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.
"In an emotionally charged meeting this week sponsored by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, fishermen, Gulf residents and community leaders vented their increasingly grave concerns about the widespread health issues brought on by the three-month-long disaster."
"People who spend their evenings in relatively bright light run the risk of stressing their bodies by ratcheting down the production of melatonin. Produced in the brain's pineal gland, this hormone plays a pivotal role in setting the body's biological clock – and, potentially, in limiting the development of certain cancers."
"If a company dumped the black goop behind a factory, it would violate all sorts of environmental laws and face an expensive hazardous-waste cleanup. But playgrounds, parking lots and driveways in many communities are coated every spring and summer with coal tar, a toxic byproduct of steelmaking that contains high levels of chemicals linked to cancer and other health problems."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday a new study by the largest toxic waste dump in the West showed its level of cancer-causing chemicals was too low to harm the health of a nearby community where an unusually high number of babies have been born with serious birth defects."
"Pregnant women take elaborate steps to protect their babies' health, following doctors' orders to avoid alcohol, caffeine, tobacco — even soft cheeses and deli meats. In spite of these efforts, a new study shows the typical pregnant woman has dozens of potentially toxic or even cancer-causing chemicals in her body — including ingredients found in flame retardants and rocket fuel."
"Republicans in Congress are introducing legislation to curtail the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and to prevent and roll back regulations intended to reduce air pollution such as mercury emissions from cement plants. These efforts amount to attacks on the nation's health, the advocacy coalition Health Care Without Harm said [Tuesday]."
"One of the most worrisome national security threats of climate change is the spread of disease, among both people and animals, U.S. intelligence and health officials say."
A large fraction of the honey eaten by North American consumers is produced in China, and contaminated with antibiotics and adulterants. An elaborate enterprise works to hide its Chinese origins.
Lobstermen and environmentalists are concerned about pesticides used by aquaculture operators in Passamaquoddy Bay to kill sea lice that infest salmon holding pens.
"Federal regulators on Wednesday outlined rules for the tobacco industry that for the first time require disclosure of any changes to their products, and that detail how to seek permission to market new products under the sweeping tobacco control law signed by President Obama in June 2009."
"An international team of researchers has for the first time quantified how effectively mothers pass 87 common environmental contaminants to their children. Their findings provide a way to correlate pollutant concentrations in a mother's blood to levels in her developing baby, which may help regulators pinpoint compounds that are hazardous to unborn and nursing babies."
"With President Obama slated to sign historic food-safety legislation into law Tuesday, the coalition of food industry, public interest and consumer groups that used a public health message to win its passage is now making an argument for its funding."
"The struggle over huge livestock farms continues to roil in Missouri and Kansas, and no wonder -- a new report shows the two states in the middle of the growing concentration of factory farming."
"Federal authorities are urging schools across the U.S. to replace the electrical components in older light fixtures to reduce the threat of contamination from potentially cancer-causing chemicals."