EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"Research has proven that infants and toddlers, who spend more time on the floor and experience the world with their hands and mouths, are not merely in closer contact with many indoor pollutants2 but also more sensitive to them. Yet environmental health standards in child care settings nationwide—which can include not just centers but also private homes, workplaces, universities, and places of worship—still lag behind those of schools, where children are older, larger, and somewhat less susceptible to environmental exposures. Unlike with more uniformly regulated schools, child care licensing, permitting, and oversight occur on a variety of levels, resulting in a fractured regulatory landscape."
"It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet. But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan -- the germ-killing ingredient found in an estimated 75 percent of antibacterial liquid soaps and body washes sold in the U.S. -- is ineffective, or worse, harmful."
"Europe and Australia long ago recognized the benefits of a fertilizer formula that doesn’t blow up. Here, the chemical industry fought back."
"An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil's Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals."
"Lipstick may brighten your face but may not be good for the rest of you, a study today suggests. Testing of 32 commonly sold lipsticks and lip glosses found they contain lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals — some at potentially toxic levels, according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley's School of Public Health."
"The Texas fertilizer plant that blew up on April 17, killing at least 15 people, appears to have been claiming an arcane exemption that allowed it to avoid targeted workplace inspections and safety requirements and enter a 'streamlined prevention program' with environmental regulators, a government spokesman confirmed."
"The world's most widely used insecticide is devastating dragonflies, snails and other water-based species, a groundbreaking Dutch study has revealed."
"More than 5,000 products, including clothing, toys and bedding, contain toxic chemicals that could be dangerous for children’s health, yet stores still stock them and consumers know little about their content, an advocacy group reported this week."
"The danger that the decline of bees and other pollinators represents to the world’s food supply was highlighted this week when the European Commission decided to ban a class of pesticides suspected of playing a role in so-called 'colony collapse disorder.'"
"On the brink of federal regulatory review, chemicals in deodorants, lotions and conditioners are showing up in Chicago’s air at levels that scientists call alarming. The airborne compounds – cyclic siloxanes – are traveling to places as far as the Arctic, and can be toxic to aquatic life. “These chemicals are just everywhere,” said Keri Hornbuckle, an engineering professor at the University of Iowa. "
"WASHINGTON -- Eighteen years after a domestic terrorist murdered 168 people in Oklahoma City with an ammonia nitrate bomb, the federal government and the chemical industry are still jockeying over how to regulate a volatile and plentiful fertilizer that contributed to the devastating plant explosion in West.
At least five federal agencies enforce a patchwork of overlapping and sometimes conflicting regulation of chemical plants. The system is reliant on voluntary reporting by industry, and by nature is largely reactive to complaints or catastrophes.
"GENEVA -- At the start of a major conference to regulate chemical and hazardous waste safety, top officials voiced optimism Saturday that delegates will approve new international controls on several industrial compounds and agree to clamp down on some cross-border pollution."
The Agriculture Department is poised to approve an increase in line speeds at poultry processing plants. That is likely to mean increased use of toxic, bacteria-killing chemicals which have harmed some workers.
"In the months before last week's deadly fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, U.S. government watchdogs criticized federal oversight of facilities that make or store dangerous chemicals."