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Environmental Health News

Environmental Health News is published daily by Environmental Health Sciences, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2002 to help increase public understanding of emerging scientific links between environmental exposures and human health.

Environmental Health News aggregates links to articles in the world press about environmental health, with daily updates. Topics carried include a broad array of issues in environmental health, including: chemical contamination, water quantity and quality, air pollution, sewage, Mad Cow disease, and genetic engineering, etc. as well as climate change and biodiversity stories with a health dimension. We make a special effort to find media coverage of new scientific findings related to these issues. We do not cover pure energy, 'critter stories,' or animal rights. Anything covered should have, at least implicitly, a link to human or ecosystem health.


Website: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/


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Environmental Health Sciences
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Night-time lights bring insects, disease
October 12, 2010 07:12 AM - Barghini, A and BAS de Medeiros, Synopsis by Thea Edwards, Environmental Health News

Use of artificial lighting at night can change human and insect behaviors, increasing the risk of insect-borne disease. Consider that before gas street lamps and electric light bulbs were invented in the 1800s, the world settled into darkness after sunset, relying only on the moon and stars for light. That is still the case in more remote regions of the world. But, as artificial lighting spreads through these mostly tropical areas, research is showing how night-time light can alter human and insect behavior and bring about some unexpected results — an increase in the transmission of insect-borne diseases. Altering human and insect interactions is one example of how light pollution may be changing disease risk patterns. The evidence suggests researchers should consider this when conducting future studies of how diseases spread. Synopsis by Thea Edwards

Masdar: Abu Dhabi's carbon-neutral city
April 5, 2010 09:24 AM - Tom Heap, Environmental Health News

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low-carbon living, but the emerging eco-city of Masdar could teach the world. At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one. The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.

Farm Pesticides Linked to Melanoma
April 2, 2010 11:34 AM - Organic Consumers Association, Environmental Health News

Workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, according to a new scientific study. The researchers identified six pesticides that, with repeated exposure, doubled the risk of skin cancer among farmers and other workers who applied them to crops. The findings add to evidence suggesting that frequent use of pesticides could raise the risk of melanoma. Rates of the disease have tripled in the United States in the last 30 years, with sun exposure identified as the major cause. Four of the chemicals - maneb, mancozeb, methyl-parathion and carbaryl - are used in the United States on a variety of crops, including nuts, vegetables and fruits. Two others, benomyl and ethyl-parathion, were voluntarily cancelled by their manufacturers in 2008.

Abu Dhabi building carbon-neutral city
March 28, 2010 10:00 AM - Tom Heap, BBC, Environmental Health News

The world's first zero-carbon city is being built in Abu Dhabi and is designed to be not only free of cars and skyscrapers but also powered by the sun. The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low-carbon living, but the emerging eco-city of Masdar could teach the world. At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one. The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.

China to develop new energy source - combustible ice
March 7, 2010 09:06 AM - Xinhua writers Wang Aihua, Miao Xiaojuan, Xinhua News Agency, Environmental Health News

China's western Qinghai Province, containing major deposits of the country's "combustible ice," will see increased explorations for this emerging clean energy, Provincial Governor Luo Huining said on Saturday. The plateau province plans to allow large energy companies along with researchers to tap this new source of energy while minimizing environmental threats, Luo said on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature. "Combustible ice," or natural gas hydrate, is mainly found in deep seas and atop plateaus. Approximately one cubic meter of "combustible ice" equals 164 cubic meters of regular natural gas.

China has "No intention" of capping emissions
February 25, 2010 04:04 PM - Lan Lan, China Daily, Environmental Health News

China has no intention of capping its greenhouse gas emissions even as authorities are committed to realizing the nation's target to reduce carbon intensity through new policies and measures, the country's top climate change negotiators said yesterday. The negotiators also warned that rich and developing countries have little hope of overcoming key disagreements over how to fight global warming. China "could not and should not" set an upper limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current phase, said Su Wei, the chief negotiator of China for climate change talks in Copenhagen, at a meeting in Beijing on China's climate change policies in the post-Copenhagen era.

Confidence in Scientists Dropping as Result of "Climategate"
February 20, 2010 11:18 AM - John von Radowitz, Press Association, Environmental Health News

Fallout from a loss of public confidence in climate science is affecting other fields of research, a top US academic claimed. American opinion polls point to a general deterioration in people's faith in science, according to Dr Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. It came after two major public relations setbacks for the global warming gurus.

California's global-warming law Under Attack
February 6, 2010 08:21 AM - Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, Environmental Health News

Republican politicians and conservative activists are launching a ballot campaign to suspend California's landmark global-warming law, in what they hope will serve as a showcase for a national backlash against climate regulations. Supporters say they have "solid commitments" of nearly $600,000 to pay signature gatherers for a November initiative aimed at delaying curbs on the greenhouse gas emissions of power plants and factories until the state's unemployment rate drops.

New Ozone Standards could contribute to warming
January 31, 2010 09:40 AM - Richard Harris, NPR, Environmental Health News

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to tighten the ozone standard for smog will have an unfortunate side effect: Because of a quirk of atmospheric chemistry, those measures will hasten global warming. There's no question that smog is a hazard that deserves attention. Lydia Wegman of the EPA says the new ozone limits would have significant health benefits. Less smog means fewer asthma attacks, fewer kids in the hospital, fewer days of lost school, "and we also believe that we can reduce the risk of early death in people with heart and lung disease," she says. Here's the tough part: The way many states and localities will reduce smog is by cracking down on the chemicals that produce ozone. And those include nitrogen oxides, or NOx.

Will Global Warming Increase Natural Disasters, or Not?
January 25, 2010 04:33 PM - Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times, Environmental Health News

The United Nations climate science panel faces new controversy for wrongly linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. It based the claims on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny — and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link too weak. The report's own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough.

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