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Reformed Chemical Safety Law Doesn’t Eliminate Need for Public Vigilance – June 23, 2016

First update in 40 years to key law regulating chemicals in the US greeted with cautious optimism

At a White House ceremony yesterday, President Obama signed into law legislation updating the United States’ main chemical safety law for the first time in 40 years. The new law revises the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA), which gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to regulate the tens of thousands of chemicals used commercially in the US.

view of a child's legs and a plastic toy she's draggingPhoto by soikkoratamo/FlickrThe new Toxic Substances Control Act will not interfere with state-level chemical regulations or actions that were in place as of April 22, 2016, inclding laws in Massachusetts and New York state laws… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Flame Retardant Exposure Poses A Significant Health Risk to Women – May 24, 2016

New research links exposure to these toxic chemicals to thyroid problems, especially in post-menopausal women

Exposure to flame retardant chemicals has become nearly ubiquitous in the United States thanks to fire safety standards that, until recently, could rarely be met without their use. This has meant that furniture foams, mattress and carpet padding, and numerous other consumer products and building materials are loaded up with flame retardants. Now a new study published in the journal Environmental Health suggests that exposure to one of the most widely used class of flame retardants, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers or  PBDEs, may increase the risk of thyroid hormone problems for women, especially post-menopausal women.

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by: Elizabeth Grossman

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“Epidemic” of Premature Births is Increasingly Linked to Air Pollution – March 29, 2016

16,000 preterm births a year are linked to fine particulate pollution, costing the US $4.33 billion annually

One in 10 babies in the United States is born prematurely, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm birth is the leading cause of death for children under five and is linked to numerous health problems that persist throughout life. Many factors can contribute to preterm birth but air pollution – particularly fine particulate pollution – is increasingly being linked to the incidence of premature birth in the US and elsewhere around the world. According to a study published today in Environmental Health Perspectives, the annual economic costs of the nearly 16,000 premature births linked to air pollution in the US each year has reached $4.33 billion.

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by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Switching Cosmetics Can Help Teens Reduce Exposure to Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals – March 7, 2016

Using off-the-shelf products labeled free of these chemicals for even three days can lead to a big drop in exposure levels, study shows

Using cosmetics and personal care products that don’t contain certain hormone-disrupting ingredients for only three days, women can significantly reduce their exposure to these chemicals, according to a study published today in Environmental Health Perspectives.

close up of lipstick and eyeshadow displayPhoto by Envios/FlickrFour well-known endocrine disrupters — phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone — are widely used in personal care products and cosmetics. The FDA doesn’t test cosmetics ingredients before they reach store shelves. A new bill is seeking to change that.

The study by researchers at the University of California Berkeley, California Department of Public Health, and Clinica de Salud del… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Science Used to Regulate Roundup is Outdated, Says New Study – February 17, 2016

Environmental health scientists call for expanded research and monitoring of world’s most widely used herbicide

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is now the world’s most widely used weed-killer. First sold to farmers in 1974, its use has increased approximately 100-fold since. Nearly all the corn and soy grown in the United States is now glyphosate-tolerant and treated with the herbicide. The weed-killer is also used on numerous other food crops and on landscaping plants. Enough glyphosate is now used to cover nearly every acre of cultivated cropland in the US. The chemical has been found in streams, wastewater, and in rainwater samples taken from all across the country.

a field being sprayed with herbicidePhoto by… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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