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.

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News stories linked to CHE-WA

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.

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.

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.

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.

Estimated changes in life expectancy and adult mortality resulting from declining PM2.5 exposures in the contiguous United States: 1980–2010.

September 11, 2017

Between 1980 and 2010, population-weighted PM2.5 exposures fell by about half, and the estimated number of excess deaths declined by about a third. Environmental Health Perspectives.

New study shows organic farming traps carbon in soil to combat climate change.

September 11, 2017

Soils from organic farms had 26 percent more potential for long-term carbon storage than soils from conventional farms, along with 13 percent more soil organic matter (SOM). Civil Eats.

Rollbacks to school meal nutrition threatening health: public health regulations under fire.

September 1, 2017

On May 1, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that USDA would relax school nutrition requirements related to whole grains, sodium and milk. The Nation's Health.

Closure of US coal study marks an alarming precedent.

August 31, 2017

The Trump administration has stepped up its assault on environmental protections by halting a US$1-million study on the health risks of coal mining—casting a pall on academic freedom. Nature.

Negative effects of pesticide exposure on birth outcomes.

August 30, 2017

They found negative effects of pesticide exposure for all birth outcomes—birth weight, low birth weight, gestational length, preterm birth, birth abnormalities— but only for mothers exposed to very high levels of pesticides—the top 5 percent of the exposure distribution in this sample. ScienceDaily.

Job opening: Minneapolis, Minnesota.

August 30, 2017

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is seeking a high-impact organizer to lead PAN's work in Minnesota, with a regional and national reach. Ideally, the new Minnesota Organizer will start in December 2017.

Trump administration dismisses climate change advisory panel.

August 21, 2017

The Trump administration has fired another shot at the scientific community, this time dismantling a federal advisory committee on climate change. CNN.

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water.

August 21, 2017

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the US Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. Circle of Blue.

Request for information: Inviting Comments on the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO)-wide Cohort Data Collection Protocol.

August 17, 2017

Through this RFI, the NIH seeks input from stakeholders throughout the scientific community and general public on the ECHO-wide Cohort data collection protocol. ECHO defines "early" as conception to age 5 years. Responses will be accepted until August 30, 2017.

The Rising Storm: new book details connection between climate disasters, migration.

August 16, 2017

In Todd Miller’s prescient new book, Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, the Tucson journalist and author travels the globe to document how climate disasters are uprooting people from their homes. Texas Observer, Texas.

EPA rule on nanotechnology reporting is good news.

August 16, 2017

EPA issued a Working Guidance for its Final Nanotechnology Reporting and Record-keeping Requirements Rule, which become effective this week. This important rule establishes one-time reporting and record-keeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale. NRDC Expert Blog.

US wind and solar power helped prevent up to 12,700 deaths in 2015.

August 15, 2017

The massive increase in wind and solar energy helped prevent the premature deaths of up to 12,700 people over a nine-year period in the US, according to new research which illustrates the wider benefits of ditching fossil fuels beyond limiting global warming. The Independent, United Kingdom.

New resource: Videos on the Six Classes Approach.

August 15, 2017

This series of short video from the Green Science Policy Institute discuss the “Six Classes” of chemicals that are known to harm human health and the environment.

Poison once flowed in America's waters. With Trump, it might again.

August 14, 2017

Over the past four decades, a huge amount of effort has gone into cleaning America's heavily polluted waters. Is all of that progress about to be undone? The Guardian.

Wildfires pollute air more than previously thought. Are prescribed burns the answer?

August 12, 2017

Wildfires emit three times more of this sort of fine-particle pollution than suggested by similar data compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency. Undark.

EPA issues guidance on state coal ash management permit programs.

August 11, 2017

The interim final guidance released today addresses numerous questions EPA received about the provisions of the WIIN Act, establishes a framework to guide EPA’s approval process and provides checklists to aid states as they are considering and developing their program submittals. EPA will accept public comments on the interim final guidance for 30 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

EPA, DOT open comment period on reconsideration of GHG standards for cars and light trucks.

August 11, 2017

The EPA is inviting the public to submit relevant data and information that can inform a final determination of the standards. The comment period will be open for 45 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. 

Why doctors support bike lanes: they’re healthier for everyone.

August 11, 2017

The claim that bike lanes make cycling safer isn’t just anecdotal. It’s also backed by solid science. In 2014 Toronto Public Health released its “Healthy Streets Evidence Review,” which summarized some of the research in this area. Toronto Star, Ontario.

Study: fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump.

August 11, 2017

The Environmental Integrity Project looked at that civil penalties paid by polluters during the first six months under Trump. The group published an analysis Thursday that found penalties were less than half their levels under each of the past three presidents. ABC News.

Monsanto sold banned chemicals for years despite known health risks, archives reveal.

August 10, 2017

Monsanto continued to produce and sell toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs for eight years after learning that they posed hazards to public health and the environment, according to legal analysis of documents put online in a vast searchable archive. The Guardian, United Kingdom.

Contaminated childhood: the chronic lead poisoning of low-income children and communities of color In the United States.

August 10, 2017

Ultimately, the end of the lead poisoning epidemic requires addressing its underlying causes, such as housing quality, poverty, racial inequity, and environmental injustice. Health Affairs Blog.

Every breath you take: air pollution from idling cars puts kids at risk.

August 8, 2017

“Under certain conditions, particularly in the winter when the air is not moving and dispersing that air pollution, cars can generate very high air pollution concentrations right where students are being dropped off.” Environmental News Network.

Estimating the health benefits of environmental regulations.

August 4, 2017

Despite progress, benefits analysis for health effects is needlessly constrained by analytic practices that are scientifically outdated and inconsistent with economic theory. These limitations can result in exclusion of important health effects from the estimated benefits of reducing exposure to toxic environmental contaminants, which, in turn, affects net benefits calculations that inform public policy. Science.

The case for universal screening of private well water quality in the US and testing requirements to achieve it: evidence from arsenic.

August 3, 2017

Universal screening, achieved through local testing requirements complemented by greater community engagement targeting biologically and socioeconomically vulnerable groups, would reduce population arsenic exposure greater than any promotional efforts to date. Environmental Health Perspectives.