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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.

Study builds argument that infections may cause autism.

February 23, 2017

Women who had active infections with genital herpes early in pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child with autism than women who did not, a team of researchers found. NBC News.
[See the study: Maternal immunoreactivity to herpes simplex virus 2 and risk of autism spectrum disorder in male offspring]

Thousands of spills at US oil and gas fracking sites.

February 22, 2017

A study carried out by the US Environment Protection Agency on fracking in eight states between 2006 and 2012 concluded that 457 spills had occurred. But this new study, while limited to just four states with adequate data, suggests the level of spills is much higher. The researchers found 6,648 spills between 2005 and 2014. BBC.
[See the study: Unconventional oil and gas spills: risks, mitigation priorities, and state reporting requirements]

Food additive found in candy, gum could alter digestive cell structure and function.

February 22, 2017

The ability of small intestine cells to absorb nutrients and act as a barrier to pathogens is 'significantly decreased' after chronic exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, a common food additive found in everything from chewing gum to bread, according to new research. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Titanium dioxide nanoparticle ingestion alters nutrient absorption in an in vitro model of the small intestine]

Milk, fruit and vegetable, and total antioxidant intakes in relation to mortality rates: cohort studies in women and men.

February 22, 2017

Dietary antioxidant intake, especially in women, seems to modify the elevated death rate associated with high milk consumption. American Journal of Epidemiology.

Lower levels of persistent organic pollutants, metals and the marine omega 3-fatty acid DHA in farmed compared to wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

February 22, 2017

Wild salmon had higher levels of persistent organic pollutants and mercury than farmed salmon. Farmed salmon had higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids than wild salmon. Farmed and wild salmon had comparable levels of EPA, whereas farmed salmon had lower levels of DHA. Environmental Research.

Associations between cadmium levels in blood and urine, blood pressure and hypertension among Canadian adults.

February 22, 2017

This study provides evidence of a significant association between cadmium levels, blood pressure and hypertension. However, the significance and direction of this association differs by sex, smoking status, and body mass index category. Environmental Research.

Association of perfluoroalkyl substances exposure with impaired lung function in children.

February 22, 2017

This study suggests that serum PFASs are associated with decreased lung function among children with asthma. Environmental Research.

Blood lead levels following consumption of game meat in Italy.

February 22, 2017

A multiple linear regression analysis (containing the covariates sex, age, hunting, wine drinking, game meat consumption, tobacco smoking, shooting range, and occupational exposure) found an association with hunting (Pb-blood almost double in hunters) and wine drinking (40% higher in drinkers) but not with consumption of game meat or other parameters. Environmental Research.

Maternal prenatal urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations and visual recognition memory among infants at 27 weeks.

February 22, 2017

Maternal prenatal exposure to some phthalates was negatively associated with visual recognition memory as measured by the Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence among girls at age 27 weeks. Environmental Research.

Estimating deaths attributable to airborne particles: sensitivity of the results to different exposure assessment approaches.

February 22, 2017

A reduction in particle concentrations could have produced significant health benefits in the region. This general conclusion did not change when different exposure definitions were used, provided that the same exposure assessment approach was used for both effect and impact estimations. Caution is therefore recommended when using effect estimates from the literature to assess health impacts of air pollution in actual contexts. Environmental Health.

Aerosol study to look at great unknown in climate science.

February 22, 2017

The particles are formed by molecules clumping together to form groups of between one nanometre and 10 microns. Non-carbon particles reflect light and in some cases seed clouds, causing a localised cooling effect. The Guardian, United Kingdom.

Cheap cloth masks unreliable against Valley pollution: study.

February 22, 2017

The results of a new study done in Nepal suggest that inexpensive cloth masks worn by people who hope to reduce their exposure to air pollution vary widely in effectiveness and could be giving users a false sense of security, especially in highly polluted localities. My Republica.
[See the study: Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure]

Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action.

February 21, 2017

While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards. Washington Post.

Skin deep: feeding the global lust for leather.

February 21, 2017

Despite efforts at reform, human rights groups continue to find widespread pollution and horrendous working conditions in the tanneries of Tamil Nadu. A joint study in 2015 by Norwegian and Indian organizations found workers, particularly migrants, unprotected and unaware of the hazards. Undark.

Mercury in fish, seafood may be linked to higher risk of ALS, study suggests.

February 21, 2017

The study found that among participants who ate fish and seafood regularly, those in the top 25 percent for estimated annual mercury intake were at double the risk for ALS compared to those with lower levels. CBC News.

The burning problem of China's garbage.

February 21, 2017

"China has a few incinerators that burn garbage in a clean way, but they're not the ones winning bids for most government projects," says Tao Guangyuan, executive director of the Sino-German Renewable Energy Cooperation Center. National Public Radio.

Unsafe to drink.

February 21, 2017

A Globe review shows water treatment plants are failing on reserves across Canada. For every system the government fixes, plenty remain in a shambolic state. Globe and Mail, Ontario.

The roles of UVB and vitamin D in reducing risk of cancer incidence and mortality: a review of the epidemiology, clinical trials, and mechanisms.

February 20, 2017

Studies of the cellular mechanisms of vitamin D action in different cancer cell types strongly indicate that vitamin D can exert protective and anti-tumorigenic activities that would retard cellular transformation, hyperplasia and cancer progression. Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.

Long-term cell phone use increases brain tumor risk.

February 20, 2017

A newly published review and meta-analysis of the research on cell phone use and brain tumor risk found that long-term or heavy cell phone use was associated with a statistically significant increased risk of brain tumors. Electromagnetic Radiation Safety.
[See the study: Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes]

Lower serum vitamin D during remission increases risk of clinical relapse in patients with ulcerative colitis.

February 20, 2017

The threshold level of blood vitamin D that was protective was greater than 35ng/ml, which is within the range recommended by the National Institutes of Health for a healthy individual. Newswise.
[See the study: Low serum vitamin D during remission increases risk of clinical relapse in patients with ulcerative colitis]

Improved cookstoves boost health and forest cover in the Himalayas.

February 20, 2017

We thought of providing technological support to these people for minimizing forest degradation and indoor pollution which is hazardous to human health and contributes to global warming as well. That is how we started replacing the traditional cooking stoves with the improved cooking stoves, which consume far less fuel wood besides reducing the pollution. Inter Press Service.

Alabama forum to highlight climate, energy issues 'in uncertain times' on Feb 28.

February 20, 2017

Panel discussions will be held throughout the day on topics like resiliency and sustainability strategies, business and community leadership in sustainability, and financial, regulatory or legislative options for resiliency, climate and energy. AL.com.
[See more about the POWER-UP Energy Forum]

Study is first to show carbamates upset circadian rhythms.

February 20, 2017

The researchers suggest that exposure to the insecticides carbaryl and carbofuran adversely affects melatonin receptor signaling. University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
[See the study: Carbamate insecticides target human melatonin receptors]

Pushing for chemical transparency.

February 20, 2017

Shoppers may unknowingly be exposed to chemicals that, even in small doses, can interact with living cells and potentially disrupt normal biological functions. North Carolina Health News, North Carolina.

Canada government to weed out pesticides from foreign websites.

February 20, 2017

The federal government is moving to close a loophole that allows Canadians to make legal online purchases of pesticides not registered for use in Canada, and have them shipped into the country. CBC Canada.

How air pollution harms your health—and how to avoid it.

February 20, 2017

It can cause eye irritation, breathing difficulties and heart disease. Here are ways to limit the damage. The Guardian.

EU recognises phthalates as human EDCs.

February 20, 2017

The EU has identified four toxic phthalates [DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP] as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with impacts on human health, with a view to restricting their use. ENDS Europe.

Sustainable exposure prevention through innovative detection and remediation technologies from the NIEHS Superfund Research Program.

February 19, 2017

Collectively, the investment in new technologies shows promise to reduce the amount and toxicity of hazardous substances in the environment. This manuscript highlights SRP funded innovative devices and tools for exposure assessment and remediation of organic, inorganic, and mixtures of contaminants with a particular focus on sustainable technologies. Reviews on Environmental Health.

Living on Earth: A coal miner's take on stream protection.

February 19, 2017

With the recent overturn of the Stream Protection Rule, coal companies are under less pressure to control and clean up their environmental impact. Former miner Gary Bentley and host Steve Curwood explore the murky future of coal country's water and its future. Living On Earth.

Google's plan to make our buildings less poisonous.

February 19, 2017

Progressive architects, product manufacturers, and advocacy organizations have been calling for more industry change for years. There have been a few piecemeal wins But Google, a global multibillion-dollar company, might enable the dramatic shift the industry needs. Fast Company.