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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

 

From a press release issued on Labor Day by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER): "WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Attorney General, federal workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures."

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Confronting the criticism of health and environmental groups, three major nail polish manufacturers have begun the process of removing a trio of substances that have been deemed harmful. The chemicals formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), have been linked to cancer and birth defects. All were banned earlier this year in cosmetics by EU regulators but have not been targeted for removal in this country by the FDA.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Food and Drug Administration is bargaining with the pharmaceutical industry for an increase in fees used for reviewing new drug applications-- a move experts say will give the industry a greater role in shaping the priorities of its regulator. "There is no doubt that user fees give the industry leverage on setting the agency's priorities, because of the negotiating process," says Dr. Kessler, former head of the FDA, and now dean of the medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

new report suggests that childhood PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) exposure can make children’s diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations less effective.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Pulitzer-prize winning biologist E.O. Wilson is working to unite religious Creationists and secular believers of evolution theory around a shared commitment to environmental conservation. "There are two world views in conflict -- religious and secular -- but yet they can meet in friendship on one of the most important issues of this century," he said.
Amen, prof! [Link]

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Friday, September 1, 2006

Drug Firms Use Financial Clout To Push Industry Agenda at FDA: The Food and Drug Administration is bargaining with the pharmaceutical industry for an increase in fees, giving the industry a greater role in shaping the priorities of its regulator.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

E-85 Mileage Loophole for Carmakers: Car companies promoting E-85 as an alternative to gasoline are getting credit from the government for nearly double the gas mileage their vehicles actually achieve, allowing manufacturers to sell more full-size SUVs and pickups while still meeting federal standards for average fuel economy.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that drinking three to four cups of tea per day can reduce one’s chances of having a heart attack, and possibly help protect against some cancers. The study’s author, Carrie Ruxton of Kings College London, challenges the common perception of tea as dehydrating, insisting that tea rehydrates just as well as water does:

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Washington Post reported on a report by the National Research Center for Women & Families showing that expert panels assembled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are often biased towards approving new drugs.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes, and obviously pudding is safe to eat. Just call me or Bill Cosby - we can talk tapioca all day. Today's Salt Lake Tribune editorial insists that "Makers of dietary supplements should have to prove safety." Sounds obvious, but if it isn't food you eat or a drug you take, don't assume it's been proven safe.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Multiple articles from recent news.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

California has proposed an enforceable limit of 6 parts per billion for perchlorate (rocket fuel) in drinking water--four times more stringent than the EPA's waste-site cleanup standard of 24 parts per billion. Currently, Massachusetts is the only state with a mandatory limit--2 ppb for perchlorate in drinking water. Enviro groups in California have been pushing for an even more stringent limit of 1 or 2 parts per billion, but have met resistance from the Pentagon and its contractors.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Every time I fly I notice that just before we land, the attendant acknowledges over the loudspeaker that they know I had many choices when booking my flight, and they are glad I gave them my business. I like that.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

NPR is running two stories about antibiotics. One about scientists scraping the sea floor in search of new antibiotics that we have yet to develop resistance to. Researchers are finding that drug companies have little interest in financing the testing of their newly discovered anitbiotics, because they are more focused on drugs that people require daily for the rest of their lives, or performance-enhancing drugs.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Environmental Science and Technology reports on a study finding high levels of pesticides in the children of immigrant farmworkers. Of the farmworkers studied, researchers found that "40% of the mothers and 30% of the fathers had not received training in pesticide handling, a violation of U.S. EPA regulations."

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Quoted in an article for the Japan Times, Tony Clarke of the Polaris Institute articulates the cyclical risk of our obsession with bottled water: "The bottled-water industry's marketing of 'safe, clean water' undermines citizen's confidence in public water systems, and paves the way for the water companies to take over underfunded local utilities. In return, public willingness to pay premium prices for bottled water enables water-service corporations to establish a top-dollar price."

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Officials in Massachusetts have begun aerial fumigation of the Southestern part of the state with the pesticide Anvil. The enemy: mosquitos capable of carrying Eastern equine encephalitis, of which two cases have been reported in Massachusetts this year. [Boston Globe]

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Paul Watson's poignant reflections on the over-exploitation of our seas and the toxicity of today's catch. [New Zealand Herald]

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The London Sunday Times reports that Madonna has been "lobbying the government and nuclear industry over a scheme to clean up radioactive waste with a supposedly magic Kabbalah fluid." Both she and her husband, Guy Ritchie are promoting a water-based “mystical” liquid solution that has allegedly proved successful in neutralising dangerous nuclear waste in Ukraine. One official--presumably at British Nuclear Fuels-- had this to say about Madonna's proposal: “It was like a crank call . . . the scientific mechanisms and principles were just bollocks, basically.”

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