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Environmental connections to public health >>

The Latest from EnviroBlog

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Albany Times-Union has a great, in-depth piece on MTBE lawsuits this week. Transcripts of Shell Oil execs thinking up clever acronyms for the toxic gasoline additive that's now in drinking water supplies across the nation have them in hot water in the courts -- and since Congress failed to pass legislation to protect polluters last year, companies could end up paying millions to clean up after themselves.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

As reported by Knight Ridder, a recent survey of leading U.S. wireless carriers (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and Cingular) found these companies have cell phone recycling programs that are ineffectual at best.

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Monday, April 3, 2006

In a story in the Contra Costa Times, two people separately coin the term "Pombo-ize" to refer to that California Republican congressman's unsuccessful effort last fall to auction off our public lands.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Massachusetts has proposed the nation's most protective limits and clean-up standards for the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in drinking water.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The New York Times has a great profile on parents who don't care how safe the chemical companies say their products are -- they want toxics-free kids, and they'll protect them as best they can by choosing the greenest products available.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Earlier this week it was eco-furniture -- now here's a green house to put it in. And like the furniture, the new green building is going beyond energy conservation and land use to focus mainly on building materials.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

If you're looking for couches with wood from sustainable forests, fabric free of flame retardants and finished off with non-toxic dyes, stains and glues, Q Collection makes them not just green, but also good-looking.

Friday, March 3, 2006

No point rewriting Marian Burros' lead from Wednesday's New York Times: "The House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would pre-empt all state food safety regulations that are more stringent than federal standards."

Friday, March 3, 2006

The Hill reports that two staffers who work for the Department of Interior have spent almost three years pushing Rep. Richard Pombo's agenda, including controversial provisions for off shore drilling and selling off public lands. Problem is, there are laws designed to keep the government's branches separate, including one that limits this kind of crossover to one year.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A new EPA study fed 23 Seattle children an all-organic diet for a week and saw the pesticide levels in their blood drop to virtually zero. As soon as the kids started back on their conventional diets, their pesticide levels rocketed back up.

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Tomato giant Ag-Mart couldn't be in bigger trouble in North Carolina for alleged pesticide violations that may have caused birth defects in three field workers' children, but the state ag department says it's powerless to ensure that the company shapes up.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Talk about taking matters into your own hands! Seeing that there was no answer to the question, ‘How’s our environment doing?’, a nature-loving Gopher-stater took it upon himself to find out. His composite report, paid for with privately raised funds, shows development and population trends that threaten the green spaces the Land of 10,000 Lakes is famous for.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Associated Press reported that Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine testified in a court case over lead paint that swallowing a chip of lead paint just half the size of his (Landrigan's) fingernail could send a child into a coma or convulsions.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

AP reports that some Washington state farmers may have faked results in tests of a federal conservation program designed to reduce pesticide and fertilizer use. The farmers received tens of thousands of dollars in subsidies under the Conservation Security Program for using greener practices, but an audit of the program found that some individuals may have altered soil samples and given false information.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Whether or not you agree with the Bush Administration on energy policy, one thing is clear: when a President brings up the need to become energy independent in a State of the Union address, public debate increases. And as Martha Stewart says, "that's a good thing."

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Friday, February 17, 2006

New York state is suing the EPA for its refusal to release information on the smog-causing properties of some common household chemicals. Smog-heavy states like New York and California need the records to plan for reducing pollution in order to meet their stringent Clean Air Act requirements.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

The people who know DuPont best – its workers – have launched a website that pulls no punches about the company’s health and safety practices. “Throughout its history, DuPont has ignored scientific evidence whenever it threatens to hurt company profits,” reads the home page.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

In a proposal that “drew praise from the mining industry”, the EPA recently suggested we all stop worrying about air quality in America’s less populous areas, insisting that dust from those fruited plains and majestic mountains can’t possibly hurt you, as if the only air pollution in the world was the black stuff from tailpipes and smokestacks.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

A study of CDC employees designed to test new methods of looking for the rocket fuel chemical perchlorate in humans stumbled upon unusually high levels of perchlorate in its subjects. Since Atlanta's water has extremely low levels of the chemical, and all 62 subjects' urine tested higher than the water, CDC scientists suspect that perchlorate is getting into people through their diets at higher levels than previously believed.

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Friday, February 3, 2006

A new study from the University of California Berkeley found that combinations of low doses of toxic chemicals can be more harmful than any of the chemicals alone, suggesting that the vacuum EPA and other government agencies study individual chemicals' toxicity in does not mirror conditions in the real world.

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