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News and Announcements

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Topic-specific News

Items specific to any of the topics in the What We Know section of this site are displayed in the left sidebar of those pages. The same is true for our ScienceServ and Special Partnerships pages.

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

CHE offers this information as a service but does not endorse any of the events, articles or announcements.

Breathing dirty air may increase kidney disease risk.

September 24, 2017

Exposure to fine particulate air pollution appeared to be associated with an increased risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), according to a newly published epidemiologic study involving close to 2.5 million U.S. veterans followed for approximately 8 years. Medpage Today.

Alzheimer's prevention: a summary of what we know.

September 24, 2017

Risk-factor prevention should target diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance, obesity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, cerebrovascular disease, depression, psychological and physiologic stress, traumatic brain injury, sleep-disordered breathing, smoking, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, renal disease, alcohol and tobacco use, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, sedentary life style, and diet. These potentially modifiable risk factors, when combined, account for more than 50% of AD risk, based on observational studies. Medscape.

What does the environment have to do with autism?

September 24, 2017

In a recent review of epidemiological studies of nongenetic autism factors, researchers reported advanced parental age and preterm birth as established risk factors, and short intervals between pregnancy and prenatal exposure to air pollution as potential risk factors. They concluded that a long list of other possible environmental factors, including endocrine disruption, warrant further investigation.

Blood lead and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis and review of implications.

September 21, 2017

Blood lead concentrations in pregnant women are a major risk factor for preeclampsia, with an increase of 1 μg/dL associated with a 1.6% increase in likelihood of preeclampsia, which appears to be the strongest risk factor for preeclampsia yet reported. Environmental Research.

WSU researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations.

September 21, 2017

After Skinner and his colleagues exposed pregnant female rats to the herbicide, their first generation of offspring showed no ill effects but weighed less than rats in a control group. Rats bred from them had increased testis disease and altered sperm production, mammary tumors in both males and females, early-onset puberty in the males and lower-weight females. Their offspring—the great-grand offspring of the exposed rats—also had more testis disease, plus early onset puberty in females, hyperactivity and leaner male and female physiques. WSU News.

Climate change is already making people sicker.

September 21, 2017

At the end of last week, the United Nations released a report showing that global hunger is on the rise; 38 million more people were affected in 2016 than in 2015. Climate change and the spread of violent conflicts are responsible, the report says. Other research has linked climate change to increased respiratory problems, poor nutrition, the spread of infectious disease and even anxiety. Time.

Nicotine in e-cigs: addictive, increases your risk of heart disease.

September 21, 2017

Even after puffing on just one electronic cigarette with nicotine, healthy non-smokers were found to have a biological marker known to increase the risk of heart disease in tobacco users, according to a new study. The Verge.

Lead in Flint water increased fetal deaths, lowered fertility, study says.

September 21, 2017

According to Slusky and Grossman's analysis, after Flint switched its water source from Detroit to Flint River water in 2014, the city's fertility rates decreased by 12 percent among Flint women, while fetal death rates rose by 58 percent. Flint Journal, Michigan.

Job opening: San Francisco, California.

September 21, 2017

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners currently has several openings, including digital campaigner and advocacy coordinator, development coordinator, and several internships.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission calls for removal of a class of toxic chemicals in consumer products.

September 20, 2017

In response to a petition filed by leading consumer, healthcare, firefighter and science groups, today the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  took three critical steps toward protecting consumers and firefighters from the hazards posed by a class of flame retardant chemicals, known as organohalogens.  Earthjustice.

Call for proposals: FY 2018 Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant Guidelines.

September 20, 2017

These 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 November 16, 2017. A webinar to assist applicants is scheduled for October 5th.

New report: TV Reality: Toxic Flame Retardants in TVs.

September 20, 2017

Clean Production Action found flame retardants were present in 11 of the 12 TVs tested, at concentrations of up to 33%, or one-third by weight, in the plastic enclosures.

Noisy, but that’s not all.

September 19, 2017

Despite improvements, leaf blowers still emit toxic contaminants such as carcinogenic benzene as well as surprisingly large amounts of other smog-forming chemicals. FairWarning.

Fluoride exposure in utero linked to lower IQ in kids, study says.

September 19, 2017

Although the researchers found a potential connection to a child's exposure to fluoride in utero, they found no significant influence from fluoride exposure on brain development once a child was born. CNN.

The list of diseases linked to air pollution is growing.

September 19, 2017

Researchers are now finding that more than the lungs are at risk, as dirty air may in fact be an accomplice to some of the greatest threats to public health, including diabetes, obesity and even dementia. Science News.

New study reveals dangerous levels of mercury in women of childbearing age across global regions.

September 19, 2017

Analysis, conducted by BRI, found that 42% of women sampled had average mercury levels over the US EPA health advisory level of 1ppm, above which brain damage, IQ loss, and kidney and cardiovascular damage may occur. The study additionally found that 55% of the global sample of women measured more than 0.58ppm of mercury, a level associated with the onset of fetal neurological damage. IPEN.

Low-level radiation less harmful to health than other lifestyle risks.

September 17, 2017

Low-level radiation exposure poses less of a health risk than other modern lifestyle threats, such as smoking, obesity and air pollution, according to Oxford University research. University of Oxford News & Events.

Thirty years after Montreal Pact, solving the ozone problem remains elusive.

September 17, 2017

Despite a ban on chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons, the ozone hole over Antarctica remains nearly as large as it did when the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987. Scientists now warn of new threats to the ozone layer, including widespread use of ozone-eating chemicals not covered by the treaty. Yale Environment 360.

EPA requests comment on the proposed registration of new biopesticide to help control spread of Zika and other viruses.

September 17, 2017

EPA is proposing to register ZAP Males®, a new microbial biopesticide that reduces local populations of Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquitoes, which have the ability to spread numerous diseases of significant human health concern, including the Zika virus. Comments will be accepted until September 27th.

Pete Myers honored by Sierra Club for 'Distinguished Service.'

September 17, 2017

Myers was awarded the club's "Distinguished Service Award," one of several honors the organization bestows annually on those "who have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment." Environmental Health News.

New report: Business Guide to Safer Chemicals, Third Edition.

September 17, 2017

This report from ChemicalWatch provides insight into and analysis of the state of safer chemicals in products, covering the latest developments on the practice of assessing alternatives to hazardous and risky chemicals in products.

What's at stake.

September 15, 2017

Profiles of people, places, wildlife, and conservation programs threatened by federal budget cuts and environmental policy rollbacks. A new story series by Audubon. Audubon Magazine.

Are “green” buildings killing us?

September 15, 2017

Does calling a building “green” mean it’s healthy? Not according to researchers from the nonprofit research institution Silent Spring, who found dozens of harmful chemicals in newly renovated, LEED-certified low-income public housing in Boston. Co.Design.

Call for applicants: 2017 Environmental Public Health Tracking: Peer- to-Peer Fellowship Program.

September 15, 2017

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, with support from CDC's National Center for Environmental Health will provide the fellowship program to up to four state and/or territorial health agencies. The application deadline is September 29, 2017.

Children’s lead exposure: a multimedia modeling analysis to guide public health decision-making.

September 14, 2017

This analysis for the US population of young children probabilistically simulated multimedia exposures and estimated relative contributions of media to blood lead levels across all population percentiles for several age groups. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Insecticide use and breast cancer risk among farmers’ wives in the Agricultural Health Study.

September 14, 2017

Although ever use of insecticides overall was not associated with breast cancer risk, risk was elevated among women who had ever used the organophosphates chlorpyrifos or terbufos, with nonsignificantly increased risks for coumaphos and heptachlor. Environmental Health Perspectives.

People of color exposed to more pollution from cars, trucks, power plants over 10 years.

September 14, 2017

A new nationwide study finds that the US made little progress from 2000 to 2010 in reducing relative disparities between people of color and whites in exposure to harmful air pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other combustion sources. Medical Xpress.

Health at a planetary scale.

September 14, 2017

While human health is now, by most metrics, better than it’s ever been, ongoing planetary changes threaten to reverse that progress. These threats require a new approach to health research and health policy–a new paradigm that has come to be called “planetary health.” The Agenda.

Even when it’s sitting in storage, coal threatens human health.

September 14, 2017

We found that wind blowing over uncovered coal piles at US power plants plus gaseous emissions from the piles significantly increased concentrations of airborne fine particulates within 25 miles of these plants. The Conversation.

Scientific challenges in the risk assessment of food contact materials.

September 14, 2017

We conclude that current regulations are insufficient for addressing chemical exposures from food contact articles. risk assessment currently focuses on monomers and additives used in the manufacture of products, but it does not cover all substances formed in the production processes. Environmental Health Perspectives.