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.
"DETROIT -- A fire at the Marathon Petroleum Corp. refinery here late last month caused little structural damage, but its timing could not have been worse for the plant's owner. The blaze, which was quickly extinguished by the refinery's emergency personnel, occurred on the morning that U.S. EPA and advocacy groups were touring the plant's industrial neighborhood as part of a national environmental justice conference at a downtown conference center."
"The day the Twin Towers crumbled, more than 25,000 kids inhaled toxic substances. Ten years later, many of them are suffering from health problems that still haven't gone away."
"Ten years later, responders who breathed the toxic dust and noxious fumes at New York City’s Ground Zero while searching for survivors are still suffering the effects of the attacks. The environmental hazards at the World Trade Center disaster site – mercury from fluorescent light bulbs, dioxin and benzene emitted as the jets burned, asbestos from the building materials, and more – have caused post-traumatic symptoms, severe respiratory ailments, immune problems and, some suspect, a greatly increased cancer risk."
"Health experts lamented a move by U.S. President Barack Obama to halt rules on limiting smog pollution, saying the decision could endanger many people already susceptible to respiratory problems.
Under pressure from businesses and Republican lawmakers, the Environmental Protection Agency had delayed issuing a rule on ozone limits several times. On Friday, Obama unexpectedly told the EPA to withdraw the clean-air initiative. Even at current levels, doctors and public health groups warn that ozone, a key smog ingredient, is harmful, especially for those already suffering from lung diseases."
"Phthalates are a class of chemicals that have been shown to disrupt the endocrine system. They’re used in all kinds of consumer products including flooring, cars and cosmetics. A new study published today finds a significant link between pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates and negative impacts on their children’s development."
"President Barack Obama put a stop on Friday to new rules that would limit smog pollution, unexpectedly reversing course on a key policy measure after businesses said it would kill jobs and cost them billions of dollars."
Domestic drinking water wells in the region around Augusta, Maine, show levels of arsenic above EPA's new safety standards. Excess arsenic in drinking water can cause a range of serious health problems.
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- People with C8 in their blood face a greater risk of having chronic kidney diseases, according to the latest in a series of West Virginia University studies on the toxic chemical."
"A new study says firefighters who toiled in the wreckage of the World Trade Center in 2001 were 19 percent more likely to develop cancer than those who were not there, the strongest evidence to date of a possible link between work at ground zero and cancer."
The smoke from wildfires can have harmful effects on human health, especially for children, seniors, and the chronically ill.
"Bird flu was in decline -- but health officials warned Monday that it appears to be on the rise again. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) "urged heightened readiness and surveillance against a possible major resurgence" of the virus, which has crossed over from birds to infect 565 people and kill 331 of them since its appearance in 2003."
"Five of the 57 ingredients in dispersants approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on oil spills are linked to cancer, finds a new research report based on data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by environmental groups on the Gulf of Mexico."
"When it comes to the safety of dyeing food, the one true shade is gray.
Artificial colorings have been around for decades, and for just about as long, people have questioned whether tinted food is a good idea. In the 1800s, when merchants colored their products with outright poisons, critics had a pretty good case. Today’s safety questions, though, aren’t nearly so black and white — and neither are the answers.
"Hundreds of Native American children attend schools that haven’t properly disposed of hazardous waste, haven’t contained asbestos in heating systems, and whose water systems exceed the maximum allowable level for arsenic in tap water – conditions barred under federal environmental laws."
"Nearly 1,600 children age 5 and younger live close enough to an airport in Brevard County to be at risk from leaded gasoline used by small piston planes and helicopters."