Health

New, cheaper method for extracting clean water
July 30, 2009 10:22 AM - Justine Davies, SciDevNet

A mobile pilot system could make preliminary feasibility tests for desalination easier and cheaper for developing countries.

Californians' Cooling on Global Warming
July 30, 2009 06:33 AM - Peter Henderson, Reuters

The tough economy has undermined the environmental enthusiasm of Californians, hitting the U.S. state that pioneered climate change legislation just as the federal government is taking on the issue, a survey showed on Wednesday.

Beach Closing Days Nationwide Top 20,000 for Fourth Consecutive Year
July 29, 2009 12:15 PM - NRDC

The water at American beaches was seriously polluted and jeopardized the health of swimmers last year with the number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches reaching more than 20,000 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the 19th annual beachwater quality report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "Pollution from dirty stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continues to make its way to our beaches. This not only makes swimmers sick – it hurts coastal economies," said Nancy Stoner, NRDC Water Program Co-Director. "Americans should not suffer the consequences of contaminated beachwater. From contracting the flu or pink eye, to jeopardizing millions of jobs and billions of dollars that rely on clean coasts, there are serious costs to inaction."

J&J On Track To Meet 2010 Climate Goal
July 28, 2009 11:18 AM - ClimateBiz, GreenBiz

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has cut emissions at its company-owned and larger leased facilities by 9 percent between 1990 and 2008, a period in which its worldwide sales have grown by more than 400 percent. Though the company is currently meeting its goal of reducing emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, emissions increased in 2008. Its carbon footprint, which includes 364,000 metric tons of carbon offsets, grew 3.3 percent in 2008 compared to the year before, the company said in its 12th sustainability report published last week.

EPA reconsiders lead-monitoring plans foiled by Bush White House
July 24, 2009 10:29 AM - Brendan Borrell, Scientific American

The EPA announced this week that it was reconsidering plans to beef up its airborne lead monitoring network in response to a petition from environmental and health groups.

Experts: Government changes to environment can make us fit
July 24, 2009 10:24 AM - Nanci Hellmich, USA Today

The government's responsibility to get Americans moving will be discussed at the three-day Weight of the Nation conference next week. Public health advocates, government leaders and obesity researchers will meet in Washington, D.C.

Evidence is Growing That Contaminants Play a Role in Diabetes

Eat right and exercise, conventional wisdom has it, if you want to avoid joining the diabetes epidemic. But a new study adds some muscle to a growing body of research suggesting those steps, although beneficial, might not be enough for people exposed to chemicals in the environment. The scientists linked diabetes and people's body burdens of DDE, a chemical produced as the body breaks down the pesticide DDT, banned in the United States more than 35 years ago.

Think H1N1 Is Bad Now? Wait Till Flu Season
July 22, 2009 10:55 AM - Brian Walsh, TIMES

Since the new flu virus was officially declared a pandemic on June 11, the disease has spread faster in six weeks than past pandemics had spread in six months.

Air Pollution Linked to Diminishing IQ of Children

A new study published in the August 2009 edition of Pediatrics shows a possible disturbing correlation between increased urban air pollution and decreased IQ points in children. The study sites polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or "chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil, and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco" as the major perpetrators of inner- city air pollution, with a particular focus on motor vehicle use.

Fertilizer’s Contamination Legacy
July 19, 2009 07:21 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Perchlorate-contaminated groundwater could be a widespread legacy of the U.S.'s agricultural past, according to researchers who have pioneered perchlorate forensics. The researchers, led by John Karl Bhlke of the U.S. Geological Survey, used isotopes and other geochemical tracers to identify perchlorate sources. The impact of the historic use of Chilean nitrate fertilizer from the Atacama Desert, which contains naturally occurring perchlorate, is emerging from studies such as one published recently in ES&T.

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