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Cashing in on Disaster – May 5, 2010

photo of an aircraft spraying a pink-colored fog over a seascape. an industrial ship and some oil platforms are evident

As oil continues to flow unabated from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico at what’s estimated to be a rate of at least 210,000 gallons a day, a suite of extraordinary measures are being deployed to both staunch and mitigate the underwater gusher. While much attention has been paid to BP’s efforts to build an oil collection dome and drill a relief well (estimated to take 90 days to complete), far less has been said about the chemical solution… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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In Praise of Backyard Hens’ Eggs – September 9, 2009

A late summer diversion

This may seem incredible and laughable to those with more rural experience, but as a lifelong city dweller – a third-generation native of New York City – who grew up and spent much of her life living in small Manhattan apartments, I tasted home raised eggs for this first time this summer. A gift from a friend who raises chickens in her backyard in southeast Portland, Oregon, where I now live, the eggs were not only delicious but beautiful. Pale creamy browns, deep russet with red speckles, and light watery aqua blue green. Unlike store-bought eggs, the size of eggs in the dozen varied from very large to smaller… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Give us a piece of your mind! – June 29, 2009

The CDC begins its National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures

“What you are hearing is pent up frustration at the lack of action from the most impacted communities,” said Robert Bullard professor of sociology at Clark Atlanta University, on Friday morning June 26th at what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and its Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) billed as the kick-off event for what the agency is calling a National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures. This process – designed to involve governmental and non-governmental policy makers, scientists, and concerned citizens – is intended to improve how the U.S. federal government protects its citizens from exposure hazardous chemicals “This is a disaster,… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Don’t Lick Your Lips – June 3, 2009

Is lead in lipstick okay?

In October 2007, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics caused a stir with its release of test results for 33 brands of lipstick that revealed that 61 percent of all those tested contained measurable levels of lead and that about a third of those 33 – bright red shades were the worst offenders – contained lead at levels above 0.1 ppm (parts per million), higher than the level of lead the U.S. FDA allows in candy. Release of the report prompted Senators Barabara Boxer, Diane Feinstein and John Kerry to request that the FDA conduct comparable tests. Some eighteen months later, the FDA has not released results of its testing… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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Shrinking Bigfoot – April 22, 2009

The Carbon Calculus – What Counts?

“Eliminate Newspapers, Save the Planet?” ran the headline on The New York Times “Green, Inc.” blog reporting on the Marriott hotel group’s decision to discontinue automatic newspaper delivery to hotel guests – a move that, according to Marriott, will cut out some 13 million newspapers and save 10,350 tons of carbon emissions annually.

This is nearly equivalent to the carbon generated by 2000 average U.S. vehicles in a year – a significant carbon savings – but was this move, I wondered, truly motivated by a desire to be “green,” a cost-cutting measure or simply yet… more

by: Elizabeth Grossman

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