EJToday: Top Headlines
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"As the Obama administration launches a broad investigation of flame retardants used in furniture and other household goods, the nation's top environmental regulators are running into the limitations of a federal law that makes it practically impossible to ban hazardous chemicals."
"Nearly 800 hazardous waste sites are located in Erie, Niagara and Cattaraugus counties, and the majority of them are a threat to the largest source of fresh water in the world – the Great Lakes."
"State and federal investigators on Sunday began their first in-depth look at the cratered epicenter of a fertilizer plant explosion that killed at least 14 people, including about 10 volunteer firefighters and the residents who tried to help them extinguish a fire at the site."
"WASHINGTON -- Cleanup workers, doctors, divers and Gulf Coast residents interviewed by a Washington watchdog group have reported health problems from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including blood in the urine, heart palpitations, kidney and liver damage, migraines, memory loss and reduced IQ."
"WEST — In this small, shattered town 80 miles south of Dallas, residents awaiting word on missing loved ones spent most of Thursday finding hope in not knowing for sure.
"A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the town of West, north of Waco, causing multiple casualties and leaving people trapped and buildings on fire.
Emergency personnel were bracing for the possibility of dozens of dead in the blast, which was reported at 7:53 p.m. and could be heard 45 miles away in Waxahachie.
With a tiny budget, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is coming under fire for slowness in completing investigations on a large number of major accidents involving chemical hazards.
"Many Americans assume that the chemicals in their shampoos, detergents and other consumer products have been thoroughly tested and proved to be safe. This assumption is wrong."
"Synthetic chemicals added to consumer products to meet federal and state flammability standards are showing up in waterways, wildlife and even human breast milk."
While honey bee die-offs often called "colony collapse disorder" have been increasing for several years, so has scientific evidence that a widely used class of pesticides called neonicotinoids could well be an important contributing cause. In 2011, EPA said it would review its approval on one such pesticide. Now it says it expects to finish in five years.
"Both fruits are vulnerable to a nasty disease called fire blight that can devastate orchards. So organic labeling standards allow for antibiotics to be used on apple and pear trees. That exemption is set to end in 2014 -- but growers say they need a little more time."
"Analysis of commercially available rice imported into the US has revealed it contains levels of lead far higher than regulations suggest are safe."
"Toxic chemicals clinging to plastics could cause health problems for fish and other organisms in the Great Lakes."