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Your Health

image from Coventry City Council at Creative Commons

These "Your Health" selections from our news feed are chosen because they may be useful to your health or the health of others you care about. These news items and research reports provide information that you can use in making choices about food, consumer products and daily activities.

Also see CHE's fact sheets for brief summaries of specific topics, including steps you can take to protect yourself and your children from environmental hazards.

News Concerning Your Health

Air pollution ups stress hormones, alters metabolism.

August 15, 2017

Breathing dirty air causes stress hormones to spike, new research suggests, which could help explain why long-term exposure to pollution is associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and a shorter life span.
[See the study: Particulate matter exposure and stress hormone levels: a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial of air purification]

Can endocrine disruptors elevate risk of breast cancer?

August 15, 2017

"Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance." This imbalance may lead to the development of cancer later in life, Soto says, because "chemicals that affect mammary gland development may also increase the propensity to develop breast cancer." US News & World Report.

Aspartame: decades of science point to serious health risks.

August 15, 2017

While many studies, some of them industry-sponsored, have reported no problems with aspartame, dozens of independent studies conducted over decades have linked aspartame to a long list of health problems including cancer, weight gain and obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular events, stroke, dementia, seizures, behavioral and cognitive problems, headache, kidney function decline, preterm delivery and other reproductive system irregularities. US Right to Know.

3D printers and potential airborne exposure concerns discussed in new video.

August 14, 2017

“As 3D printers become more common, concerns have been raised about possible exposures to chemicals (volatile organic compounds/VOCs) and ultrafine particles,” said Paul Cochrane, President of Cochrane and Associates and the IAQ Video Network. Environmental Xprt.
[See the video: 3D Printers & Potential Airborne Exposure Concerns]

Exposure to toxins in e-cig vapor varies depending on scenario.

August 11, 2017

The study predicted that heavy users inhaling at a high rate of 250 puffs per day with devices at 3.8 to 4.8 volts would potentially inhale levels of acrolein, formaldehyde and diacetyl that exceed US occupational limits. American Chemical Society.

To reduce exposure to pollution on your commute, crank the air conditioning.

August 11, 2017

Researchers found that using air conditioning reduced the amounts of the pollutants inside the vehicle by 20 to 34 percent. Scientists found the AC was best at minimizing pollution exposure when following a heavy polluter like a bus or big rig. Newsline.

For cosmetics, let the buyer beware.

August 9, 2017

The government is powerless to act until a slew of consumer complaints raise a red flag about a product. New York Times.

Addressing mold after a natural disaster.

August 9, 2017

This video from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides 10 actions that home dwellers can take to reduce mold growth and exposure after flooding.

Modern life means less gut bacteria, more chronic disease.

August 9, 2017

A commentary written by Blaser in the journal Nature Reviews Immunology suggests that loss of microbes that have long accompanied humans is causing an overall rise in conditions against which our bodies can no longer defend. Invisiverse.

Adherence to the Western, Prudent and Mediterranean dietary patterns and breast cancer risk: MCC-Spain study.

August 7, 2017

A high adherence to the Western dietary pattern seems to increase breast cancer risk in both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women. While high adherence to the Prudent pattern did not show any effect on breast cancer, the Mediterranean dietary pattern seemed to be protective, but only among postmenopausal women. Maturitas.

Have smartphones destroyed a generation?

August 7, 2017

The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy. The Atlantic.

Don't believe the American Heart Assn.—butter, steak and coconut oil aren't likely to kill you.

July 31, 2017

Of nine separate reviews, none could find any evidence in the data that saturated fats had an effect on cardiovascular mortality or total mortality. As quite a few of the reviewing authors stated in their conclusions, such results clearly do not support the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which limit saturated fats to 10% of daily calories, or the AHA advice to cap them at 5% to 6%. Los Angeles Times.

LSUHealthNO research finds walnuts may promote health by changing gut bacteria.

July 31, 2017

“We found that walnuts in the diet increased the diversity of bacteria in the gut, and other non-related studies have associated less bacterial diversity with obesity and other diseases like inflammatory bowel disease,” says Byerley. Environmental News Network.

110 NFL brains.

July 27, 2017

Of the 202 players, 111 of them played in the NFL—and 110 of those were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head. New York Times.

How tattoos might affect your workout.

July 27, 2017

In the study, each man's tattooed skin had produced barely half as much sweat as his untinted skin. The composition of this sweat also was different, the scientists found. The perspiration from the tattooed skin contained nearly twice as much sodium as sweat from the corresponding, untattooed side. New York Times.

Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors.

July 26, 2017

"The data suggest that being more physically active could reduce two of the more commonly reported symptoms in breast cancer survivors: fatigue and cognitive impairment," said study leader Edward McAuley. Environmental News Network.

Maternal 25(OH)D concentrations ≥40 ng/mL associated with 60% lower preterm birth risk among general obstetrical patients at an urban medical center.

July 26, 2017

Women with 25(OH)D ≥40 ng/mL had a 62% lower risk of PTB compared to those <20 ng/mL PLoS One.

Association between maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood: results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

July 26, 2017

No associations were found with neurodevelopmental outcomes, including IQ, measured at older ages. However, our results suggest that deficient maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy may have adverse effects on some measures of motor and social development in children under 4 years. British Journal of Nutrition.

New lookup to tell you what’s in your water.

July 25, 2017

EWG's Tap Water Database lists contaminants as well as their levels and likely sources, and any federal drinking water violations by local water utilities. Fair Warning.
[See EWG's Tap Water Database]

Mediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults.

July 25, 2017

Older people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had 35% lower risk of scoring poorly on cognitive tests. Even those who ate a moderate Mediterranean-style diet had 15% lower risk of doing poorly on cognitive tests. The researchers noted similar results for people who ate MIND-style diets. ScienceDaily.