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June 11, 2014 | NBC News (New York)
Banned Pesticides, Toxic Metals Found Near Long Island Homes for Veterans, USA
Authorities probing several toxic material dump sites on Long Island said Tuesday that soil samples at a row of newly built homes for war veterans were contaminated with banned pesticides, hazardous metals and petroleum byproducts. The homes, on Veterans Way in Islandia, initially tested negative for asbestos, but Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said a new round of tests came back positive for the pesticides DDT and chlordane, petroleum byproducts and above-average levels several metals including cobalt, zinc, iron and lead.
June 10, 2014 | EnvironmentalHealthNews.org
Infants exposed to 'potentially harmful' chemicals in vinyl
Most babies born prematurely and one-third of full-term infants are exposed to chemicals found in vinyl “at a potentially harmful level,” according to new research in Finland. The study of 125 babies from the day they were born to 14 months old is the first comprehensive examination of infants’ exposure to several phthalates. The chemicals, considered hormone disruptors, have been linked to health effects in animal tests and some human studies, including altered male genitalia, attention and learning problems and asthma. The sources of the phthalates in the babies are unknown. But some researchers suspect that they came from hospital equipment or household materials.
June 10, 2014 | EnvironmentalHealthNews.org
US FDA, EPA advise pregnant women, children to eat more low-mercury fish
Federal officials on Tuesday announced major changes in advice to pregnant and breastfeeding women by recommending consumption of at least 8 ounces of low-mercury fish per week. It is the first time that the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration have issued recommendations on the minimum amount of fish that pregnant women and children should eat. The previous advisory, issued in 2004, included only maximum amounts to protect their fetuses and young children from mercury, which can harm developing brains and reduce IQs.
June 8, 2014 | BBC News
Air pollution needs more monitoring, says UK trade union
Councils must work to improve the monitoring of urban air quality after research suggested some UK workers were being exposed to "dangerous" pollution levels. Street cleaners and parking staff were among those most at risk.
June 5, 2014 | Asia News Network
China's big cities struggle to meet pollution standards
Most major Chinese cities continue to suffer heavy air pollution, but cleanup efforts are showing signs of progress, the country's environmental watchdog said on Wednesday. Only 3 out of 74 cities that adopted revised air quality standards made the mark last year, Li Ganjie, vice-minister of environmental protection, said during the release of the 2013 Report on the State of the Environment in China. The measurements are based on the intensity of pollution factors like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, PM10, PM2.5, carbon monoxide and ozone.
June 5, 2014 | UNEP News Centre
Sea-Level Rise in Small Island Nations - Up to Four Times the Global Average - to Cost US$ Trillions in Annual Economic Loss and Impede Future Development: Shift to Green Policies and Investment Critical
Climate change-induced sea-level rise in the world's 52 small island nations - estimated to be up to four times the global average - continues to be the most pressing threat to their environment and socio-economic development with annual losses at the trillions of dollars due to increased vulnerability. An immediate shift in policies and investment towards renewable energy and green economic growth is required to avoid exacerbating these impacts, says a new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
June 4, 2014 | BBC News
Pollution link to irregular heartbeat and lung clotting
Air pollution is linked to increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lung, research suggests. The impact of air pollution on the risk of heart attack and stroke is less clear, say UK experts. Analysis of data from England and Wales shows air pollution is particularly harmful in the elderly.
June 4, 2014 | EnvironmentalHealthNews.org
Moms' lead exposure could affect newborns' brains
Pregnant women exposed to lead had newborns who scored slightly lower on tests measuring reflexes and other skills tied to brain development, according to a new study from China. Scientists already have documented that low levels of lead can reduce children’s IQs and cause other neurological effects. But the new study is one of few to find that babies in the womb also could be affected, especially if exposed during the first trimester.
May 30, 2014 | New York Times
How a Carbon Market Works
Governments around the world are experimenting with issuing permits that allow industries to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, then restricting those permits to rein in carbon emissions.
May 26, 2014 | New York Times
China to Take 5 Million Cars Off the Road
China plans to take more than 5 million aging vehicles off the roads this year in a bid to improve air quality, with 330,000 cars set to be decommissioned in Beijing alone. Pollution has emerged as an urgent priority for China’s leaders as they try to reverse the damage done by decades of breakneck economic growth and head off public anger about the sorry state of the nation’s air, water and soil. In a wide-ranging action plan to cut emissions over the next two years, the Chinese cabinet, the State Council, said the country had already fallen behind in its pollution targets from 2011 to 2013 and was now having to step up its efforts. As many as 5.33 million so-called yellow label vehicles that fail to meet fuel standards will be eliminated this year.
May 23, 2014 | UNEP News Centre
Bangladesh Uncovers the Crippling Cost of Climate Change Adaptation
With a population of 140 million, Bangladesh is one of the world's most populated countries. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country's history but they have intensified in recent years. As a result of the long exposure to these hazards, Bangladesh is a world leader in adaptation strategies but this has come with a heavy price tag. To find out exactly how much tax payers' money has been absorbed by efforts to tackle the effects of climate change, the Ministry of Finance has been working with the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative to launch its first comprehensive climate change accounting system. The results of the financial review were telling.
May 20, 2014 | Asia News Network
Sports brands found using toxic chemicals in shoes, clothes
Soccer wear and shoes from three international sports brands, all of whom are major producers of apparel for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, were found to contain toxic chemicals, according to a report issued by Greenpeace on Monday. In its report, the environmental organisation said it bought sporting goods from Nike, Adidas and Puma in 16 countries and regions across the world and conducted tests on them from March to May. It found that 81 percent of the three brands' soccer shoes and 35 percent of their soccer performance shirts had chemical residues, including plasticiser and perfluorinated compounds. Among the tested products, the perfluorooctanoic acid index of an Adidas soccer boot named Predator had more than 15 times the standard amount of the acid, the report said.
May 14, 2014 | UNEP News Centre
Tajikistan Green Investment in the Agricultural Sector helps realign its pathway to Sustainable Development
In Tajikistan, agriculture provides the backbone of the economy and supports the livelihoods of two-thirds of rural communities. Yet the steep terrain that characterizes the country means that only 7 per cent of land is suitable for farming. As pressure on available land has mounted, so too have unsustainable agricultural practices, leading to depleted soils, deforestation and waning productivity. These challenges have been further exacerbated by climate change. In light of the growing pressures on the country's natural resource base and the subsequent squeeze increasingly felt by its poorest communities, the government of Tajikistan has decided to realign its national development plan to tackle the duel challenge of environmental protection and poverty alleviation. Evidence of this can be seen in the northern region of Sughd, where the government has worked with communities and regional policy makers to showcase the need for poverty alleviation investments that help, not hamper, environmental protection. The project in Sughd was designed to convince national policy makers that investments in poverty alleviation would be more effective in the long run if they also bolster a healthy and stable environment.
May 6, 2014 | Asia News Network
Anti-haze bill 'to be tabled later this year': Singapore minister
A bill that penalises those responsible for causing transboundary haze will be tabled in Parliament by the second half of this year, Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said.According to the draft legislation, firms that have fires on land they own or manage that cause haze over Singapore can be deemed to have committed an offence, and fined up to S$300,000 (US$239,923). Those affected by the haze can also take up civil suits against these companies, whose representatives could be served notice when they enter Singapore. The proposed law comes after Singapore - and Southeast Asia - experienced record levels of pollution caused by forest fires in Riau last June.
February 19, 2014 | The Globe and Mail, Canada
Scientists raise concerns over chemicals leaching into food from packaging
No one in their right mind would knowingly drink formaldehyde – but that’s the risk consumers take when they gulp down fizzy drinks sold in plastic containers, according to a report published Wednesday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Although formaldehyde is not used to make plastic bottles, it is a byproduct of the manufacturing process, the authors wrote. Trace amounts of it leach into drinks, said lead author Dr. Jane Muncke, manager of the Food Packaging Forum Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland. Muncke noted that formaldehyde is just one of 6,500 chemicals found in food manufacturing materials.

Older News
December 26, 2013 | ColomboPage
Indian Coast Guard training mission in Sri Lanka demonstrates pollution response exercises, Sri Lanka
Dec 25, Colombo: The two Indian Coast Guard ships visiting Sri Lanka on a training mission are now docked at the Colombo Port after participating in the trilateral exercise in Trincomalee last week...
December 26, 2013 | Bangkok Post
Pollution dept to act on hotspots, Thailand
Three industrial pollution hotspots in Chachoengsao and Prachin Buri provinces in the East, and Loei province in the Northeast are worrying the Pollution Control Department (PCD)...
December 26, 2013 | China Economic Review
China struggling to meet pollution goals, China
A report submitted on Wednesday to the Chinese government said faster-than-expected economic growth was to blame for China's struggle to meet its 2011-2015 environmental targets, Reuters reported...
December 25, 2013 | San Jose Mercury News
Home gas ranges produce toxic gases, Lawrence Berkeley Lab study says, Hong Kong
Air pollution isn't just an outdoor problem. Unhealthy fumes may be emitted inside your own home if you're cooking over an unvented gas stove...
December 25, 2013 | China.org.cn
Pollution for Shanghai's Christmas, China
Heavily polluted air is expected to greet Christmas today with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center forecasting an air quality index of between 220 and 240...
December 25, 2013 | Radio Zamaneh
Pollution forces school closures, class cancellations in Tehran, Iran
The Tehran Air Pollution Committee announced on Monday night that all elementary schools, kindergartens and daycares in Tehran and Shar-e Rey will be closed due to the extreme decline in air quality...
December 25, 2013 | Shanghai Daily
Pollution for city’s Christmas, China
Heavily polluted air is expected to greet Christmas today with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center forecasting an air quality index of between 220 and 240...
December 24, 2013 | China Daily
Three detained in toxic parcel investigation, China
Three people have been detained by police in Shandong province in a case in which one man was killed and nine other people were made ill by parcels contaminated by toxic chemicals...
December 24, 2013 | The Canadian Press
E-cigarettes take social scene by storm; pose headaches for regulators, Canada
TORONTO - You may not have known what an e-cigarette was at the start of 2013. But chances are, you do now...
December 24, 2013 | InsideClimate News
In 2013, Exxon Spill Showed Dangers of Pipelines Buried Under Backyards
The Arkansas spill shone a spotlight on the dangers hiding in existing pipelines. It also reignited the debate over the proposed Keystone XL...