Health

Toxic Exposure: Chemicals Are in Our Water, Food, Air and Furniture
June 22, 2017 02:24 PM - University of California San Francisco

When her kids were young, Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, knew more than most people about environmental toxics. After all, she was a senior scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But even she never dreamed, as she rocked her children to sleep at night, that the plastic baby bottles she used to feed them contained toxic chemicals that could leach into the warm milk. 

Back then, in the late 1990s, it wasn’t widely known that the chemicals used in plastic sippy cups and baby bottles can potentially disrupt child development by interfering with the hormone system. That, in turn, could alter the functionality of their reproductive systems or increase their risk of disease later in their lives. 

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Burn Without Concern
June 21, 2017 01:43 PM - American Society of Agronomy

The USDA Forest Service in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area (BWCWA) will continue to use controlled burns without worrying about fish health in associated watersheds, researchers say.

“Fire is a part of this community,” said soil scientist Randall Kolka of the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station, one of the lead authors in the study. “By using it you can lessen the chance of wildfire.”

Controlled burns prevent wildfires from ripping through the BWCWA in northern Minnesota. The million-acre area encompasses forested hills, wetlands, over 1,100 lakes, and hundreds of miles of streams. Without occasional burns, fallen trees accumulate like matchsticks, creating the perfect environment for uncontrollable wildfires.

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SPOTLIGHT

Ban on trans fats in diet may reduce heart attacks and stroke

Yale University

People living in areas that restrict trans fats in foods had fewer hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke compared to residents in areas without restrictions, according to a study led by a Yale researcher. This finding suggests the benefit of limiting trans fats could have widespread impact as trans fat restrictions are set to expand nationwide.

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