Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners
September 26, 2007 02:23 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Washington - Could the floral scent of your air freshener contain toxic chemicals known to cause birth defects? NRDC recently tested 14 different air fresheners and found that 12 contained chemicals called phthalates (pronounced thal-ates), chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. Even air fresheners marketed as "all-natural" or "unscented" contained the hazardous chemicals.
In addition to phthalates, air fresheners may contain allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde.
Report : Cancer Research and Information Impeded
September 26, 2007 02:19 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
WASHINGTON — Allegations of mismanagement, industry influence, and suppression of whistleblowers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are being investigated by Congress, and the director has temporarily stepped down. Today, OMB Watch released a report that further documents industry's attempt to restrict access to health and safety information produced by NTP.
U.S. breast cancer death rate continues dropping
September 25, 2007 09:59 AM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The death rate from breast cancer continues to drop steadily by about 2 percent a year, but black women are not seeing the same benefits as whites, the American Cancer Society said on Tuesday.
The group found that during 2001 through 2004, breast cancer diagnoses fell by an average of 3.7 percent a year -- in part because women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy and in part because fewer got mammograms and therefore were not diagnosed.
Death rates fell by 2 percent during that period.
For women over the age of 50, breast cancer rates fell more sharply, by 4.8 percent a year since 2001, the group said. Breast cancer rates were stable among black women and younger women, the group said.
The berry with punch
September 25, 2007 09:03 AM - Terri Coles -Reuters
All hail the acai, the latest of a variety of trendy fruits that are finding their way into drinks like smoothies, teas and juices, along with the promise of giving your health a boost.
Why are U.S. kids obese? Just look around them
September 25, 2007 09:00 AM - Julie Steenhuysen -Reuters
Tough choices tempt kids at every turn -- whether it is soda in school, junk food ads on TV or the fast-food chain around the corner -- and school policies limiting physical activity only make matters worse, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. This throng of temptations may explain why childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, they said.
'Healthy' restaurants help make us fat, says a new study
September 25, 2007 08:43 AM - Cornell University, Chronicle
If you're like most, you eat worst at healthy restaurants. The "health halos" of healthy restaurants often prompt consumers to treat themselves to higher-calorie side dishes, drinks or desserts than when they eat at fast-food restaurants that make no health claims, according to a series of new Cornell studies.
Study: Acupuncture Works for Back Pain
September 25, 2007 07:28 AM - Associated Press
Fake acupuncture works nearly as well as the real thing for low back pain, and either kind performs much better than usual care, German researchers have found. Almost half the patients treated with acupuncture needles felt relief that lasted months. In contrast, only about a quarter of the patients receiving medications and other Western medical treatments felt better.
Radiologists identify early brain marker of Alzheimer's disease
September 25, 2007 07:23 AM - Radiological Society of North America
Researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have found a new marker which may aid in early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the October issue of Radiology.
Frog deformities blamed on farm and ranch runoff
September 24, 2007 07:49 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Horrific deformities in frogs are the result of a cascade of events that starts when nitrogen and phosphorus from farming and ranching bleed into lakes and ponds, researchers said on Monday.
These nutrients from fertilizers and animal waste create dramatic changes in aquatic ecosystems that help a certain type of parasitic flatworm that inflicts these deformities on North American frogs, researchers said.
"You can get five or six extra limbs. You can get no hind limbs. You can get all kinds of really bizarre, sick and twisted stuff," Pieter Johnson, an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder who led the study, said in a telephone interview.
US Arrests 120 In Major Steroids Crackdown
September 24, 2007 05:03 PM - James Vicini, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 120 individuals have been arrested in the United States on federal charges in the largest steroids crackdown ever, the Justice Department said on Monday.
Department officials said the arrests stemmed from "Operation Raw Deal," a nearly two-year international investigation targeting the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of anabolic steroids and the raw materials, mainly from China, used to make the performance-enhancing drugs.
The investigation also targeted the human growth hormone and the insulin growth factor markets, they said. The U.S. operation coincided with enforcement actions in Mexico, Canada, China, Belgium, Australia, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Thailand.