Archives for the day of: October 13, 2010

From the Great Lakes Echo: Can from Wisconsin home is believed to set record for highest level of BPA found in U.S.:

When a coalition of public health and environmental organizations recently had 50 cans of food or beverages analyzed, they discovered what they believe to be the highest levels of Bisphenol A ever found in the US: from a home pantry in Wisconsin. . . . The can of DelMonte French Style Green Beans contained 1,140 parts per billion of BPA, a chemical often used in plastic baby bottles, water bottles, dental fillings, printer inks, receipt paper and as a lining inside cans to prevent rusting. . . .

Forty-five other cans, or 92 percent of the sample, also tested positive for the chemical thought by some scientists to cause diabetes, neurological disorders, cancer, obesity and thyroid disorders in humans.

“It is generally understood that nearly the entire canning industry uses BPA in the lining of cans, so the findings were not surprising,” said Bobbi Chase Wilding, lead author the report.

Some organizations don’t agree that the BPA used widely is harmful. The North American Metal Packaging Alliance said the study does consumers a “grave disservice.” According to the chairman of the alliance, BPA-based coatings for metal packaging such as cans actually keep consumers safe.

Read more here.  

Reuters Health:Prenatal arsenic exposure quintuples infant death risk – Babies born to mothers with high levels of arsenic exposure are five times more likely to die before their first birthday than infants whose mothers had the least exposure to the toxic mineral, new research shows. “We observed clear evidence of an association between arsenic exposure and infant mortality,” Dr. Anisur Rahman of Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden and colleagues state in the November issue of Epidemiology. And the fact that death risk increased as exposure rose, they add, “is supportive of a causal relationship.” The study was conducted in Bangladesh, where millions of tube wells dug 30 years ago to improve the country’s water supply are now known to be contaminated with naturally occurring arsenic. Read more here.

Der Spiegel: The traveling salesmen of climate skepticism – A handful of US scientists have made names for themselves by casting doubt on global warming research. In the past, the same people have also downplayed the dangers of passive smoking, acid rain and the ozone hole. In all cases, the tactics are the same: Spread doubt and claim it’s too soon to take action. . . . [Fred] Singer is one of the most influential deniers of climate change worldwide. In his world, respected climatologists are vilified as liars, people who are masquerading as environmentalists while, in reality, having only one goal in mind: to introduce socialism. Singer wants to save the world from this horror. For some, the fact that he made a name for himself as a brilliant atmospheric physicist after World War II lends weight to his words. Read more here.

Los Angeles Times: Our modern-day environment is loaded with man-made chemicals – We breath car exhaust, gasoline fumes and secondhand smoke, and we eat food laced with pesticides and plasticizers and cooked in pans with nonstick coatings. We use cosmetics on our skin, cleaning products in our houses and lawn products in our yards. We decorate our homes and clothe our kids with flame-retardant fabrics. And we drink municipal water that contains traces of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. What’s the health fallout of this? In some cases, such as those for lead and mercury, the effects of environmental chemicals are clear. Not so much for others, such as bisphenol A and flame retardants. Read more here.

Houston Chronicle: Houston’s cleaner air may not be enough – Houston, once the nation’s most prodigious smog factory, is making gains in cleaning up its polluted air, but not nearly enough for people to breathe safely.The improvements come after a decades-long clampdown on pollution from oil refineries, power and chemical plants and automobiles — and years ahead of the state’s forecasts for compliance. But the surprising results won’t be celebrated for long because of a new push by the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten the smog standard. Later this month, the agency will set a stricter limit that reflects what scientists say is needed to protect public health. Read more here.

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