Environmental Health

"Just What's Inside Those Breasts?"

"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?"

Source: Fresh Air, 05/17/2012

CDC Lowers Lead-Poisoning Threshold for Kids as Feds, States Cut Funds

"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."

Source: Huffington Post, 05/17/2012

How Muzzling Scientists Helps the Chemical Industry

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.

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"'It Was Our Job. We Had To Eat.'"

"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."

Source: Burlington Hawkeye, 05/15/2012

"FDA Delays Sunscreen Rules. Again."

"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)."

Source: Mother Jones, 05/14/2012

"USDA To Test Beef for More Strains of E. Coli"

"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."

Source: Wash Post, 05/14/2012

SEJ Member Spotlight: William Souder

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.



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