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.
"For shale gas to meet its potential, millions of Americans will have to live with drill rigs in or near their own neighborhoods. And that opens the door to a range of potential environmental health problems: pipelines and wellheads can explode, the process produces toxic air emissions, and fracking generates liquid wastes that can contaminate surface and drinking water supplies."
"Releasing genetically modified, spermless male mosquitoes into the wild could in future help to prevent malaria transmission and reduce the chances of large outbreaks of the killer disease, British scientists said on Monday."
"Millions of Americans have been ingesting them for years—perchlorate, hexavalent chromium, volatile organic compounds—not because they’re safe, but because they are among 6,000 toxins the EPA has not gotten around to regulating in municipal drinking water systems.
But after a change in administrations and a scathing review by the General Accounting Office, the EPA has begun to develop regulations to remove these chemicals from tap and bottled water—and industry has begun efforts to delay or prevent their implementation."
The Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, unveiled an online tool allowing users to look up the potential health effects of climate change by zip code.
"U.S. researchers have discovered a genetic mutation unique to African Americans that could help explain why blacks are so susceptible to asthma."
With the Japanese government apparently failing in the task of protecting the public from radiation after the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear station, ordinary Japanese citizens are buying dosimeters -- and making startling discoveries.
"Mossville Louisiana sits in the shadow of 14 petrochemical refineries. When residents felt the US Government wasn’t protecting their right to a healthy environment, they reached past the American regulators, legislators and courts to take their case to the highest human rights court in the western hemisphere."
"It is the nation's first public health goal for hexavalent chromium, made infamous in 'Erin Brockovich.' The goal isn't an enforceable standard but will help develop one, an official says."
"The results of an unprecedented study published yesterday in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute have been rocketing around the Internet: 'Study Sees No Cellphone-Cancer Ties' .... [But] at least two prominent environmental health groups believe the study is fundamentally flawed... [and] 'actually quite troubling.'" The study was funded in part by a cell phone industry group."
"The food-safety world knows there are a half-dozen or more lethal forms of E. coli ending up in our meat or on our leafy greens that are so virulent they can send people to the hospital and even kill them. But in the United States only one, E. coli O157:H7, is officially termed an adulterant, meaning any raw ground beef that tests positive for it cannot be sold for human consumption."
"Health and environmental groups have mounted a campaign against Bath & Body Works, urging the retailer to stop selling its line of 'Summertime Scent' soaps that contain triclosan, a chemical categorized as a pesticide."
As cash-strapped local governments in Florida cut their mosquito-control budgets, the fight against a surge in mosquito populations is getting ugly -- and mosquitos may be threatening both health and economic well-being.
"Pregnant women who smoke are much more likely to deliver babies with missing or deformed limbs, clubfoot, cleft palate and gastrointestinal problems than nonsmokers, finds the first study to identify the specific birth defects most associated with smoking."
People whose blood contains more of the chemicals (BPA and phthalates) found in household plastics are likelier to have impaired thyroid function, a new large-scale study confirms.