Pollution

EPA, Dow Chemical Negotiate River Cleanups
December 27, 2007 03:06 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

CHICAGO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today extended a deadline with Dow Chemical to negotiate a settlement to conduct and finance an investigation, a study and interim cleanup actions for dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system. In October the EPA called for negotiations under provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund.

Two Egyptians test positive for bird flu
December 27, 2007 01:32 PM - Aziz El-Kaissouni, Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - Two Egyptians have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, a day after an Egyptian woman died of the disease, Egypt's health ministry said on Thursday. "There are two cases today, one in Damietta and one in Menoufia... Today lab results confirmed that they are infected with bird flu," Amr Kandeel, head of communicable disease control at the health ministry, told Reuters. The two new cases, both of whom are currently receiving treatment in hospital, bring the total number of human bird flu cases in Egypt to 41, Kandeel added.

North Korea says may slow nuclear disablement: Kyodo
December 26, 2007 07:58 PM - Reuters

"There is a delay in the implementation of economic compensation obligations to be undertaken by the other countries in the six-party talks," Hyun Hak Bong, deputy director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's American affairs bureau, was quoted as saying late on Wednesday.

Secondhand smoke may raise child allergy risk
December 26, 2007 01:52 PM - Reuters

Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either renatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.

Broken Homes Damage the Environment
December 26, 2007 12:45 PM - Michigan State University Newswire

The data are in. Divorce is bad for the environment. A novel study that links divorce with the environment shows that a global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, that, in turn, take up more space and gobble up more energy and water. The research of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Egyptian woman dies of bird flu
December 26, 2007 09:01 AM - Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Egyptian woman has died of bird flu, Egypt's Ministry of Health said on Wednesday. It is the first human death in Egypt from the virus since June and the 16th since the disease arrived in early 2006. The ministry named the woman as Ola Younis from Beni Haroun village in Beni Suef province, south of Cairo. She entered Beni Suef hospital on December 21 with a high temperature and breathing problems, was diagnosed on Tuesday and died the same day, it said in a statement.

The Danger of PBDEs
December 25, 2007 10:34 PM - UC Riverside

Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk - a potentially major concern for human health. In addition, these industrial chemicals have been associated with cases of feline hyperthyroidism, a potentially fatal condition in cats.

China says is no threat to world energy security
December 25, 2007 09:23 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it is not a threat to world energy security and energy issues should not be politicized, urging that conflicts in producing nations be resolved through dialogue and not military force. China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, also is too reliant on international crude markets for last minute oil supplies and needs to arrange more long-term deals, Beijing said in a policy paper released on Wednesday. "China did not, does not and will not pose any threat to the world's energy security," according to the paper, titled China's Energy Conditions and Policies. "China will, step by step, change the current situation of relying too heavily on spot trading of crude oil, encourage the signing of long-term supply contracts with foreign companies and promote the diversification of trading channels," the paper added.

Vietnam suspects bird flu killed young child
December 25, 2007 08:37 PM - Reuters

HANOI (Reuters) - Doctors suspect bird flu may have killed a four-year-old child in northern Vietnam, state-run radio said on Wednesday. A Health Ministry official told a government meeting on Tuesday the child had a fever and serious pneumonia after eating chicken which died of unknown cause in the mountainous province of Son La, the Voice of Vietnam radio said.

Worms infect more poor Americans than thought
December 25, 2007 08:13 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Roundworms may infect close to a quarter of inner city black children, tapeworms are the leading cause of seizures among U.S. Hispanics and other parasitic diseases associated with poor countries are also affecting Americans, a U.S. expert said on Tuesday. Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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