Health

DDT Exposure in Womb May Cause Obesity
April 24, 2009 10:25 AM - Emily Sohn, Discovery News

It's not just what you eat and how much you exercise that can pack on the pounds. What your mother consumed during her pregnancy may also add to your own waistline later in life.

Ontario to enact toughest pesticide ban in Canada

Ontario will enact the toughest rules in Canada when its pesticide ban takes effect today, a move that could land the province in the legal crosshairs of an international trade dispute.

Pesticide exposure found to increase risk of Parkinson's disease

In a new epidemiological study of Central Valley residents who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, researchers found that years of exposure to the combination of these two pesticides increased the risk of Parkinson's by 75 percent. Further, for people 60 years old or younger diagnosed with Parkinson's, earlier exposure had increased their risk for the disease by as much as four- to six-fold.

Southern Calif. District Reduces Water Supply, Hikes Rates
April 21, 2009 06:41 AM - Water & Wastewater News

Effective July 1, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California reduced supplies its member public agencies for the first time since 1991. The financial impacts of higher Delta costs due to supply reductions caused by new regulatory restraints also were primary factors behind a rate increase approved by the board in a separate action. The rate increase will take effect Sept. 1. "Up to 19 million Southern Californians this summer will feel the impact of a new water reality that has been in the making for years, if not decades," said Metropolitan board Chair Timothy F. Brick.

The World's Cleanest Countries
April 16, 2009 09:33 AM - Andy Stone, Forbes

The Environmental Performance Index, developed by Columbia and Yale Universities, ranks the environmental performance of 140 countries based on 25 categories ranging from air and water quality to biodiversity and the use of pesticides. This list looks at the top countries in each of six world regions and the ways in which each excel, as well as areas where the countries lag their peers.

Groups File Suit to Block State Air Pollution Permit for Unneeded South Carolina Coal Plant
April 14, 2009 09:36 AM - Southern Environmental Law Center

South Carolina’s environmental agency illegally permitted an unneeded coal-fired power plant on the Great Pee Dee River that would emit 31 times more toxic mercury than the legal limit and millions of tons of costly carbon pollution, according to a lawsuit filed today by the Southern Environmental Law Center on behalf of several advocacy groups.

Got Nature? Why You Need to Get Out
April 13, 2009 04:30 PM - Andrea Thompson, Live Science

In our increasingly urbanized world, it turns out that a little green can go a long way toward improving our health, not just that of the planet. That could mean something as simple as a walk in the park or just a tree viewed through a window. It's not necessarily the exercise that is the key. It's the refreshing contact with nature and its uncomplicated demands on us.

Debate erupts over effects of climate change on disease
April 13, 2009 08:37 AM - Katherine Nightingale, SciDevNet

The commonly-held view that climate change can only increase the burden of infectious diseases has been challenged — provoking a debate that could ripple out to health professionals, conservationists and policymakers.

Study of neighborhoods points to modifiable factors, not race, in cancer disparities

While cities have shown considerable racial disparities in cancer survival, those racial disparities virtually disappear among smaller populations, such as neighborhoods within that city. The finding comes from a new analysis published in the May 15, 2009 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study examined breast and prostate cancer survival rates at different geographic levels, and the results suggest that there are significant societal factors at the root of cancer-related racial disparities. Previous research has shown that considerable health disparities exist relating to race, ethnicity, geographic location, and other factors. While researchers have been striving to understand the causes of such disparities in survival from some cancers, including cancers of the breast and prostate, the potential roles of innate factors, such as genetic differences, versus modifiable factors, such as socioeconomic differences, remain unclear.

EPA Is Reconsidering Dry Cleaners' Use of Cancer-Causing Chemical
April 8, 2009 05:11 PM - Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

The Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering whether to compel dry cleaners to phase out a cancer-causing chemical used in tens of thousands of operations nationwide, according to court documents filed late last week.

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