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Kids' car seat tests reveal chemicals
August 3rd, 2011
12:34 PM ET

Kids' car seat tests reveal chemicals

More than half of 2011 model children’s car seats contain one or more potentially hazardous chemicals, but the seats fared far better than previous years, healthystuff.org found.

Healthystuff.org, a project of the environmental non-profit The Ecology Center, found “chemicals of concern” in 60% of the more than 150 seats tested, including brominated flame retardants, arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury.

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June 13th, 2011
06:30 AM ET

Apples top 2011 'dirty dozen' list, says group

Apples are the most chemically contaminated produce, says a new report by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit focused on public health.

The report suggests buying organic apples instead of conventional, and names other fruits and vegetables that rank highest in pesticides. Organic produce is grown using materials of plant or animal origin, instead of chemicals. On the "dirty dozen" list are:

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Formaldehyde among substances added to cancer list
June 13th, 2011
06:01 AM ET

Formaldehyde among substances added to cancer list

Formaldehyde, a chemical used in embalming fluid and in consumer products is known to cause cancer, according to a new report from the federal government.

The 12th Report on Carcinogens, released Friday by the National Toxicology Program, officially added the chemical and several others to the list of substances known to cause cancer.

The move comes after years of delays prompted by critics, including the chemical industry, who say the studies used to establish the link to cancer are not based on science.
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Scientists warn of chemical-autism link
June 7th, 2011
06:43 PM ET

Scientists warn of chemical-autism link

Autism and environmental health experts called for greater scrutiny of chemicals found in the environment, which could potentially lead to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, in a conference call Tuesday.

"We live, breathe and start our families in the presence of toxic chemical mixtures and constant low-level toxic exposures, in stark contrast to the way chemicals are tested for safety," said Donna Ferullo, Director of Program Research at The Autism Society.

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EPA proposes new standards for PVC plants
April 25th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

EPA proposes new standards for PVC plants

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed stronger air emissions standards for polyvinyl chloride production facilities in an effort to improve the air quality and health in communities nearby.

The standards would require these plants to reduce emissions of such potentially carcinogenic chemicals as vinyl chloride and dioxin.

“In particular, children are known to be more sensitive to the cancer risks posed by inhaling vinyl chloride,” the EPA said in a news release announcing the proposed standards.

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In defense of crunch:  What we use (and don’t)
January 28th, 2011
09:29 AM ET

In defense of crunch: What we use (and don’t)

Last week, writer, cancer survivor and mother of two young children,  Amanda Enayati wrote about pursuing a healthy life for her family by cutting excessive sugars, bad fats, dyes, preservatives and pesticides from their diet. Today she tells of reducing her household's "toxic burden."

“Crunchy” is what we used to call our handful of friends who seemed to live on the outer edges of reality when it came to healthy foods and personal products. We loved our friends, of course, tolerated their quirks, but mostly passed on using their homemade patchouli bath products or eating their tofu scramble served on a bed of raw zucchini noodles.

In the days when I first began considering how to lower my family’s household toxic burden, I thought of my crunchy friends often—how I had once found them so extreme, so eccentric, perhaps even rolled my eyes inwardly at some of their practices. But here I was all these years later, knee-deep in scientific journals, and suddenly the Mad Hatter seemed … not so mad.

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Filed under: Children's Health • Toxic America

Study finds bisphenol A on money
December 8th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Study finds bisphenol A on money

A new report says Bisphenol A (BPA), the controversial hormone disrupting chemical widely used in plastics, is turning up in an unlikely place–the money in your wallet.

Researchers suggest that BPA is rubbing off cashier receipts and onto bills, according to a report titled "On The Money: BPA on Dollar Bills and Receipts," published by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, and the Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC).

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Study: Flame retardant found in small butter sample
December 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Study: Flame retardant found in small butter sample

A stick of butter purchased at a Dallas grocery story contained high levels of a flame retardant used in electronics, according to environmental scientists at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

The butter was contaminated with a chemical called polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of U.S. butter contaminated with PBDEs," said lead research Arnold Schecter, whose study was published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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BPA may reduce sperm count
October 28th, 2010
03:01 AM ET

BPA may reduce sperm count



Exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial chemical found in hard, clear plastics, is thought to increase the risk of birth defects, early puberty, obesity, brain damage, and some forms of cancer.

Add another potential problem to the list: A new study of Chinese factory workers suggests that very high levels of BPA exposure may decrease sperm count and contribute to other sperm-related problems in men.

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Gupta: Chemicals around us – we must know more
October 26th, 2010
06:33 AM ET

Gupta: Chemicals around us – we must know more

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

This morning, I will be testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. When I received the call to do this, truthfully, I was a little nervous. The topic is “Risks of toxic chemicals to children’s health,” something I have been interested in for a long time, and moreso after having three kids of my own. In fact, for the last year, I investigated the interplay between toxic chemicals and human health for a pair of documentaries on CNN.

I learned more than a series of text books could’ve taught me. I spent time with citizens in Mossville, Louisiana, arguably one of the most toxic cities in America. For countless hours, I spoke to government officials and private sector expert scientists both on and off camera. And, I looked carefully at the research about the toxics we live with everyday. The most eye-opening part was how much we don’t know.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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