Health

3 schools closed, staffer hospitalized in NY swine flu outbreak
May 15, 2009 08:46 AM - AFP

New York officials announced Thursday they were shutting down three schools in response to a swine flu outbreak and that one staff member had been hospitalized in serious condition. The three schools, with a total of about 4,500 students, will close Friday and all next week in response to "an unusually high level of flu-like illnesses at those schools," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Chicago Bans Baby Bottles With BPA Plastic

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a measure making Chicago the nation’s first city to ban the sale of baby bottles and sippy cups manufactured with a chemical that some studies have linked to disease. Passage was driven by what officials here call federal regulators’ failure to take action on a grave public health issue.

Mercury Takes Algae Road to Ocean Fish
May 13, 2009 10:29 AM - Emily Sohn, Discovery News

Ocean fish can contain high levels of mercury, even though mercury levels in the seawater around them are extraordinarily low. Now, scientists have an explanation for what's going on.

Chemical Treaty Covers Additional Toxins
May 13, 2009 09:47 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

An international treaty designed to eradicate the world's most harmful chemicals was expanded this past week to include nine additional pollutants.

High human impact ocean areas along US West Coast revealed
May 11, 2009 10:23 AM - National Science Foundation

"Every single spot of the ocean along the West Coast," said Ben Halpern, a marine ecologist at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California at Santa Barbara, "is affected by 10 to 15 different human activities annually." In a two-year study to document the way humans are affecting the oceans in this region, Halpern and colleagues overlaid data on the location and intensity of 25 human-derived sources of ecological stress, including climate change, commercial and recreational fishing, land-based sources of pollution and ocean-based commercial activities. With the information, they produced a composite map of the status of West Coast marine ecosystems.

Fierce California wildfire burns into fourth night
May 9, 2009 08:05 AM - Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

A California wildfire burned for a fourth day on Friday above the seaside town of Santa Barbara as firefighters battled flames that have damaged or destroyed 80 homes. Another 3,500 homes and about 100 businesses remained in immediate jeopardy from the so-called Jesusita fire, which had blackened more than 8,600 acres in the foothills above the picturesque community, according to an update by the Santa Barbara Fire Department late on Friday.

Pesticides blamed for some childhood brain cancers
May 8, 2009 10:08 AM - Heather Hamlin , Environmental Health News

A new study finds that children who live in homes where their parents use pesticides are twice as likely to develop brain cancer versus those that live in residences in which no pesticides are used. Herbicide use appeared to cause a particularly elevated risk for a certain type of cancer.

US climate change denier James Inhofe joins Al Gore in fight against soot
May 5, 2009 10:22 AM - Suzanne Goldenberg, guardian.co.uk

In a surprise U-turn, the Republican senator has put forward a bill to review the dangers of black carbon to health and the environment.

'Green' lightbulbs poison workers
May 4, 2009 10:14 AM - Michael Sheridan, Foshan, Times Online

Hundreds of factory staff are being made ill by mercury used in bulbs destined for the West

California Residents Ready to Conserve More
May 4, 2009 07:04 AM - Water & Wastewater News

A large majority of Californians are concerned about having a sufficient supply of water and are willing to do more to conserve, according to a new statewide survey released by the Save Our Water program. The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources recently launched the program to educate Californians about the state's water challenges and encourage greater water conservation.

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