," such as the Chernobyl disaster. We'll see how the community of nations responds.

Key Issues: 
Monday, November 20, 2006

BMW has announced the introduction of the first hydrogen powered luxury car. Rather than C02, pure water vapor drips from its exhaust pipe. While the hydrogen tank’s range is limited to 200 kilometers (124 miles), a button on the steering wheel can switch the car from hydrogen to allow the car to use gas, allowing up to 500 additional kilometers (310 miles).

Key Issues: 
Friday, November 17, 2006

An independent panel responsible for determining health effects of the Teflon chemical C-8 are disatisfied with the design of the initial study which only measured death rates among workers at the West Virginia plant. The panel has requested a new study, which will measure disease occurrence as well as death of workers at the Dupont facility. [ via : Associated Press ]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

After years of downplaying the risks of excessive fluoride intake, the American Dental Association (ADA) has just released new guidelines that dramatically reduce the recommended fluoride exposure for infants and children.

Key Issues: 

Pages