Health

Swine Flu: Just the Latest Chapter in a 91-Year Pandemic Era
July 1, 2009 07:43 AM - Hadley Leggett, WIRED

The current strain of H1N1 influenza, or swine flu, has people scared because it’s a novel virus that most of the population has never been exposed to. But as a group, H1N1 viruses aren’t new. They’ve been circulating since 1918, when a new strain appeared simultaneously in pigs and humans and killed 40 to 50 million people in a single year. Over the past 91 years, the virus has jumped back and forth between humans, pigs and birds – and possibly even been resurrected from a laboratory freezer. Taking a historical view of the swine flu is critical to understanding the current pandemic, and future outbreaks, argue scientists in two perspectives published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

EPA proposes new one-hour NO2 standard in an effort to reduce respiratory illnesses
June 30, 2009 10:31 AM - Editor, ENN

For the first time in more than 35 years, EPA has proposed to strengthen the nation’s nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air quality standard that protects public health.

Air Pollution From Freeway Extends One And A Half Miles Away

Environmental health researchers from UCLA, the University of Southern California and the California Air Resources Board have found that during the hours before sunrise, freeway air pollution extends much further than previously thought.

U.S. Swine Flu Cases Hit 1 Million
June 26, 2009 10:43 AM - Mike Stobbe, AP via Discovery News

Swine flu has infected as many as 1 million Americans, U.S. health officials said Thursday, adding that 6 percent or more of some urban populations are infected.

New Law Requires Calif. Landfills to Capture Methane
June 26, 2009 06:25 AM - ClimateBiz, GreenBiz

A new regulation adopted today will force more than a dozen California landfills to install equipment that captures methane gas created by decomposing solid waste. The California Air Resources Board’s newly adopted measure will also impact other landfills by forcing them to change their operating practices to reduce the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.

Better Particle Filters For Trucks
June 25, 2009 10:38 AM - Science Daily

Particle filters are standard in the basic fittings for cars. Construction machines, city buses and garbage trucks must now follow suit.

Hidden cancer threat to wildlife revealed
June 24, 2009 09:58 AM - Catherine Brahic, NewScientist

Scientists who have for the first time listed all the animal species that are threatened by cancer say "untold numbers" could be under threat.

TODAY is The Longest Day of the Year
June 21, 2009 02:43 PM - Robert Roy Britt, Live Science

If you've been waiting for the chance to get more done during the day, today, Sunday is your day, but only by a fraction of a second. Like a giant timepiece, Earth and sun are configured for the summer solstice once again. This year it happens June 21, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The sun will be up a fraction of a second longer than the day prior or the day after. (The length of the full day, including night, does not change, of course.)

Artificial Sweeteners May Contaminate Water Downstream Of Sewage Treatment Plants And Even Drinking Water
June 18, 2009 11:07 AM - ScienceDaily

Sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners completely from waste water. What’s more, these pollutants contaminate waters downstream and may still be present in our drinking water.

"Black Carbon" Chokes Chilean Towns
June 17, 2009 10:26 AM - Jane Zhou, Worldwatch Institute

Temuco, with a population of 300,000, has the fourth most polluted air in the country, according to local media. The burning of firewood for heating, cooking, and other uses is the main source of soot particulates, known as "black carbon," that enter the air at levels 150 percent higher than the national standard and more than four times the World Health Organization's recommended limit.

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