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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

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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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.

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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).

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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.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

As the climate change talks in Nairobi stagger forward, the French have thrown a new proposal into an already sludgy mix. Instead of allowing the world’s worst polluters, the United States and China, to ignore the problems, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has proposed taxes on imports from countries that have not signed the Kyoto Protocol.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

GroovyGreen brings us this video about GreenSprings Natural Cemetery in New York. It's a good intro to the philosophies and practices behind the growing green burial movement. Green burials strive for a true "dust to dust" approach.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

The American Journal of Industrial Medicine reports this month on undisclosed conflicts of interest in cancer research: Some consulting firms employ university researchers for industry work thereby disguising industry links in the income of large departments. If the industry affiliation is concealed by the scientist, biases from conflicting interests in risk assessments cannot be evaluated and dealt with properly. Furthermore, there is reason to suspect that editors and journal staff may suppress publication of scientific results that are adverse to industry owing to internal conflict of interest between editorial integrity and business needs.

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Thursday, November 9, 2006

There is so much which can and must be accomplished when we know what is happening to our environment, and its direct impact on each of our lives. No one person, group or organization can bring about complete awareness and comprehensive change alone. The faith community must become a far-reaching, consistent voice, from pulpits, to exhort the masses to understand, get involved, speak out, and be converted to “SAVE OUR WORLD… FROM US!!”"

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The International Energy Agency (IEA) came out with yet another economic report announcing the cost effectiveness of cleaner energy. Through use of energy trends, the World Energy Outlook, a division of IEA, demonstrated that the world will be facing unstable energy supplies at affordable prices and extreme environmental damage due to over-consumption of energy by 2030.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

A report in the Lancet, considered the world's most prestigious medical journal, warns of ''a silent pandemic” of impaired brain development due to exposure to unregulated industrial toxins, both in the womb and during a child’s first years.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds that exposure to carpeting and other materials in the workplace significantly increases adults' risk of developing asthma. Carpet contains over 100 known toxins including benzene, formaldehyde, and flame-retardants. Added features like stain resistance increase the number of toxins.
[ via : Reuters ]

Monday, November 6, 2006

Are weather-related complications, such as droughts, really 'disasters' if they seem to happen year after year? Many farmers who receive these payments seem to think so, but EWG President and farm policy expert Ken Cook challenges that notion with his response to a poorly-researched Aberdeen American editorial.

Friday, November 3, 2006

In a step toward creating a peaceful union between farming and conservation, the Ballance Farm Environment Awards of New Zealand announced their acceptance of nominations for farmers who have done the most toward sustainable farming this year.

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Friday, November 3, 2006

Several news articles and their summaries within.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006

A new website by Harvard School of Public Health lets visitors tally their risk for several types of cancer, as well as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and stroke. Users input their age and gender and some more specific info about their lifestyle to get personalized risk level comparisons for a given disease against those of others in the same demographic.

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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Today's Baraboo (Wisconsin) News Republic gives plain-English descriptions of federal farm subsidies. The piece makes a pretty good case for conservation payments.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

That's right. Turning everything off when you leave the house isn't enough. To ensure that you aren't losing energy to phantom currents, either unplug devices when not in use or use power strips that can accommodate many plugs and cut energy flow to them through one main switch. And watch out for those cell phone chargers. Only 5% of the power drawn by cell phone chargers is actually used to charge phones. The other 95% is consumed when the charger is left plugged in with no phone attached to it.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

California is years behind schedule in setting safety standards for rocket fuel waste in drinking water, and now there's evidence that the proposed standard is too weak to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control found that drinking water with just 5 parts per billion of perchlorate could disrupt thyroid hormones in women of childbearing age, and for 1 in 10 the condition would be serious enough that they'd need treatment to protect their babies from IQ and developmental deficits.

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