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In the news: September 6, 2006

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.

Abnormally developed fish, possessing both male and female characteristics, have been discovered in the Potomac River, raising alarms that the river is tainted by pollution that drives hormone systems haywire. These pollutants are poorly understood and leave many with questions about what the problems in fish mean for the millions of people who take their tap water from the Potomac.

Lunchbox.gifRecent California lab tests commissioned by the Center for Environmental Health showed that lead-tainted lunchboxes are being sold in national chain stores including Rite Aid, Staples and Big Lots, with elevated levels of lead. One lunchbox contained lead levels 24 times the legal limit for lead in paint, the group said. The testing found lead in the lining of lunch boxes, where it comes into direct contact with food.

Almost one in every six workers dismantling old boats at India's Alang shipyard suffers from asbestos poisoning[...]Old ships are not broken up in the West because they are full of dangerous materials, including asbestos, that would not pass health standards. That has made Asia — where regulations are often lax or nonexistent — a cheap alternative.

OSHA has issued proposed fines of $85,575 against three companies in the March drowning of two construction workers during the demolition of hurricane-damaged Grand Casino in Gulfport. The two construction workers drowned after passing out from hazardous fumes.

'Organic' is a hot topic in the food world, as in other areas of life, and a myriad of products bear the term on their labels. But it's not always as simple as the word may lead one to believe.

In Brief: Hundreds of Chinese villagers suffer lead poisoning from smelter...State PFOA review sought by Pascagoula (MS) City Council...Biodiesel seeps into Ohio's local economy...Vietnam vets have more cancers, says study...Global alert over deadly new TB strains...Edible coatings to be packaging of the future...How much do we really know about the causes and incidence of autism?...

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