Health

EPA finds greenhouse gases endanger health
March 24, 2009 10:21 AM - Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that climate-warming greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, pose a danger to human health and welfare, a White House website showed on Monday.

The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness
February 18, 2009 09:41 AM - Organic Consumers Association

You may be familiar with many of the problems associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. These "factory farm" operations are often criticized for the smell and water pollution caused by all that concentrated manure; the unnatural, grain-heavy diets the animals consume; and the stressful, unhealthy conditions in which the animals live. You may not be aware, however, of the threat such facilities hold for you and your family’s health — even if you never buy any of the meat produced in this manner.

Climate Change May Alter Malaria Patterns
February 17, 2009 08:51 AM - Penn State

Temperature is an important factor in the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases, but researchers who look at average monthly or annual temperatures are not seeing the whole picture. Global climate change will affect daily temperature variations, which can have a more pronounced effect on parasite development, according to a Penn State entomologist. "We need higher resolution environmental and biological data to understand how climate change will affect the spread of the malaria parasite," says Matthew Thomas, professor of entomology. "We need to understand temperature from the point of view of the mosquito."

Farming Chemicals Cause Kidney Failure for Workers in Nicaragua
February 16, 2009 08:53 AM - Organic Consumers Association

More than 3,000 workers at a sugar plant owned by Nicaragua's most powerful company have died from chronic renal failure since 1990 and a victims' group says another 5,000 workers have since developed the condition for the company´s use of agrochemicals. The San Antonio Refinery is owned by the Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, a part of Grupo Pellas, which produces Flor de Caña rum as well as ethanol and runs an electricity generator in Chichigalpa in the northern León department.

Peanut co. owner urged shipping bad products
February 11, 2009 11:06 AM - MSNBC

WASHINGTON - The owner of a peanut company urged his workers to ship tainted products after receiving test results identifying salmonella, according to internal company e-mails disclosed Wednesday by a House committee. The company e-mails obtained by the House panel showed that Peanut Corp. of America owner Stewart Parnell ordered the shipments tainted with the bacteria because he was worried about lost sales.

Role Of Climate Change In Disease Spread Examined
February 9, 2009 09:57 AM - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Ever since scientists first proposed that our planet might be experiencing widespread climate change, concerns have been raised about its implications for the spread of arboviruses – viruses carried by arthropods such as mosquitoes, midges and ticks. However, while alterations in temperature and rainfall are important factors in making new territory hospitable to an invading arbovirus, many other forces also play significant parts in new patterns of viral emergence.

China drought deprives millions of drinking water
February 7, 2009 09:40 AM - Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Millions of people and cattle in north China face shortages of drinking water because of a severe drought, the government said on Saturday, promising to speed up disbursement of billions of dollars of subsidies to farmers. State television quoted disaster relief officials as saying 4.4 million people and 2.1 million cattle lacked adequate drinking water. Official media have described the drought as north China's worst in half a century.

How much is the world spending on neglected disease research and development?
February 4, 2009 09:52 AM - Public Library of Science

The first comprehensive survey of global spending on neglected disease R&D, published in this week's PLoS Medicine, finds that just over $US 2.5 billion was invested into R&D of new products in 2007, with three diseases—HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria—receiving nearly 80% of the total. However, the survey finds that many neglected diseases, responsible for killing millions of people in developing countries, are significantly underfunded.

New Questions Raised About Controversial Plastics Chemical Bisphenol A
January 30, 2009 09:12 AM - University of Rochester Medical Center

A University of Rochester Medical Center study challenges common assumptions about the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), by showing that in some people, surprisingly high levels remain in the body even after fasting for as long as 24 hours. The finding suggests that BPA exposure may come from non-food sources, or that BPA is not rapidly metabolized, or both.

Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury, New Study Finds
January 28, 2009 09:25 AM - Organic Consumers Association

Minneapolis - Mercury was found in nearly 50 percent of tested samples of commercial high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), according to a new article published today in the scientific journal, Environmental Health. A separate study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) detected mercury in nearly one-third of 55 popular brandname food and beverage products where HFCS is the first or second highest labeled ingredient-including products by Quaker, Hershey's, Kraft and Smucker's.

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