Environmental Health

New Study: Gas Workers Could Be Exposed To Dangerous Benzene Levels

"A new study out this month reveals unconventional oil and natural gas workers could be exposed to dangerous levels of benzene, putting them at a higher risk for blood cancers like leukemia. Benzene is a known carcinogen that is present in fracking flowback water. It’s also found in gasoline, cigarette smoke and in chemical manufacturing. As a known carcinogen, benzene exposures in the workplace are limited by federal regulations under OSHA. But some oil and gas production activities are exempt from those standards."

Source: StateImpact Pennsylvania, 08/29/2014

"Food Producers to Offer Data on Chemical Additives"

""Big food producers are moving to try to head off criticism of how they use additives, with a main industry group saying it plans to give more information to regulators about how companies determine the safety of the thousands of chemicals and other ingredients in processed foods."

Source: Wall St. Journal, 08/28/2014

"DuPont Agrees To $1.3M in Chemical Leak Fines"

"DuPont Co. has agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million in fines to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resolve violations the EPA cited after a string of 2010 chemical leaks, including one that killed a worker at the company’s plant in Belle, EPA officials announced Wednesday."

Source: Charleston Gazette, 08/28/2014

Shouldn't "Trade Secrets" Face a Sunset in Interests of Public Health?

One of the oldest tricks U.S. industry has used to hide the potential harm to public health done by chemicals it puts into the environment is to claim that their identities are trade secrets via a loophole established under the antiquated Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976. On August 21st, a coalition of groups petitioned EPA for toxic trade secrets to have an expiration date.

"Osprey Whisperers: Deciphering Decades of Clues From the Sea Hawk"

"PITT MEADOWS, British Columbia – On an early spring morning the Pitt River flows so calmly that the peaks of the Coast Range seem to pause to admire themselves in its glassy waters. A motorboat lifts a wake, and the docks of the marina moan. Still tucked in for the winter, the pleasure boats stir then rock themselves back to sleep."

Source: EHN, 08/26/2014

"Climate Change Policies Pay for Themselves, Study Says"

"An MIT climate change study released Sunday indicates the cost of slashing coal-fired carbon emissions would be offset by reduced spending on public health. The EPA-funded study examined climate change policies similar to those proposed by the Obama administration in June."

Source: Christian Science Monitor, 08/26/2014

"Drilling-Related Health Registry Never Implemented"

"HARRISBURG — An unfinished piece of business with state oversight of Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling continues to rear its head. That’s the matter of how Pennsylvania should track and evaluate potential public health problems caused by hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking."

Source: Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice, 08/25/2014

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