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California labels e-cigarettes a public health threat
The Washington Post
The California Department of Public Health recently issued a warning about the dangers of e-cigarettes, as states across the country consider new regulations for the booming industry.
In the report, the department urged legislators to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products. The growing popularity of the new devices presents a particular risk to children and teenagers, who increasingly report using them, the department said.
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EU seeks tighter pesticide controls
Chemical & Engineering News
Agricultural chemical companies in Europe are being buffeted by a series of initiatives to substitute — or reduce the use of—many pesticides applied in the region.
Experts representing the E.U.’s member states want to investigate restricting the use of 77 pesticide active ingredients that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. The move could affect about 20 percent of all pesticides licensed in Europe.
Obama 2016 budget urges states to cut emissions faster
President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget proposes boosting funding for clean energy by seven percent and a new $4 billion fund to encourage U.S. states to make faster and deeper cuts to emissions from power plants, officials said recently.
Obama's budget also calls for the permanent extension of the Production Tax Credit, used by the wind industry and the Investment Tax Credit, used by the solar industry, the officials said.
Monsanto's newest genetically modified crops may create more problems than they solve
The latest in a new generation of genetically engineered crops is poised to enter widespread use — and critics think they’ll cause more problems than they solve.
Proponents of the new cotton and soybean varieties, engineered by Monsanto to tolerate spraying with multiple herbicides, say they’re a much-needed tool. “These weed management solutions will provide farmers with more consistent, flexible control of tough-to-manage broadleaf weeds,” said Monsanto in a press release issued after the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the crops for use last month.
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Eating organic produce can limit pesticide exposure
People who eat organic produce may have lower levels of some pesticides in their bodies than people who eat similar amounts of conventionally grown fruits and veggies, according to a new study.
The study is among the first to predict adult exposures to organophosphate pesticides based on people's usual diets, the researchers said. Organophosphates are the pesticides commonly used on conventionally grown produce.
Fake dolls laced with toxic chemicals?
Manila Standard Today
Fake “Frozen” dolls Anna and Elsa may be tainted with hazardous chemicals, which make them unsafe to play, warned the EcoWaste Coalition, a staunch advocate for “kid-safe toys for zero harm and zero waste.”
Thony Dizon, coordinator of the group’s Project Protect, said young girls may have received the dolls, inspired by the highest-grossing animated film "Frozen."
Hear how politics beat science on chemical research
The Center for Public Integrity
As the Center and Reveal reported recently, assessments of potentially dangerous chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency are at a standstill.
Their reporter David Heath sat down with Reveal, a new public radio show from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, to talk about where this impasse comes from, and how the Obama administration has fallen short on the issue.
Energizer debuts recycled AA and AAA batteries
The Associated Press via The Pueblo Chieftain
Billions of discarded household batteries make their way into landfills every year and now one of the nation’s largest battery makers says it is putting some of them to good use.
Suburban St. Louis-based Energizer Holdings recently introduced Energizer EcoAdvanced, described as the first disposable AA and AAA alkaline batteries made with recycled batteries.
Study raises concerns about thirdhand smoke
GreenSpace via The Inquirer
Uh-oh. The kids will be home soon. I'd better have my last cigarette so the air will clear out by the time they get here.
That familiar scenario is one that health professionals are growing more concerned about because evidence of ill effects from thirdhand smoke - the residue that clings to carpets, curtains, couches, clothing and even dust particles - is mounting. When you walk into a room several hours after someone has had a cigarette in there and can still smell it, that's thirdhand smoke.
Tracking alternative flame retardants: Hand-to-mouth exposures in adults
Environmental Health Perspectives
Since polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants were withdrawn from use in polyurethane foam padding, alternatives including tris phosphate and triphenyl phosphate are now used in consumer goods including furniture, automobiles, carpet padding and baby products. Like PBDEs, these replacement compounds have been widely found in dust samples from homes, offices and vehicle interiors. A new study examines whether they also resemble PBDEs in another way: the routes by which people are exposed.
Recycling and waste-reduction: US food and beverage companies come up 'significantly short'
International Business Times
Sit down at a Starbucks coffee shop, and chances are your tall nonfat latte will come in a disposable paper cup, not a reusable mug. Order a salad at McDonald’s, and your leafy greens will likely arrive in a nonrecyclable black plastic container. Despite years of well-touted sustainability efforts, U.S. fast-food chains continue to send millions of pounds of packaging straight to the landfill — not recycling plants, a new report by major environmental groups found.
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