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Announcements/News Feed

News and announcements related to environmental impacts on human health, collected from a multitude of sources, especially Environmental Health News. To subscribe to this feed, visit healthandenvironment.org/CHE.xml.

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Webinar Friday: A Framework to Guide Selection of Chemical Alternatives.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014event
The National Research Council report, A Framework to Guide Selection of Chemical Alternatives, builds on existing assessment frameworks to develop a more universally applicable decision framework for evaluating potentially safer chemical alternatives.

Urinary BPA measurements in children and mothers from six European member states: overall results and determinants of exposure.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
Exposure of the general European population was well below the current health-based guidance values and no participant had BPA values higher than the health-based guidance values. Environmental Research.

Mercury levels in pregnant women, children, and seafood from Mexico City.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
Mercury exposures in pregnant women and children from Mexico City, via biomarker studies, are generally 3-5 times greater than values reported in population surveys from the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere. Environmental Research.
[See a related study: Mercury contamination in fish and human hair from Hainan Island, South China Sea: implication for human exposure]

Blood pressure in relation to contamination by polychlorobiphenyls and organochlorine pesticides: results from a population-based study in the Canary Islands (Spain).
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
Although it has been postulated that background POPs exposure may play a relevant role on elevated BP, we did not observed increased hypertension risk in relation to serum POPs in this cross-sectional study. Environmental Research.

The possible association between exposure to air pollution and the risk for congenital malformations.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
Exposure to higher levels of particulate matter <10 µm (PM10) and nitrogen oxides during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk for congenital malformations. Environmental Research.

Chemical pollution and toxicity of water samples from stream receiving leachate from controlled municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
In 2007-2010, high values of TOC and conductivity in samples collected down the stream from the landfill were observed; the toxicity of these samples was much greater than that of samples collected up the stream from the landfill. Environmental Research.

Drinking water odors, chemicals above health standards caused by 'green building' plumbing.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
Several types of plastic pipes in eco-friendly green buildings in the United States have been found to leach chemicals into drinking water that can cause odors and sometimes exist at levels that may exceed health standards. Phys.org.
[See the study: Release of drinking water contaminants and odor impacts caused by green building cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) plumbing systems]

Exposure to organochlorine pollutants and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
This meta-analysis provides quantitative evidence supporting the conclusion that exposure to organochlorine pollutants is associated with an increased risk of incidence of type 2 diabetes. PLOS One.

Experts: why wearable tech could pose health risks.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
Internet-connected glasses, smart watches and health monitoring gadgets put wireless technology right on the body, increasing exposure to radio waves among consumers who are already carrying wireless smartphones, tablets and laptops. Fox News.

Fatty fish consumption and risk of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014journal article
Our findings suggest that fatty fish consumption may reduce the risk of latent autoimmune diabetes in adults, possibly through effects of marine-originated omega-3 fatty acids. Nutrition & Diabetes.

Vaccines do not increase risk of multiple sclerosis, study says.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
Scientists looked at about 4,700 people who received vaccines against hepatitis B (Hep B) and the human papillomavirus (HPV), and found no long-term risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) or similar nervous-system diseases. Fox News.
[See the study: Vaccines and the risk of multiple sclerosis and other central nervous system demyelinating diseases]

Salt could make your immune system go haywire.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
Could a high-salt diet cause the immune system to malfunction, and trigger conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes? That's the thinking behind a new U.S. trial looking at the effect of salt on immune cells. Daily Mail, United Kingdom.
[See the studies: Sodium chloride drives autoimmune disease by the induction of pathogenic Th17 cells and Being overweight or obese and risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis among women: a prospective cohort study]

EU pesticide bans 'could hit UK crops'.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
The EU's decision to ban the use of some pesticides could threaten UK crops, increase food prices and hit farmers' profits, a report has claimed. BBC.

How rice overcomes arsenic.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
Rice is a staple crop for half of the world's population, but it can accumulate high levels of arsenic. When consumed over time, arsenic can lead to cancer and skin lesions. But the plant has its own mechanisms for fighting arsenic accumulation, according to a new paper published today in PNAS. The Scientist.
[See the study: A rice ABC transporter, OsABCC1, reduces arsenic accumulation in the grain]

Texas on lonely side of battle over ozone pollution.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
At the state agency responsible for protecting Texans from pollution, a cadre of scientists is now marshaling its arguments to fight tougher federal standards on ozone levels -- even as the overwhelming majority of the scientific community heads in the other direction. Texas Tribune, Texas.

Young shooters at risk (Part 3 of 3).
Tuesday, October 21, 2014news article
Vancouver Rifle is just one of several private gun clubs across the United States that have posed health hazards in a sport with growing numbers of youths and women. While those most likely to be poisoned by lead in gun ranges are the workers themselves, The Seattle Times has found dozens of avid shooters overexposed in such states as Washington, Massachusetts and Alaska. Seattle Times, Washington.

EPA call Wednesday: Community Conference Call on US EPA's Proposed Air Rules.
Monday, October 20, 2014event
The purpose of this call is to provide information about upcoming activities in EPA's Air Programs and foster a dialog with communities about their air quality issues.

Biomass fuels and coke plants are important sources of human exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene and toluene.
Monday, October 20, 2014journal article
Biomass fuel combustion and industrial activities related to coal tar were the major sources of the PAH and BT exposure in the local residents. Environmental Research.

Levels of non-polybrominated diphenyl ether brominated flame retardants in residential house dust samples and fire station dust samples in California.
Monday, October 20, 2014journal article
Concentrations of novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study and Firefighter Occupational Exposure dust samples were generally comparable to concentrations of NBFRs in other studies of house dust from the US and Canada. Environmental Research.

Parents, teachers and press urged to spread message of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 19-25.
Monday, October 20, 2014announcement
Throughout National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 19-25, EPA is working to raise awareness of toxic lead hazards and spread information about ways to minimize or prevent exposures to lead.

EPA makes preliminary determination to regulate strontium in drinking water.
Monday, October 20, 2014announcement
Based on available information, the agency has initially determined that strontium has adverse health effects. Strontium replaces calcium in bone, affecting skeletal development.

Job opening: San Rafael, California.
Monday, October 20, 2014job opening
Zero Breast Cancer seeks an experienced executive director to drive the direction and expansion of breast cancer prevention research, advocacy and educational programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. A cover letter and resume are requested by October 31, 2014.

Call for proposals: 2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grant.
Monday, October 20, 2014call for proposals
These EPA brownfields grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). The proposal submission deadline is December 19, 2014.

Prenatal bisphenol A exposure and maternally reported behavior in boys and girls.
Monday, October 20, 2014journal article
These results suggest that prenatal exposure to BPA may be related to increased behavior problems in school age boys, but not girls. NeuroToxicology.

Maternal diabetes and the risk of autism spectrum disorders in the offspring: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Monday, October 20, 2014journal article
Maternal diabetes was significantly associated with a greater risk of ASD in the offspring. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Identification of environmental chemicals associated with the development of toxicant-associated fatty liver disease in rodents.
Monday, October 20, 2014journal article
More research on pesticides, solvents, metals, and PCBs/dioxins in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/toxicant-associated fatty liver disease is warranted due to their association with liver damage. Toxicologic Pathology.

Bisphenol A exposure and associations with obesity among adults: a critical review.
Monday, October 20, 2014journal article
Study results are conflicting and significant methodological issues limit the ability to draw conclusions from these studies. Prospective studies that measure BPA exposure and changes in body weight and composition are needed to establish temporality, causality and the direction of any observed associations. Public Health Nutrition.

(Un)healthy checkout.
Monday, October 20, 2014news article
The widespread availability of junk food and sugary beverages means that even shopping for clothes or books has become yet another occasion for food companies to push (unhealthy) products on people. Center for Science in the Public Interest.
[See the report: Sugar Overload: Retail Checkout Promotes Obesity]

Fukushima radiation nearing West Coast.
Monday, October 20, 2014news article
A sample taken Aug. 2 about 1,200 kilometers west of Vancouver, BC, tested positive for Cesium 134, the Fukushima "fingerprint" of Fukushima. Statesman Journal.
[See test results and a related video]

New study charts the fate of chemicals affecting health and the environment.
Monday, October 20, 2014news article
In a new study, Rolf Halden, PhD, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, examines the trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human or environmental health. Science Codex.
[See the review: Epistemology of contaminants of emerging concern and literature meta-analysis]

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