Health

Environmental Natural Substances that Cause Illness
February 18, 2011 03:41 PM - Krista Peterson, Guest Contributor

When we think of pollutants, we tend to think of chemicals with long and sometimes unpronounceable names: hexavalent chromium, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, hexachlorobenzene. However, not all substances that are dangerous to human and environmental health are manmade – some are naturally occurring, but have been introduced, often in toxic quantities, into society at large due to ignorance or greed. The following are some naturally-occurring substances that human use (or, more often, misuse) has turned into pollutants.

EU Household Plastics Banning
February 18, 2011 12:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The European Union will ban six toxic chemicals within three to five years, three of which are commonly used in plastic household items. Among the compounds are three plastic softening phthalates, a musk fragrance, a flame retardant and a hardener for epoxy resin. Although the most toxic phthalates have been banned in children's toys since 1999, a survey last October showed some are commonly found in products on supermarket shelves, including items regularly used by children, such as pencil cases and erasers. The decision is being taken under the REACH regulation on chemicals, adopted in 2006 after major debate and discussion.

Closer to the Cure for the Common Cold
February 17, 2011 09:42 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

There is no cure for the common cold, no magic elixir that will make all of your symptoms go away. However, over human's many millennia of battling the cold, we have found little tricks that can help fight it. According to new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library, we have found a new trick that could provide huge benefits. A way to significantly reduce severity and duration of the common cold is to take Zinc supplements.

Clorox Discloses Additional Ingredients Info
February 16, 2011 09:42 AM - Bart King, Sustainable Life Media

February 9, 2011 - The Clorox Company is expanding its communications strategy in an effort to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use in and around their homes. The company is disclosing additional information about the chemicals in its products through its "Ingredients Inside" program.

Sulfur Emissions on the Rise
February 15, 2011 04:56 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Sulfur dioxide is a major air pollutant and has significant impacts upon human health. In addition the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can influence ecosytems. Sulfur dioxide emissions are a precursor to acid rain and atmospheric particulates. A new analysis of sulfur emissions appearing in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics shows that after declining for a decade, worldwide emissions rose again in 2000 due largely to international shipping and a growing Chinese economy. An accurate read on sulfur emissions will help researchers predict future changes in climate and determine present day effects on the atmosphere, health and the environment.

Are Anti-oxidants Keeping You Young and Infertile?
February 14, 2011 09:03 AM - Tinamarie Bernard, Green Prophet

It's a tale with two endings, a conundrum for consumers of antioxidant-rich foods, drinks and facial products. What has been touted as a natural way to slow the aging process by minimizing cell damage via oxidation may be one culprit in female infertility. So suggests Professor Nava Dekel of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

Welding Fumes and Safety
February 11, 2011 02:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

A new alloy promises to lessen welders' risk of breathing toxic fumes on the job. The alloy is a welding "consumable" – the material that melts under the welder's torch to fill the gap between parts that are being joined. The new nickel alloy consumable is more expensive compared to those already on the market, but worth the cost in situations where adequate ventilation is a problem. Exposure to welding fumes can cause numerous health problems. When inhaled, welding fumes can enter the lungs, bloodstream, brain nerve cells, spinal cord and other organs and can cause both short- and long-term health effects.

Time to Get to Know!
February 9, 2011 10:24 PM - Editor, ENN and Get to Know

The 2011 Canadian Wildlife Federation Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest begins April 10. Renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman invites youth aged 5-18 to go outside and "get to know" their wild neighbors by creating art, writing, digital photography, and video entries. The goal: to engage the power of art to help youth become more connected with nature. Last year, twenty two winners of the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest attended the Get to Know Art & Nature Camp at the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on August 23-27. Hosted by Parks Canada, the kids took part in workshops (led by local artists from Alberta and Montana), discovered local species and ecosystems, and worked on a video project encouraging young people across North America to enter the new video category of the Get to Know Contest.

Fracking Ground Water
February 9, 2011 05:35 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Congress commissioned the Environmental Protection Agency to study hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", after complaints that the process pollutes water. The EPA is slated to make public initial results of the study by the end of next year. Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and the process known as hydraulic fracturing is one way of accessing that vital resource. Fracturing is used by gas producers to stimulate wells and recover natural gas from sources such as coalbeds and shale gas formations. Fracturing is also used for other applications including oil recovery. The study will investigate reported instances of drinking water contamination in three to five sites across the country where fracking has occurred.

Mercury Levels in Fish Higher Than Previously Estimated
February 8, 2011 07:45 AM - Thom Fox, Triple Pundit

As a chef of over twenty years who has been dedicated to serving wholesome, transparently procured food, I was struck recently while reading an article about a 2010 study by www.GotMercury.org an off shoot of The Turtle Island Institute. The study assessed the levels of Methymercury in swordfish and tuna in a variety of restaurant and retail stores in major markets across the United States, revealing considerably higher levels of Methymercury than previously reported by the FDA in other tests and studies.

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