Reach: High Hazard Chemicals
January 19, 2010 03:45 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) is a European Union Regulation. REACH addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. REACH started in June 2007, with a phased implementation over the next decade. The rules were created for the better protection of human health and protection of the environment by ultimately regulating the use and limits of toxic substances. The European Chemicals Agency has recently added 14 substances to the list of very high concern chemicals to undergo special health and safety scrutiny under the bloc's chemical regulation REACH.

Food Security Collapses in Haiti as Machete-Wielding Gangs Fight in the Streets
January 18, 2010 06:37 AM - Mike Adams, Natural News, Organic Consumers Association

Overnight, Haiti has gone from an organized, civil nation to a scenario of total chaos with gangs running wild through the streets, ransacking shops and fighting over food with machetes. Learning this, many an ignorant westerner might naively say, "That could only happen in Haiti. It's because those people are so poor, so uncivilized. It could never happen here..." Oh but it could. Haiti isn't so different from wherever you live -- a city in America, Canada, Australia, the UK or anywhere else.

Haiti Relief Update
January 17, 2010 11:22 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The United Nations in New York is sharing its internal situation reports on Haiti relief efforts with the media. ENN is publishing key points of the first report we received and recommends readers to follow the developing news and where possible to contribute to the relief efforts. The UN United States Fund has waived all administrative fees for anyone donating to Haiti relief efforts, so that 100% of every dollar donated will go directly to save the children of Haiti.

Radon in Homes an Invisible Danger
January 16, 2010 11:43 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Many areas of the US have high background radon levels in the ground. When radon gets into a home it can increase the resident's cancer risk. How does radon get into a home? The most common way is through cracks in basement floors, walls, and sump pump sumps. In the winter, if a furnace or boiler is in the basement, the chimney can act as a depressurization device since combustion air is vented to the outdoors. If the basement is tight, and there is no source of combustion air, the heating system (and water heater too) can depressurize the basement. If there is radon in the soil gas below the house, this depressurization will increase radon infiltration through cracks and sumps. Another infiltration route is through groundwater. In areas with elevated radon in rock formations, and in homes using on-site wells for water, the water carries radon into the shower where it vaporizes to gaseous radon. January is National Radon Action Month, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is touting three initiatives to raise awareness about the risks of radon.

Rats, Humans and Strokes
January 15, 2010 11:37 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

A stroke (sometimes called an acute cerebrovascular attack) is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field. Two new studies by UC Irvine biologists have found that a protein naturally occurring in humans restores motor function in rats after a stroke. Administered directly to the brain, the protein restores 99 percent of lost movement; if it's given through the nose, 70 percent of lost movement is regained. Untreated rats improve by only 30 percent.

Haiti Earthquake: Why did it Happen?
January 14, 2010 06:16 AM - Andrea Thompson, Live Science

The major earthquake that struck Haiti Tuesday may have shocked a region unaccustomed to such temblors, but the devastating quake was not unusual in that it was caused by the same forces that generate earthquakes the world over. In this case, the shaking was triggered by much the same mechanism that shakes cities along California's San Andreas fault. The 7.0-magnitude Haiti earthquake would be a strong, potentially destructive earthquake anywhere, but it is an unusually strong event for Haiti, with even more potential destructive impact because of the weak infrastructure of the impoverished nation.

Parking Lot Problems
January 13, 2010 12:16 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Coal tar based seal coat, which is the black, shiny substance sprayed or painted on many parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds, has been linked to higher concentrations of the contaminants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in house dust. Apartments with adjacent parking lots treated with the coal-tar based seal coat have house dust with much higher concentrations of PAHs than apartments next to other types of parking lots according to new research released today on-line by Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T). The main purpose of using a quality sealer is that the sealer coats the asphalt surface protecting it from harmful ultra violet as well as road salts and engine oils which dissolve the asphalt and create soft spots. If untreated areas are ignored, deterioration will occur and you will end up spending much more money trying to patch and repair the asphalt than if you properly maintain it.

Tilapia Found to be Invasive in Fiji
January 13, 2010 07:50 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society

The poster child for sustainable fish farming—the tilapia—is actually a problematic invasive species for the native fish of the islands of Fiji, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups. Scientists suspect that tilapia introduced to the waterways of the Fiji Islands may be gobbling up the larvae and juvenile fish of several native species of goby, fish that live in both fresh and salt water and begin their lives in island streams.

Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Hits Haiti
January 13, 2010 06:56 AM - Haroon Siddique, Guardian UK and USGS

The earthquake that has hit Haiti, raising fears that thousands have been killed, is the latest in a long line of natural disasters to befall a country ill equipped to deal with such events. Hurricanes and flooding are perennial concerns for the poorest country in the western hemisphere, which has time and again been dependent on foreign aid in emergencies.

EPA to Improve Ozone Standards
January 11, 2010 05:13 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The US Environmental Protection Agency is proposing the strictest health standards to date for smog. Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Ozone can even harm healthy people who work and play outdoors. The agency is proposing to replace the standards set by the previous administration, which many believe were not protective enough of human health. Ozone pollution is created when chemicals from cars, power plants, and factories mix with sunlight. That's why ozone tends to be higher in sunnier climates or during hot weather. It is a main part of smog, that brownish-yellow haze sometimes seen hanging over cities on the horizon.

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