Health

Frightened Indonesians suffer new Sumatra quakes
September 14, 2007 10:42 AM - Ahmad Pathoni, Reuters

BENGKULU, Indonesia (Reuters) - Frightened residents on Indonesia's Sumatra island huddled in tents outside their damaged homes on Friday, traumatized by the latest of more than 40 aftershocks since a huge earthquake struck two days ago. Indonesia's meteorology agency issued on Friday the latest in a series of tsunami warnings after another strong quake in Sumatra, although it was lifted about an hour later. Officials said food and other aid had reached some of the areas hit by the quake, but added many more tents were needed as people were still sleeping in the open, either because their houses had been destroyed or because they were too scared to return home in case of further quakes.

NASA Keeps Eye on Ozone Layer Amid Montreal Protocol's Success
September 14, 2007 07:21 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA scientists will join researchers from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to reduce the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer. The United Nations Environment Program will host the meeting from Sept. 23-26 in Athens, Greece. NASA scientists study climate change and research the timing of the recovery of the ozone layer.

Prolonged respiratory problems for oil spill clean-up volunteers
September 14, 2007 07:19 AM - American Thoracic Society

Workers and volunteers who helped in the clean-up effort after the 2002 Prestige oil spill off the Galician coast of Spain exhibit prolonged respiratory symptoms resulting from their exposure, say researchers from Spain in the first study to examine the long-term effects of such exposures on workers’ respiratory health.

Dirty energy threatens health of 2 billion: study
September 13, 2007 08:22 AM - Ben Hirschler -Reuters

The health of about 2 billion of the world's poor is being damaged because they lack access to clean energy, like electricity, and face exposure to smoke from open fires, scientists said on Thursday. Dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants from badly ventilated cooking fires are a common hazard, while lack of electricity deprives many of the benefits of refrigeration.

Life expectancy in U.S. rises to all-time high of 78
September 13, 2007 07:39 AM - Will Dunham -Reuters

Life expectancy in the United States has increased to almost 78 years, the country's highest on record, amid a downturn in deaths from heart disease, cancer and stroke, according to new federal estimates published on Wednesday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said preliminary figures for 2005 showed an increase in the U.S. infant mortality rate from the previous year, although it called the rise statistically insignificant. Black babies under age 1 remained far more likely to die than white babies.

U.S. Failed to Boost Produce Inspections
September 13, 2007 07:13 AM - Garance Burke -Associated Press

Government regulators never acted on calls for stepped-up inspections of leafy greens after last year's deadly E. coli spinach outbreak, leaving the safety of America's salads to a patchwork of largely unenforceable rules and the industry itself, an Associated Press investigation has found. The regulations governing farms in this central California region known as the nation's "Salad Bowl" remain much as they were when bacteria from a cattle ranch infected spinach that killed three people and sickened more than 200.

Haze of confusion over most-polluted city list
September 13, 2007 06:54 AM - Reuters

A U.S. group's report naming the Chinese city of Tianjin as one of the world's most polluted places apparently confused the large northern port with a notorious lead-processing town in the country's east. Tianjin, with more than 10 million people, gained unwelcome global attention on Wednesday when the New York-based Blacksmith Institute named it as one of the world's most heavily polluted places for its outpouring of toxins from scrap lead processing.

Ancient Architects Engineered Angkor’s Downfall
September 12, 2007 05:58 PM - University of New South Wales

University of New South Wales, Australia - The architects of Cambodia’s famed Angkor — the world's most extensive medieval "hydraulic city" — unwittingly engineered its environmental collapse, says research by University of New South Wales scientists and a team of international scholars.

Study: Cell Phone Use Dangers Still Unknown
September 12, 2007 12:09 PM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Cellular phones do not pose short-term health risks, but it remains too soon to say whether they can cause brain cancer or whether children face greater risks than adults, British scientists said on Wednesday. Publishing the largest UK investigation into possible health problems from mobile technology, scientists said the six-year program found no evidence that short-term mobile phone use affected brain function or could cause brain cancer.

New York restaurant Calorie Labeling Rule Overturned
September 12, 2007 12:04 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's fast food restaurants can ignore a city law aimed at making it easier for consumers to tell how many calories are packed into their burgers, fries or tacos, a judge ruled on Tuesday. The new city law stopped short of forcing all restaurants to post calorie and fat counts on their menus, but said those outlets that already make such information available should post it on their menus in typeface as large as the menu item.

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