Health
What’s Really in Our Sunscreen? Human and Environmental Health Risks Prompt More Oversight

What’s Really in Our Sunscreen? Human and Environmental Health Risks Prompt More Oversight

New research from the FDA has shown that 7 chemicals traditionally found in chemical (vs mineral) sunscreen enter the human bloodstream at levels that exceed safety thresholds. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the arm of the FDA which conducted the studies explained that just because an ingredient enters […]

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Coronavirus Tied to a “Wet” Market in Wuhan, China

Coronavirus Tied to a “Wet” Market in Wuhan, China

The investigation into the origin of the scary, new virus that just made it to the U.S. is now centered on a “wet” market in China where Bloomberg News reports that the government is focusing on the sale of freshly slaughtered, unpackaged meat.  They have closed the market for now.

Why This Matters:  Ironically, it is the crackdown on the illegal trade in endangered species that helped to make wet markets less “exotic” and thus avoid a repeat of the SARS virus of twenty years ago.

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The Key To Air Pollution’s Harms and Our Defenses May Be In Our Genes

The Key To Air Pollution’s Harms and Our Defenses May Be In Our Genes

We know air pollution is bad for our lungs, but researchers are now finding connections between breathing bad air and disorders such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s diseaseThe New York Times explains in a fascinating article that the reason for these links and similarly the reason why some people are more resilient in the face of air pollution may be found in our genes and in how humans evolved.  

Why This Matters:  Air pollution harms billions of people worldwide — from cars to coal-fired power plants to forest fires — not to mention vaping and cigarette smoking.

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Pigs and Humans Hit Hard With Flu This Year

Pigs and Humans Hit Hard With Flu This Year

The New York Times reported on two flu epidemics in the last week — one impacting humans and the other pigs — and both are causing worse problems than expected.  According to the Times, in the last year one-fourth of the world’s pig population died last year because the “African swine fever” epidemic swept through […]

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Trump’s Own Advisors Say Rule Rollbacks Buck Established Science

Trump’s Own Advisors Say Rule Rollbacks Buck Established Science

The Science Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency, in a notice they buried with a New Year’s Eve publication, took issue with four significant rule rollbacks —  the Trump administration’s rewrite of an Obama’s definition of which waterways can be regulated, Obama’s clean car rule on tailpipe emissions, a proposal to weaken an Obama rule on toxic air pollutants including mercury, and a new regulation to limit scientific data that can be used to draft health regulations — saying that these rules “neglect established science” or contain “significant weaknesses in the scientific analysis.

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New Study Finds Toxic PFAS in Rainwater Across the U.S.

New Study Finds Toxic PFAS in Rainwater Across the U.S.

We have reported in ODP about widespread PFAS contamination in lakesrivers and groundwater reserves across the country, but this study shows that PFAS is also found in rainwater, according to The Guardian, and the likely sources are direct industrial emissions and evaporation from PFAS-laden fire-fighting foams.

Why This Matters:  PFAS has been shown to cause serious health issues such as cancer, and the immune system and thyroid problems.

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Extreme Heat Threatens Babies In Utero

Extreme Heat Threatens Babies In Utero

Just a couple of weeks ago we wrote about a study that revealed that a child born today will experience a world that is more than 4˚C warmer by the time they turn 71 years old, which will threaten their health at every stage of their life. Now, a new study shows that climate change […]

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Don’t Let Food Contamination Spoil Your Thanksgiving

Don’t Let Food Contamination Spoil Your Thanksgiving

CNN reported that dozens of people have fallen ill across more than 15 states from food contamination in recent days.  Keep reading for the products to avoid — especially lettuce in pre-packaged bags and romaine lettuce from Salinas, California.

Why This Matters:  No one wants to have Thanksgiving ruined by foodborne illnesses that are preventable if you get the warning.    So watch closely for any warnings and food recall notices that the government puts out.

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Mark Ruffalo Uses Star Power to Push For Passage of PFAS Legislation

Yesterday, in a tour-de-force of star power, the actor and activist Mark Ruffalo crisscrossed Washington. D.C. — from a Washington Post Live event, to a Capitol Hill press conference, to testifying at a House hearing answering questions from Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, to a screening of his new film “Dark Waters” at the Motion Picture Association –– all to make the point that it is high time for the government to act to keep the public safe from a little-known but ubiquitous toxin called PFAS (also known as “Forever Chemicals” because they never break down) that can now be found in the bloodstream of 99% of all Americans

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Climate Change Risks the Lifelong Health of All Kids Alive Today

Climate Change Risks the Lifelong Health of All Kids Alive Today

According to the Lancet’s 2019 Countdown report, the worst effects of climate change will fall to the youngest, and most dire for them lie ahead.

Bottom Line: Children alive today stand to experience significant public health risks unless we take drastic action on climate change.

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Limit Science By Requiring “Transparency” — EPA’s New Strategy

Limit Science By Requiring “Transparency” — EPA’s New Strategy

The New York Times reported on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to issue a new draft of a controversial rule they floated once before, but have now expanded, that would request raw data for nearly every study the EPA considers in preparing regulatory rulemakings, including confidential medical records.

Why This Matters: Scientists and public health groups believe that this proposal will not increase the reliability and public accountability of the rulemaking process.  Instead, this rule will make it more difficult to enact new clean air and water rules because many studies linking pollution to health problems rely on patient information provided under confidentiality agreements. 

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J & J Pulls 33,000 Bottles of Baby Powder After Asbestos Traces Are Found in Testing

J & J Pulls 33,000 Bottles of Baby Powder After Asbestos Traces Are Found in Testing

Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the makers of baby powder and many other baby and beauty products, was forced to recall 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the Food and Drug Administration found trace amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.  The recall caused retailers like Target and CVS Drug Stores to remove all 22 oz J&J baby powder products from their shelves, even those not covered by the recall, and stock prices for the company took a hit.

Why This Matters:  J&J has maintained that its powder products do not contain asbestos — but now that the government testing revealed traces of asbestos, the company is at even greater risk of losing the public’s trust.

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