"When writer Florence Williams was nursing her second child, she read a research study about toxins found in human breast milk. She decided to test her own breast milk and shipped a sample to a lab in Germany. What came back surprised her. Trace amounts of pesticides, dioxin and a jet fuel ingredient — as well as high to average levels of flame retardants — were all found in her breast milk. How could something like this happen?"
"The number of children considered at risk of lead poisoning jumped by more than five-fold on Wednesday, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its threshold for the diagnosis. Children's health advocates applauded the decision, but also expressed concern that recent congressional budget cuts will drastically limit funds that could help affected kids and prevent further poisoning."
A Chicago Tribune investigative series on flame retardant chemicals helps illustrate how federal agency control of what scientists say to reporters can help the chemical and tobacco industries. By reporter Michael Hawthorne.
"As the battle wages on over the safety of feeding antibiotics to livestock for growth promotion, a new report reveals yet another source of unregulated antibiotics in American animal feed--spent ethanol grain."
"Sitting at the kitchen table with his wife, Carole, Mervin Klees recalled showing up to work at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train shops outside West Burlington. He and his coworkers would file into the massive locomotive repair building early in the morning, where the maintenance crew sometimes had re-fitted the pipes in the ceiling the night before. To get to the pipes, workers would have to cut through the asbestos insulation."
"If you've been following the epic saga of the FDA's long-awaited sunscreen regulations, you probably won't be surprised to hear that the agency has pushed back enforcement of its latest set of rules from this summer to mid-December of this year. The rules -- you know, someday—will bar manufacturers from making outlandish claims on their labels (no more SPF 150)."
"On her 14th birthday, Kayla Boner got her driver's permit and then went home complaining of stomach-bug symptoms that landed her in the hospital two days later. Antibiotics didn't work. Kayla's condition deteriorated. Her kidneys failed. She had a seizure and went on a ventilator. Soon after, her brain activity ceased. Just 11 days after her symptoms surfaced, Kayla's distraught parents decided not to keep her on life support."
Freelance writer William Souder has reported on a wide variety of environmental subjects and is the author of three books, including the forthcoming On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, marking the 50th anniversary of Carson's Silent Spring — and, by extension, a half century of environmentalism.
"Six U.S. senators are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately examine the health threats posed by forgotten factory sites featured in a recent USA TODAY investigation."
"Firemaster 550, touted as safe, is the latest in a long line of flame retardants allowed onto the market without thorough study of health risks"