EJToday: Top Headlines
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NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum says she is concerned that as U.S. manufacturers shift away from toxic chemicals in consumer goods to alternative chemicals, "we kind of jump from the proverbial fry pan into the fire."
"One of the great mysteries about North America is what killed off woolly mammoths and other exotic animals that roamed the land after the last ice age. Ideas have ranged from a comet impact and climate change to human hunters. A study published Friday in Science Magazine provides new clues about this — cleverly deduced from samples of a fungus that grew on the animals' dung."
"No one would choose to eat polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs -- yet we unwittingly do. And a new study finds that the cost of their pervasive contamination of our food supply can be high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease."
"Appearing with President Hu Jintao, President Obama on Tuesday told reporters that the United States was determined to work with China and other countries to help produce a substantive agreement in Copenhagen climate talks next month."
"The biggest influence groups for oil and coal spent a combined $115 million last year to burnish their images and shape public opinion on energy, expenditures that dwarf amounts they have previously reported for federal lobbying."
"Coal pollutants affect all major body organ systems and contribute to four of the five leading causes of mortality in the United States: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases, concludes a scathing report issued today by Physicians for Social Responsibility."
"In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge ruled late Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers' mismanagement of maintenance at the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was directly responsible for flood damage in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina."
"The Obama administration on Wednesday announced plans to beef up federal strip-mining inspections and reviews of mining permits issued by state regulators like West Virginia's Department of Environmental Protection."
The peatlands of Indonesia, formed over thousands of years, used to be a vast reservoir of carbon. But now deforestation has dried them out, and they are burning, releasing back into the atmosphere as much carbon dioxide as all the cars and trucks in the U.S. The question is how economic incentives to save the peatlands can outweigh the incentives for destroying them.
"A solid majority of Americans recognize the need to help the environment, although there are some things -- like buying a hybrid car or taking mass transit -- that people often talk about, but don't necessarily act on."
A new study suggests that even women who try hard to avoid worrisome chemicals may fail to keep them out of their bodies. Environmental exposure seems to be the culprit. And once the chemicals are in the blood of pregnant women, their fetuses may be exposed, too.
"Children's toys carrying the Barbie and Disney logos have turned up with high levels of lead in them, according to a California-based advocacy group -- a finding that may give consumers pause as they shop for the holiday season."
"The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday proposed new air quality regulations for sulfur dioxide emissions, which come mostly from power plants and industrial facilities, expecially those that burn coal."