Environmental Health

"New Scrutiny of Worker Safety Excludes Some Chemical Plants"

"Worries about fires, explosions and chemical releases prompted the federal agency in charge of workplace safety on Wednesday to expand a special inspection program focusing on the nation's chemical plants. Regulators believe the industry is particularly vulnerable to such hazards, meriting the closer attention."

"Yet some plants will continue to be shielded from the special inspections, despite past worker deaths, because of their status as 'model workplaces.'

Source: iWatch News, 12/02/2011

EPA Releases 100s of Chemical Health Studies Claimed As Trade Secrets

The studies are submitted by companies who use the chemicals in commerce, under the Toxic Substances Control Act. EPA's online searchable database can help you find information about such health studies, which were previously withheld because of industry trade-secret claims.

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"Climate Change Boosts a Lethal Disease"

"For 17 years, the Hendra virus smoldered in its host bat population, only rarely crossing to humans. Then it exploded, likely triggered by heavy rains and floods in Australia earlier this year. And that has public health doctors nervous about climate change. "

Nancy Bazilchuk reports for the Daily Climate November 29, 2011.

Source: Daily Climate, 11/29/2011

"Atrazine In Water Tied To Menstrual Irregularities, Low Hormones"

"Women who drink water contaminated with low levels of the weed-killer atrazine may be more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels, scientists concluded in a new study. The most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is frequently detected in surface and ground water, particularly in agricultural areas of the Midwest. The newest research, which compared women in Illinois farm towns to women in Vermont, adds to the growing scientific evidence linking atrazine to altered hormones."

Source: EHN, 11/28/2011
November 30, 2011

TSCA Reform Series: Risk Management

This webinar, convened by the Environmental Law Institute, will examine reform of EPA authorities to control the sale, distribution, releases and use of chemicals. Topics to be addressed include: standard of proof; the role of cost/benefit analysis; private firm obligations; approaches to new technologies such as nanotech; and role of downstream users of chemicals.


Trouble in Toyland: "Pointlessly Dangerous Toys, 2011 Edition"

"Toys made with lead and phthalates continue to pose needless risks to U.S. children, according to the annual "Trouble in Toyland" report from U.S. PIRG.  Its findings are worth keeping in mind this holiday season as you shop or unwrap gifts for your kids -- especially for the babies and toddlers most as risk."

Jeff Gelles reports for the Philadelphia Inquirer November 22, 2011.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/23/2011


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