Health

EPA is Seeking New Standards for Home Efficiency Retrofits
November 15, 2010 09:50 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

In seeking to establish new standards for home improvements that would increase energy efficiency, the EPA is asking for comments from the public. They have released a draft protocol which contains a series of best practice tools that would protect indoor air quality during a home energy retrofit. The goal is to devise a set of standards that would ultimately ensure health standards of building occupants during and after such a renovation.

Indonesia's Slow-Motion Disaster
November 14, 2010 08:14 AM - NPR

After two weeks of volcanic eruptions, life for people living near Indonesia's Mount Merapi remains dangerous and difficult. The death toll from the eruptions has surpassed 200, and more than a quarter of a million people have evacuated their homes. While vulcanologists believe the eruption is dying down, they can't guarantee it won't flare up again. On the south side of Merapi, Indonesian army commandos lead a search-and-rescue mission. In the distance, smoke and gray ash billow from Merapi's crater high into the sky. Heat shimmers up from the scorched earth. A burnt and decaying stench hangs in the air.

Cancer Is a Man-Made Disease
November 13, 2010 09:14 AM - Marek Doyle , Organic Consumers Association

Diet, pollution and modern living conditions have been implicated as the factors responsible for cancer, concluded researchers, after analyzing the remains of almost 1,000 individuals from ancient Egypt and Greece. The investigation, conducted by a team from Manchester University, looked into medical literature of the time for descriptions of cancer symptoms as well as examining today's remains for signs of the disease. They did, for the first time, manage to identify cancer in one Egyptian mummy but this remained the only example in their widespread search. With this in mind, the scientists concluded that cancer was even rarer than previously thought.

Blood and Skin
November 12, 2010 03:30 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The supply of blood for patients and emergencies has always fluctuated. Generally it is dependent on adequate donations from the public. A more dependable source would be useful. While local and temporary blood shortages have occurred periodically, the nation’s blood supply generally is considered adequate. There is also a problem of genetic compatibility. In a neat bit of cellular wizardry, human skin cells have been turned into blood cells. A donor could then supply blood cells d=from his own skin cells and this about compatibility issues. The research could have huge implications for blood-related diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, and could also eventually lead to new treatments for other types of tissues inside the human body. If skin can be made into blood why now not other cells?

Cocoa Crisis, stock up on chocolate now!
November 12, 2010 06:53 AM - Tim Wall, Discovery News

Chocolate was once the drink of Mayan and Aztec kings. Now a cocoa shortage may make chocolate an exclusive luxury again. Chocolate could become as rare as caviar, said John Mason of the Ghana-based Nature Conservation Research Council. Which means chocolate treats may become unaffordable for the average person. The price of cocoa, the raw ingredient for chocolate, has been skyrocketing in international markets.

First rigorous health study of BPA-levels in food
November 11, 2010 08:20 AM - Ano Lobb, Justmeans

The first ever peer-reviewed study of BPA levels in specific US foods was just published, and the results are surprisingly comforting. The headline you might read is that BPA levels are 1,000 times lower than the health levels for "tolerable daily intake" set by US and European food safety authorities.

California’s Air Quality Plan to be Rejected by the EPA
November 9, 2010 09:33 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

Yesterday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to disapprove plans developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The air quality plans aimed to bring areas with poor air quality such as the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley into attainment with national health standards for particulate emissions. The fine particulates, known as PM2.5 are notoriously bad in places like Los Angeles and the surrounding area.

Pesticides In Pregnant Jerusalemites Higher Than NYC Counterparts
November 5, 2010 02:31 PM - Tafline Laylin, Green Prophet

Given the choice between a roach-free house or one filled with scattering critters, most people will take the former. But in some parts of the Middle East, such as the UAE, pests are becoming more pernicious – attributed to rising temperatures and deepening the challenge to get rid of them.

Yanks less healthy than Brits but live just as long if not longer
November 4, 2010 09:32 AM - David A Gabel, ENN

They are known as two peoples separated by a common language. They are also separated by much different health care systems. The English can boast that their elderly have a lower rate of chronic disease than their American counterparts, according to a new study. However, sick elderly Americans still have a lower death rate than sick elderly British.

NOAA and FDA Announce Gulf Seafood well within safety standards based on new, more stringent testing
November 1, 2010 05:37 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A study conducted by NOAA and the FDA, building upon the extensive testing and protocols already in use by federal, state and local officials for the fishing waters of the Gulf, NOAA and the FDA are using a chemical test to detect dispersants used in the Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill in fish, oysters, crab and shrimp. Trace amounts of the chemicals used in dispersants are common, and levels for safety have been previously set. Previous testing involved a "sensory analysis process". Using this new test in the Gulf scientists have tested 1,735 tissue samples including more than half of those collected to reopen Gulf of Mexico federal waters. Only a few showed trace amounts of dispersants residue (13 of the 1,735) and they were well below the safety threshold of 100 parts per million for finfish and 500 parts per million for shrimp, crabs and oysters. As such, the study concludes that they do not pose a threat to human health.

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