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Environmental connections to public health >>

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Thursday, January 4, 2007

The New York Times' most emailed article of the day reports on the absurd marketing claims for cosmetic skin creams and the high prices the products demand. A Manhattan dermatologist recommends reducing your daily skin care routine to two simple ingredients: gentle soap and sunscreen, and a third product only for specific skin needs like acne or pigment spots. Avoid the high-priced brands, because no research suggests more expensive products are any better.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic heard a dire warning on the possible link between a widely used weed-killer and cancer. In a forum usually reserved for medical researchers, amphibian endocrinologist Tyrone Hayes of UC Berkeley talked about frogs, but his message was one with direct implications for human medicine. Exposure to the herbicide, Atrazine, results in what amounts to chemical castration.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Two former high-level Bush bureaucrats are stepping back through the revolving door to resume their crusade on behalf of industry and against pesky regulations.

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

 

Happy new year and welcome back to Enviroblog--you are reading the first post of 2007! I’ve never been big on New Year's resolutions but this year I’m making one I know I’ll follow through with and that will benefit both my wallet and the earth--changing the remainder of the incandescent bulbs in my house to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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