Salinas Californian: Pesticide used in Monterey County subject of requested EPA ban.

A Salinas study that shows the common pesticide chlorpyrifos causes lasting harm to fetuses could bolster an effort by environment and farm workers advocates to get the chemical banned. More than 13,000 doctors, scientists, advocacy groups and individuals sent a letter to the federal Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month requesting an end to the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. In Monterey County, chlorpyrifos is sprayed on broccoli, cauliflower and wine grapes. According to data collected in 2008 by the California Pesticide Regulation board, 47,000 acres of Monterey County lands were treated with this chemical, and Monterey ranked seventh of all counties for use of chlorpyrifos. Read more here.

Canadian Press: Chemicals survive waste treatment to be released into environment, study shows.

Chemicals in household drugs and cleaning products routinely survive waste treatment and are released into the environment, where little is known about their effects on land, water and human health, according to a government-funded study. “What are really needed are risk assessments,” said Hugh Monteith, a research consultant who conducted the recently released study for the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. “The whole ecosystem needs to be assessed for the effects of the materials that are present in here.” Read more here.

Reuters: Traffic pollution tied to increased emphysema risk.

People who spend years living near high-traffic roadways may be more likely to develop emphysema and related lung problems than those who live in less-traveled areas, a new study suggests.Research has shown that air pollution can exacerbate symptoms in people with lung diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of serious lung conditions that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. But whether long-term exposure to pollution affects the odds of developing COPD in the first place has been unclear. In the new study, researchers found that among nearly 53,000 Danish adults followed for up to 35 years, those estimated to have the greatest cumulative exposure to traffic pollution were more likely to develop COPD than those with the least exposure. Read more here.