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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.

News stories linked to CHE-WA

People trust science. So why don't they believe it?

April 22, 2017

The General Social Survey shows that although trust in public institutions has declined over the last half century, science is the one institution that has not suffered any erosion of public confidence. So why all the headlines about the "war on science"? USA Today.

Beyond the roots of human inaction: fostering collective effort toward ecosystem conservation.

April 22, 2017

Particularly in developed countries, fostering legions of sustainability leaders rests upon a fundamental renewal of humans’ connection to the natural world. Science.

Youth challenge: How green is your dream?

April 20, 2017

To tackle pressing environmental issues in ways that grow the economy together, North American governments need your bright ideas. What are your innovative solutions? Ideas are invited until April 30th.

Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study.

April 20, 2017

Dow Chemical is pushing a Trump administration open to scrapping regulations to ignore the findings of federal scientists who point to a family of widely used pesticides as harmful to about 1,800 critically threatened or endangered species. Associated Press.

Why poverty is like a disease.

April 20, 2017

The science of the biological effects of the stresses of poverty is in its early stages. Still, it has presented us with multiple mechanisms through which such effects could happen, and many of these admit an inheritable component. Nautilus.

The story of how fake sugar got approved is scary as hell.

April 20, 2017

The common-sense wisdom about the most widespread artificial sweetener on the market, aspartame, is that it's perfectly safe. But some independent scientists conclude that there are insufficient data. And how it was approved by the FDA is not reassuring. Vice.

A focus on health to resolve urban ills.

April 20, 2017

Discrimination, poverty, inequality and violence create unbearable stress, and stress kills. Relieving all of them saves lives and cities. New York Times.

New certification for safer chemicals in textiles meets market needs.

April 19, 2017

Clean Production Action (CPA) launched GreenScreen Certified™ for Textile Chemicals. The new certification program meets industry demand for safer chemicals in manufacturing and communicating the use of those chemicals across supply chains.

Call for comments: OAR Regulatory Reform.

April 19, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), will host a public teleconference to obtain additional stakeholder feedback on air and radiation regulatory actions on Monday, April 24, 2017. Written public comments can also be submitted through May 15, 2017.

Call for proposals: Clean Diesel National Grants.

April 19, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agenda anticipates awarding at least $11 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. Proposals must be received by June 20, 2017.

California again leads list with 6 of the top 10 most polluted US cities.

April 19, 2017

Some 125 million Americans nationwide live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, the report said, placing them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm. USA Today.
[See the report: State of the Air 2017]

Trump officials turn to courts to block Obama-era legacy.

April 18, 2017

President Trump has signed executive orders with great fanfare and breathed life into a once-obscure law to nullify numerous Obama-era regulations. But his administration is also using a third tactic: Going to court to stop federal judges from ruling on a broad array of regulations that are being challenged by Trump’s own conservative allies. Washington Post.

Nonstick chemicals slipped into water, causing health, environmental, regulatory mess.

April 18, 2017

PFASs—used in clothing, carpets, cookware, and more—contaminate wells across the United States. Circle of Blue.

The most dangerous bill you’ve never heard of just passed the House.

April 17, 2017

The bill, called the REINS Act, requires that any future major regulation adopted by an Executive Agency—say a new toxic chemical standard required by the recently enacted Chemical Safety Act, or a new consumer protection rule about some innovative but untested kind of food additive—must be approved by a specific resolution in each House of Congress within 70 days to take effect. Huffington Post.

Call for comments: Evaluation of Existing Regulations.

April 17, 2017

Executive Order 13777, issued 2/24/17, directs agencies to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to oversee the evaluation of existing regulations to make recommendations about potential repeal, replacement, or modification. Comments are due to the US Environmental Protection Agency by May 15th.

2 Tennessee cases bring coal’s hidden hazard to light.

April 16, 2017

The hazardous dust and sludge—containing arsenic, mercury, lead and other heavy metals—fill more than a thousand landfills and bodies of water in nearly every state, threatening air, land, water and human health. New York Times.

Coca-Cola’s secret influence on medical and science journalists.

April 15, 2017

The documents detail how Coca-Cola funded journalism conferences at a US university in an attempt to create favourable press coverage of sugar sweetened drinks. When challenged about funding of the series of conferences, the academics involved weren't forthcoming about industry involvement. British Medical Journal.

Call for comments: Washington Department of Ecology Public Participation Grants.

April 15, 2017

Washington's Public Participation Grant program seeks to increase public awareness and involvement in toxic cleanup projects and other environmental work. Ecology is now updating the regulations that govern the program, with proposed updates seeking to increase support for projects focused on disadvantaged communities that may be disproportionately impacted by toxic contamination and cleanup work. The proposed updates would also streamline the grant application process and standardize evaluations for grant proposals. Comments are due by May 22, 2017.

New journal: The Lancet Planetary Health.

April 14, 2017

The inaugural issue introduces this journal that will provide a third pillar in an open-access programme covering the interplay between health and the determinants of health in our living and physical world. Planetary health is a new interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach that aims not only to investigate the effects of environmental change on human health, but also to study the political, economic and social systems that govern those effects.

Trump administration halts Obama-era rule aimed at curbing toxic wastewater from coal plants.

April 14, 2017

The Trump administration has hit the pause button on an Obama-era regulation aimed at limiting the dumping of toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury by the nation’s power plants into public waterways. Washington Post.

Less meat, more options, better health.

April 13, 2017

Stacia Clinton, the National Program Director of Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Health Care program discusses the significant health and environmental impact of changing how we think about protein — and how health facilities are driving change through purchasing. Health Care Without Harm.
[See the report: Redefining Protein: Adjusting Diets to Protect Public Health and Conserve Resources]

Immigration crackdowns damage health—even for unborn children.

April 13, 2017

“Prolonged exposure to serious stress—known as toxic stress—can harm the developing brain and negatively impact short- and long-term health,” the American Academy of Pediatrics warned in January, after Trump signed an executive order directing the government to hire thousands of extra immigration and border-patrol agents and to deport more people who are undocumented. Nature.

Why housing policy should be health policy.

April 13, 2017

The features of urban decay can have a powerful affect on the overall wellness of a community. But these health impacts are often left relatively unexamined. CityLab.

Trees, science and the goodness of green space.

April 12, 2017

In urban parks and forests, scientists dig to unearth answers to an age-old question—why are people healthier (and happier) when surrounded by nature? Environmental Health News.

Asbestos deaths remain a public health concern, CDC finds.

April 12, 2017

Even after decades of regulation, between 1999 and 2015 there were 45,221 mesothelioma deaths in the U.S. The majority of those who died were men. NPR Shots.
[See the study: Asbestos exposure still poses occupational health risks]

Communicating the risk.

April 12, 2017

A study just released shows that offering a hair-mercury analysis to pregnant women when they come for the first ultrasound can have a substantial effect in reducing hair-mercury concentrations, although the total seafood intake remained at the same level. Chemical Brain Drain.
[See the study: Public health benefits of hair-mercury analysis and dietary advice in lowering methylmercury exposure in pregnant women]

Parental smoking linked to genetic changes found in childhood cancer.

April 12, 2017

Smoking by either parent helps promote genetic deletions in children that are associated with the development and progression of the most common type of childhood cancer. UCSF News Center.
[See the study: Correlates of prenatal and early-life tobacco smoke exposure and frequency of common gene deletions in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia]

Cross-cultural study strengthens link between media violence, aggressive behavior.

April 12, 2017

In addition to measuring media violence, researchers examined five other risk factors: neighborhood crime, peer delinquency, peer victimization, gender and abusive parenting. Combined, these factors substantially predicted aggressive behavior and as a set were more powerful than any individual effects. ScienceDaily.
[See the study: Media violence and other aggression risk factors in seven nations]

Sustainable diets: rational goal, irrational consumers?

April 12, 2017

As the evidence has grown that diet is the linking factor in climate change, water, spread of non-communicable disease, land use and social inequalities, the penny has dropped. We cannot resolve these issues by single-issue policy recommendations or behaviour change. There has to be systems change. Food Climate Research Network.

An electric fix for removing long-lasting chemicals in groundwater.

April 11, 2017

Studies have shown that a method called electrochemical oxidation is an effective way to remove PFASs from wastewater. The Conversation.