Environmental Health

"In Feast of Data on BPA Plastic, No Final Answer"

In a classic two-sided story, the New York Times reports scientific uncertainty about whether the ubiquitous plastic chemical BPA hurts humans or not. It does not explore another key question: should the burden of proof be on companies to prove chemicals they widely expose people to are safe? -- or on environmental health scientists to prove them unsafe?

Source: NYTimes, 09/07/2010
April 14, 2011 to April 17, 2011

Health Journalism 2011

Local and national planning committees have begun gathering conference ideas for review. Plans include dozens of panels, field trips, newsmaker briefings, Freelance Pitchfest, world-class speakers, 2010 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism luncheon and more. To suggest sessions or speakers for the conference, you can fill out a conference suggestion form.

Sludge Tracking Efforts a Jumble of Research With No Clear Answers

The application of sewage sludge (renamed "biosolids" by industry PR) to fields has created worries about smell, disease, and toxic contaminants. Federal efforts to track sludge problems have been fragmented, haphazard, and delayed -- which does not inspire confidence in industry-backed federal assurances that sludge is safe. The assurances have preceded the evidence that would support them.

Source: Greenwire, 08/27/2010

"EPA May Give 1st Approval of Nanosilver for Fabrics"

"A Swiss chemical producer may soon be the first company to receive approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use nanosilver to make clothing smell better, stay cleaner and destroy germs. However, health scientists say the nanoparticles will wash out with the rinse water and could cause unknown environmental and health problems downstream."

Source: AOLNews, 08/19/2010

EPA Enviro Justice Guidance Could Help Spotlight EJ Issues

While thoroughly bureaucratic, the 55-page guidance document, as well as EPA's Environmental Justice Strategic Enforcement Assessment Tool, can be useful resources for reporters who seek to understand and highlight potential environmental justice issues unfolding at the national, regional, or state level.

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