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Topic-specific News

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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.

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Exposure to air pollution before birth may shorten our lives.

October 18, 2017

Each increase of 5 micrograms per cubic meter in exposure was associated with 9% shorter cord blood telomeres and 13% shorter placental telomeres, the researchers estimated. The second trimester was a particularly vulnerable period, the researchers found. CNN.

New report: Eliminating Toxics in Carpet: Lessons for the Future of Recycling.

October 18, 2017

In this report, the Healthy Building Network examined the composition of carpet waste, and innovations in carpet composition, to determine the potential health and environmental impacts of recycling and using these materials in new carpet.

Call for comments: Draft FY 2018-2022 Environmental Protection Agency Strategic Plan

October 18, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of the Draft FY 2018-2022 EPA Strategic Plan for public review and comment. Comments must be received on or before October 31, 2017.

5 potentially harmful chemicals now banned from kids’ products.

October 18, 2017

Almost a decade after the Consumer Product Safety Commission was ordered to study the potential health affects of phthalates—chemicals often used in plastic products for children—and make recommendations on what further steps should be taken, the agency has voted to approve a final rule that prohibits manufacturers from selling items that have more than a minimal level of five of these chemicals. Consumer Reports.

Climate change may accelerate infectious disease outbreaks.

October 18, 2017

Aside from inflicting devastating natural disasters on often vulnerable communities, climate change can also spur outbreaks of infectious diseases like Zika , malaria and dengue fever, according to a new study by researchers at the University of  Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. CU Anschutz Today.

Report spotlights nitrate contamination in drinking water across the US. 

October 18, 2017

Some recent research suggests that, over the long term, drinking water with nitrates at just half the U.S. limit raises cancer risks for children and adults. FairWarning.

Toxic firefighting chemicals 'the most seminal public health challenge'

October 18, 2017

A top United States environmental official has described the contamination of drinking water by toxic firefighting chemicals as the most seminal public health challenge of coming decades. The Guardian, United Kingdom.

Call for comments: Repeal of Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.

October 18, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to repeal the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs), commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), as promulgated on October 23, 2015. Comments must be received on or before December 15, 2017.

NIOSH posts new chapter on biological monitoring for chemical exposures.

October 18, 2017

The draft chapter concerns biological monitoring methods for chemical exposures, and the agency is accepting comments on it until December 15th.

Pruitt’s EPA: learning to love radiation.

October 18, 2017

In a startling public health reversal, the US Environmental Protection Agency is now declaring that radiation exposures equivalent to as many as 5,000 chest x-rays “usually result in no harmful health effects.” For decades, EPA had taken the position that “There is no known safe amount of radiation.” Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Dalton Delan : A toxic cellphone stew.

October 16, 2017

From the day its minerals are dug to the night children scavenge Third World dumps for used circuitry, the cellphone is a Frankenstein. Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Cognitive decline, mortality, and organophosphorus exposure in aging Mexican Americans.

October 14, 2017

Our study provides support for the involvement of OP pesticides in cognitive decline and mortality among older Mexican Americans, possibly through biologic pathways involving adiponectin. Environmental Research.

Hazardous waste and health impact: a systematic review of the scientific literature.

October 14, 2017

The evidence of causal relationship with hazardous waste was defined as limited for: liver, bladder, breast and testis cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, asthma, congenital anomalies overall and anomalies of the neural tube, urogenital, connective and musculoskeletal systems, low birth weight and pre-term birth; evidence was defined as inadequate for the other health outcomes. Environmental Health.

The link between these everyday chemicals and breast cancer risk just got stronger.

October 14, 2017

The researchers concluded that exposure to certain chemicals in the womb, during puberty, and through pregnancy all increase the risk of developing breast cancer later on.

When shipping petroleum, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions costs more than accidents.

October 13, 2017

As referenced in the paper, the costs are high. For instance, “Air pollution and greenhouse gas costs of moving a fully loaded 100-car train of crude oil from North Dakota to the Gulf Coast are about $150,000 and from North Dakota to the East Coast are $210,000. The total estimated air pollution and greenhouse gas damages for oil shipped by rail from North Dakota in 2014 exceed $420 million.” Carnegie Mellon University Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

Air pollution kills half a million people in Europe, EU agency reports.

October 13, 2017

Dirty air resulted in the premature deaths of more than 500,000 people in the European Union in 2014, the European Environment Agency reports. Pollution needs to be reduced, agency heads and environmentalists agree. Deutsche Welle.

Africa tops global hunger index, driven by war and climate shocks.

October 13, 2017

Global hunger has fallen more than a quarter since 2000, but conflict and climate shocks are beginning to reverse these gains, an annual global hunger index said on Thursday. Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Urgent action needed on 'disturbing' male fertility, cancer trends.

October 13, 2017

Niels Skakkebaek, professor of pediatric endocrinology and andrology, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, notes that, when coupled with data showing that there has been an increase in the incidence of testicular cancer, the falls in sperm counts suggest that lifestyle factors may be to blame. Medscape.

Research details packaging chemicals found in food.

October 13, 2017

Chemicals from plastic and paper packaging are leaching into some foods sold in New Zealand, new research shows. Radio New Zealand, New Zealand.

The toxic air covering Northern California.

October 13, 2017

Beyond the fire zones, millions of Californians are facing a secondary, more insidious threat: polluted air, rife with tiny particles small enough to penetrate deep into the circulatory system. Those potentially deadly particles are creating unhealthy air as far as 70 miles away from fire zones. New Republic.

'Katrina brain': the invisible long-term toll of megastorms.

October 12, 2017

Public health officials say that, in the aftermath of an extreme weather event like a hurricane, the toll of long-term psychological injuries builds in the months and years that follow, outpacing more immediate injuries and swamping the health care system long after emergency workers go home and shelters shut down. Politico.

State: water crisis didn’t affect Flint birth outcomes.

October 12, 2017

A state health department analysis released Tuesday on birth outcomes in Flint found “no significant differences” before and after the city switched its water source—contrary to a study released last month by researchers in Kansas and West Virginia. Detroit News, Michigan.

New report: The First 100 Days and Counting Part 2—Pursuing a Toxic Agenda: Environmental Injustice in the Early Trump Administration

October 12, 2017

In this series, EDGI authors systematically investigate historical precedents for Trump’s attack on the EPA, consequences for toxic regulation and environmental justice, and changes to the public presentation of climate change.

Child and teen obesity soars tenfold worldwide in 40 years—WHO report.

October 11, 2017

The number of obese children and adolescents worldwide has jumped tenfold in the past 40 years and the rise is accelerating in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia, a major study said on Wednesday. Reuters.

Even thirdhand smoke poses health risks.

October 11, 2017

Thirdhand smoke clings to clothes, furniture, drapes, walls, bedding, carpets, dust, vehicles and other surfaces long after the smoker is gone. Children and non-smoking adults are at risk of tobacco-related health problems when they inhale, swallow or touch substances containing thirdhand smoke. Philadelphia Tribune, Pennsylvania.

Agent Orange, exposed: how US chemical warfare in Vietnam unleashed a slow-moving disaster.

October 11, 2017

Some 45 million liters of over 73 million liters of chemical agents in a poisoned spray was Agent Orange, which contains the toxic compound dioxin. It has unleashed in Vietnam a slow-onset disaster whose devastating economic, health and ecological impacts that are still being felt today. The Conversation.

New video: Preventing Cognitive Decline and Dementia: A Way Forward.

October 11, 2017

From the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Health and Medicine Division, this video features several members of the committee that produced a report earlier this year on research in preventing cognitive decline. The video highlights the report's conclusions and recommendations.

Research shows health impacts and economic costs of wildland fires.

October 11, 2017

The article estimated between 5,200 and 8,500 hospital admissions for respiratory problems per year and 1,500-2,500 hospital admissions for cardiovascular problems per year. Total deaths per year were estimated between 1,500 and 2,500 as well, with 2008 having the highest rate because of wildland fire-related PM2.5. US Environmental Protection Agency.

New book: Whitewash—The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.

October 11, 2017

In this book, veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the most controversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. 

Systematic review and meta-analysis of early-life exposure to bisphenol A and obesity-related outcomes in rodents.

October 9, 2017

Findings from our systematic review suggest that early-life exposure to BPA may increase adiposity and circulating lipid levels in rodents. Environmental Health Perspectives.