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.
"Health and environmental groups will launch a national campaign Thursday to prod 10 major retailers -- including Walmart, Target and Costco -- to clear store shelves of products containing hazardous chemicals."
"More than 1,000 people were injured when a severe tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, on 22 May 2011, and 158 eventually died. Within a few days of the tornado, several of the injured began to suffer from a fungal infection suspected to be cutaneous necrotizing mucormycosis."
"Listeria in cantaloupes. Salmonella in peanuts. E. coli in spinach. Hepatitis A in green onions. In the past decade a rash of tainted food has resulted in thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths. It has also prompted the most sweeping reform of U.S. food safety laws in more than 70 years."
"SHANGHAI/HONG KONG -- Chinese authorities slaughtered over 20,000 birds at a poultry market in Shanghai on Friday as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six, spreading concern overseas and sparking a sell-off in airline shares in Europe and Hong Kong."
"The increase is the result of the government last year lowering the threshold for lead poisoning."
"Scientists taking a first look at the genetics of the bird flu strain that recently killed two men in China said Wednesday that the virus could be harder to track than its better-known cousin H5N1 because it might be able to spread silently among poultry without notice."
"The Washington State Department of Ecology has known since the 1990s that its water-pollution limits have meant some Washingtonians regularly consume dangerous amounts of toxic chemicals in fish from local waterways."
"STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- Ameren Missouri has spent the past four years engaged in a bitter fight with Labadie-area residents over a proposal to pile millions of cubic yards of coal ash on a plot of cropland by the Missouri River."
"WASHINGTON -- The chemical pesticide lobby is waging a multi-million dollar battle to prevent regulation of chemicals linked to the dramatic escalation in the deaths of pollinating bees over the past year."
"OSHA devotes most of its budget and attention to responding to here-and-now dangers rather than preventing the silent, slow killers that, in the end, take far more lives. Over the past four decades, the agency has written new standards with exposure limits for 16 of the most deadly workplace hazards, including lead, asbestos and arsenic. But for the tens of thousands of other dangerous substances American workers handle each day, employers are largely left to decide what exposure level is safe."
"The EPA announced [March 27] that it will study the health and environmental risks of 23 chemicals, with an emphasis on chemical flame retardants that are found in many common products."
"Nearly one in five high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
"Canada has become the first country to drop out of the UN convention to combat desertification."
The story of hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen, in drinking water is not over, even though Erin Brockovich's legal victory was vaunted in a film 13 years ago. Groundwater near Hinkley, Calif., is still polluted. The story of how industry clout has kept EPA delaying regulation of chromium in drinking water is a tale of the chemical industry's ability to manipulate regulation by sowing doubt. But recent highly dramatized stories on chrome-6 in drinking water may not have helped much, to the extent that they downplayed natural background levels, the importance of dose, and the statistical problems in identifying cancer clusters. The whole saga raises key issues about public relations, lobbying, regulatory politics, the legal system, environmental journalism, and the protection of public health.