April 18, 2005

New Hand-held Information System for Emergency Responders

(Bethesda, Md.)--The National Library of Medicine (NLM), a component of the National Institutes of Health, has announced the release of a PDA software tool designed to help first responders when they arrive at a hazardous material (Hazmat) incident, such as a chemical spill.

WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) provides the emergency responder with critical information on hazardous substances, including physical characteristics, human health data, and containment and suppression information. Employing the unique characteristics of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), WISER is customized for easy navigation and quick access to key information required by first responders. To aid decision making, users can specify the role they are currently performing at the scene of an incident, and WISER organizes the critical information in a sequence most relevant to a first responder on-the-scene, a Hazmat specialist, or an emergency medical specialist (EMS).

Full Press Release:

January 28, 2005

Cancer risk grows for smokers' kids

Glasgow Evening Times
Children exposed to passive smoking face more than triple the risk of lung cancer in later life compared to youngsters who live in smoke-free environments, research revealed today.


January 22, 2005

Bush Administration's air proposals could endanger public health

Published on 21-Jan-2005

An interim report by the National Research Council proves that the Bush Administration's proposed Clean Air Act revisions take undue risks with public health, according to grassroots organisation, Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America).

"The report states that, over time, existing rules would provide more stringent emissions reductions than the Administration's new Clear Skies proposal could," REP America's policy director Jim DiPeso stated.

Read more...edie newsroom

January 13, 2005

EPA says C8 could pose potential health risk

From local and wire reports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's announcement that the chemical used to make Teflon is considered a health risk is being met with resignation by some and with concern by others.
The EPA on Wednesday said exposure to even low levels of perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA or the chemical trade name of C-8, could pose "a potential risk of developmental and other adverse effects."

Officials emphasized their draft risk assessment was not conclusive.

The issue is important to many in the area because the chemical is used at DuPont's Washington, W.Va., Works plant near Parkersburg and has been found in several area water systems. The chemical was also the subject of a civil suit, which was settled last fall for $343 million.

Read more...Marietta Times

January 12, 2005

Toxic ‘perchlorate’ not so toxic, says NAS report

Posted on : 2005-01-11| Author : Pat Fryer
News Category : Health

A team of scientists from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) have turned the tables in the battle between environmental pressure groups and the US administration. The team presented a report that states that the toxic chemical ‘perchlorate’ is a lot safer than formerly believed.

Perchlorate is a hazardous chemical that was earlier declared as an ‘emerging contaminant’ by the state health department. The chemical is used in rocket fuel and explosives; which is why it can be found in the vicinity of military facilities, in 35 states. In fact, it is found wherever rockets and explosives were ever tested or are being made. There were reports earlier of finding vegetables that showed traces of this toxic chemical. These vegetables were irrigated with water from the Colorado River, which has been contaminated by a Nevada manufacturing facility. In fact, the contamination was found in at least three Colorado sites.


January 5, 2005

Environmental tobacco smoke linked to reading, math, logic and reasoning declines in children

A new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study shows that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, even at extremely low levels, is associated with decreases in certain cognitive skills, including reading, math, and logic and reasoning, in children and adolescents. The study is the largest ever to look at the effects of environmental tobacco smoke on children's health. It is published in the January issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. "This study provides further incentive for states to set public health standards to protect children from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke," says Kimberly Yolton, PhD, a researcher at the Children's Environmental Health Center at Cincinnati Children's and the study's main author.

Read more...Science Blog

January 4, 2005

Air Pollution Tied to Lower Birth Weight

Tue Jan 4, 2005 11:25 AM ET

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Pregnant women who live in areas with high levels of air pollution may give birth to slightly smaller babies, according to U.S. government researchers.

A new study of more than 18,000 full-term infants born in California in 2000 found that a mother's exposure to fine-particle air pollution seemed to make a difference in her baby's birth weight and the infant's risk of being below average in size.

Read more...Reuter's Health

December 11, 2004

Common pesticides may be cause of frog deaths

New research indicates that frequently used pesticides, including types that were once thought to be relatively benign, make be linked to the widespread disappearance of California frog populations. A researcher at California State University, Sacramento has found evidence that frog declines are associated with upwind pesticide use.

Sacramento State environmental studies professor Carlos Davidson says there is a strong association between upwind pesticide use and declines in four frog species: the red-legged frog, the mountain yellow-legged frog, the foothill yellow-legged frog and the Cascades frog. And the declines were most strongly associated with the use of cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides, which include many of today's most heavily used pesticides. Davidson's findings appear in the December issue of the Journal of Ecological Applications.

Science Blog

December 7, 2004

Lead contamination could increase cataracts, blindness risk

Posted 12/7/2004 7:22 PM Updated 12/7/2004 9:56 PM

By Kathleen Fackelmann, USA TODAY
A scientific report released today suggests that older men with high lead concentrations in their bodies have a much higher risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of blindness.
This is the first large study to show that lifetime exposure to lead in the environment might play a role in the formation of cataracts, a clouding of the eye's lens.

The findings suggest that there might be ways to reduce the risk of cataracts, a condition once thought to be an inevitable part of growing older, says Howard Hu, one author of the study. The report appears in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

USA Today

November 17, 2004

Ground-Level Ozone Linked to Increased Mortality

Study Examined Ozone Levels in 95 U.S. Cities

Changes in ground-level ozone were significantly associated with an increase in deaths in many U.S. cities, according to a nationwide study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The risk of death was similar for adults of all ages and slightly higher for people with respiratory or cardiovascular problems. The increase in deaths occurred at ozone levels below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean air standards. The study appears in the November 17, 2004, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.)

John Hopkins: Public Health Newsletter

Ozone and Short-term Mortality in 95 US Urban Communities, 1987-2000
Michelle L. Bell, PhD; Aidan McDermott, PhD; Scott L. Zeger, PhD; Jonathan M. Samet, MD; Francesca Dominici, PhD

JAMA. 2004;292:2372-2378.

Context Ozone has been associated with various adverse health effects, including increased rates of hospital admissions and exacerbation of respiratory illnesses. Although numerous time-series studies have estimated associations between day-to-day variation in ozone levels and mortality counts, results have been inconclusive.

Study links smog increase, urban deaths

Tuesday, November 16, 2004 Posted: 4:00 PM EST (2100 GMT)

CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) -- Increases in air pollution caused by cars, power plants and industry can be directly linked to higher death rates in U.S. cities, a study said Tuesday.

Reducing such ozone pollution by about 35 percent on any given day could save about 4,000 lives a year across the country, researchers at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies said.

The conclusion came from a look at 95 urban areas where about 40 percent of the U.S. population lives, comparing spikes in ozone pollution there with death rates from 1987 to 2000.

CNN Health

November 13, 2004

NIEHS to develop new RNAi library to help fight disease

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is undertaking a $3 million, three-year effort to see how specific genes might contribute to environmentally-related disease. NIEHS will develop a new RNAi library to help fight disease through its National Center for Toxicogenomics. RNAi, or RNA interference, is a new technology which silences specific genes.
RNAi technology "turns off" specific genes so scientists can learn more about how the genes influence the cell. Knowing how a gene responds to a stress allows scientists to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how chemicals and toxins can undermine our health.

October 13, 2004

Global air pollution map produced by Envisat's SCIAMACHY

11 October 2004

Based on 18 months of Envisat observations, this high-resolution global atmospheric map of nitrogen dioxide pollution makes clear just how human activities impact air quality.

ESA's ten-instrument Envisat, the world's largest satellite for environmental monitoring, was launched in February 2002. Its onboard Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument records the spectrum of sunlight shining through the atmosphere. These results are then finely sifted to find spectral absorption 'fingerprints' of trace gases in the air.

Article from the European Space Agency

October 8, 2004

State of the Evidence 2004: What Is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer?

A new report on environmental links to breast cancer concludes that exposure to synthetic chemicals and radiation has contributed more than previously thought to the rising incidence of breast cancer. The report, 'State of the Evidence 2004: What Is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer?' was jointly released today by the Breast Cancer Fund, a non-profit environmental health organization, and Breast Cancer Action, a non-profit national education and advocacy organization. It also offers policy recommendations to help reduce the risk of breast cancer. (Press Release)

September 22, 2004

New Report Ranks 50 Cities Where Dirtiest Air Impacts The Most Kids

Environmental Defense Lays Out Plan To Cut By 80% Key Air Pollution Sources That Trigger Asthma

(20 September 2004 -- New York) A new report from Environmental Defense ranks the top 50 U.S. cities where the worst air pollution impacts the greatest number of kids. The Dangerous Days of Summer report recognizes the serious impact poor air quality has on the health of children, but especially on those with asthma, and lays out a plan to reduce by 80% the most important sources of air pollution that trigger asthma.

"This report is a wake up call. Fighting for clean air in this country means fighting for the millions of kids that struggle to breathe every day because of pollution," said John Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., director of the health program at Environmental Defense. "The good news is that the country can curb the triggers of asthma and ease the burden of other health consequences from air pollution. An urgent first step toward this goal is for EPA to cut the harmful pollution from power plant smokestacks instead of weakening long-standing clean air protections."

Link to press release

September 20, 2004

More information needed Chemicals, cancers and public's health

As medical technology advances, new information about health risks disease becomes common knowledge. Among members of the general public, discussions about disease risk factors and potential links to lifestyles and genetics are common topics.

One item of particular concern is the ongoing debate about potential relationships between cancer risk and substances that people normally come into contact with at home or in the workplace.

Some studies suggest that exposure to chemicals that "mimic" hormones -- including drugs taken in some hormone replacement therapies -- might increase breast or ovarian cancer risk.

Article from

September 13, 2004

Breath of Life

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter
From HealthDayNews

Sept. 13, 2004 — The air in some parts of Southern California is so dirty that it impedes the development of children's lungs.

By the time they are 18, many children who grow up in polluted areas have lungs that are underdeveloped and will likely stay that way into adulthood, claims a study in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Article from: ABC News

August 28, 2004

New tool predicts how long pollutants will stay in soil

Equation could help decide future of land tainted with pesticides, pharmaceuticals
Building on an idea developed by medicinal chemists, Johns Hopkins researchers have devised a new mathematical tool that accurately predicts how long certain pollutants -- including pesticides and pharmaceuticals -- will remain in soil.

The work is timely because researchers and public officials have become increasingly concerned about pharmaceuticals and personal care products that have been detected in soil and water. Environmental engineers are seeking better ways to track these emerging pollutants, which tend to be more complex and water-soluble than previous contaminants of concern, such as chlorinated solvents and petroleum byproducts.

This new modeling approach is important because environmental regulators and cleanup consultants need to know the extent to which hazardous contaminants will linger on a piece of land and the rate at which they will migrate toward critical water resources and supplies. The new approach will help them decide whether the pollutants need to be removed and how best to accomplish this, the researchers say.

Article from Eureka Alert

August 19, 2004

Leukaemia risk for kids living near petrol stops

12:33 19 August 04 news service

Children who live next to a petrol station are four times more likely to develop acute leukaemia than other children in the same area, suggests new research.

The small study, carried out at four sites in France, looked at 280 children with leukaemia and a control group of 285 children, all younger than 15 years. The children’s mothers were given a questionnaire relating to their lifestyle.

The researchers found that children living next door to a petrol station or automotive garage had a quadrupled risk of leukaemia. And the risk of developing acute non-lymphoblastic leukaemia was seven times greater compared with children who lived in the same area, but not next to a petrol station.

Article from

August 12, 2004

Safety of genetically engineered foods report

From the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies website

This report assists policymakers in evaluating the appropriate scientific methods for detecting unintended changes in food and assessing the potential for adverse health effects from genetically modified products. The committee recommended that greater scrutiny should be given to foods containing new compounds or unusual amounts of naturally occurring substances, regardless of the method used to create them.

News bite from: Georgia State University Library Blog: Public Health

FDA approves two drugs to treat radiation exposure

The US FDA has approved two drugs to treat radiation exposure. The injectable drugs could be available on prescription for people who wanted protection before a terrorist attack. The drugs treat americium or curium contamination.

Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford, said "The approval of these two drugs is another example of FDA's readiness and commitment to protecting Americans against all terrorist threats."

Article from Medical News Today

August 3, 2004

Harvard Links Renewable Energy, Public Health

Boston, Massachusetts - August 2, 2004 [] A new report from Harvard Medical School links use of renewable energy sources to public health. Entitled "Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 & Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City" the report shows how renewable energy sources can impact public health by slowing climate change.


July 30, 2004

$30 million EPA research grant goes to UW

By Craig Welch
Seattle Times staff reporter

University of Washington scientists will receive $30 million from the Environmental Protection Agency for a 10-year study that will examine the links between ambient air pollution and heart disease among older adults of various ethnic groups.

The EPA awarded its largest research grant ever yesterday to Dr. Joel Kaufman, an associate professor in the department of environmental and occupational health sciences. Kaufman will try to pinpoint more precisely the relationship between small particles of air pollution that can lodge in the lungs, and the nation's leading cause of death.


July 29, 2004


Welcome!!! has been developed by the Deployment Health Clinical Center as a resource for clinicians, veterans, and their families. Our goal is to create a trusting partnership between military men and women, veterans, their families, and their providers to ensure the highest quality care for those who make sacrifices in the most hazardous workplaces of them all.


July 28, 2004

New IOM Report on the Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods

Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects, a new report released by the Institute of Medicine, assists policymakers in evaluating the appropriate scientific methods for detecting unintended changes in food and assessing the potential for adverse health effects from genetically modified products. In this report, the committee recommended that greater scrutiny should be given to foods containing new compounds or unusual amounts of naturally occurring substances, regardless of the method used to create them.

The report offers a framework to guide federal agencies in selecting the route of safety assessment. The report identifies and recommends several pre- and post-market approaches to guide the assessment of unintended compositional changes that could result from genetically modified foods and research avenues to fill the knowledge gaps


July 26, 2004

Study Shows Air From 9/11 Didn't Inflate Cancer Risk


Published: July 27, 2004

After the World Trade Center collapsed, air samples collected nearby showed that levels of some cancer-causing chemicals had soared but had fallen so quickly that the pollution spike was unlikely to increase cancer risks in nearby communities, researchers reported yesterday.

The chemicals, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are often found in sooty particles generated when fire consumes anything from tobacco to jet fuel. They have been linked to lung, skin and bladder cancers as well as other health problems.


Study Shows Air From 9/11 Didn't Inflate Cancer Risk


Published: July 27, 2004

After the World Trade Center collapsed, air samples collected nearby showed that levels of some cancer-causing chemicals had soared but had fallen so quickly that the pollution spike was unlikely to increase cancer risks in nearby communities, researchers reported yesterday.

The chemicals, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are often found in sooty particles generated when fire consumes anything from tobacco to jet fuel. They have been linked to lung, skin and bladder cancers as well as other health problems.


EU Launches Key Africa AIDS Research Center

Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:50 AM ET

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The European Union Monday launched a research center in South Africa to help Africa fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The diseases kill millions of people on the continent annually, with an estimated 3,000 children dying of malaria -- a preventable and curable illness -- every day.

European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) executive director Piero Olliaro told reporters in Cape Town the group would fund 18 clinical trials in Africa and nine in Europe over the next three years.

"These are the immediate priorities for the first semester of operations of the EDCTP," he said at the opening of the EU-funded organization's Africa office in Cape Town.


July 7, 2004

Air crews look at radiation risk from flying

Tuesday, July 6, 2004 Posted: 12:35 PM EDT (1635 GMT)

DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) -- Airline crews already have their hands full with concerns about stepped up security, congested airports and tipsy travelers.

One more item to add to that list may be radiation exposure.

The union for pilots at American Airlines is trying to increase awareness among air crews that they are being exposed to enough cosmic radiation to fall into a U.S. government regulated category of radiation workers.


July 5, 2004

EPA, States Working to Protect Public Health Through Fine Particle Standard

6/29/2004 5:45:00 PM


To: National Desk

Contact: John Millett of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 202-564-7842 or

WASHINGTON, June 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed states and tribes of the status of counties as the country prepare to meet the nation's first fine particle (PM2.5) air quality standard. These tiny particles - approximately 1/30th the size of a human hair - have been scientifically linked to serious human health problems including premature death from heart and lung disease; aggravation of heart and lung diseases; chronic bronchitis and asthma; increased hospital admissions and doctor and emergency room visits; and absences from work and school.

"Fine-particle pollution represents one of the most significant barriers to clean air facing our nation today," Administrator Mike Leavitt said. "These new particulate health standards, coupled with our efforts to reduce power plant and diesel emissions, are important steps toward meeting our nation's commitment to clean, healthy air."

Press Release:

June 22, 2004

Environmental Toxin Linked to Parkinson's

MONDAY, June 21 (HealthDayNews) -- Environmental toxins called proteasome inhibitors cause a Parkinson's disease (news - web sites)-like movement disorder in rats, according to new research.

The findings suggest that these natural toxins may contribute to the development of Parkinson's in humans. Proteasome inhibitors are produced by bacteria and fungi. Human-made proteasome inhibitors also find their way into the environment.

"These results suggest that we should determine how widespread these toxins are in the environment, how humans are exposed to them, and how such exposures correlate with the incidence of Parkinson's disease," study lead author Kevin St. P. McNaught, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said in a prepared statement.

The study appears in the online edition of the journal Annals of Neurology.


June 18, 2004

Environment Perils a Big Killer of Children - Study

Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:27 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Environmental hazards such as pollution, unsafe water, poor sanitation, lead poisoning and injuries are the cause of one third of child and adolescent deaths in the European region, health experts said on Friday.

Pollution from burning coal and wood indoors without ventilation is a leading killer of children in the central Asian republics and Turkey.

Unsafe water and sanitation is a major cause of young deaths in eastern European nations, while injuries, mainly from road traffic accidents, top the list across the European region, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).


June 7, 2004

Environmental Education on the Internet (EELink)

Environmental Information- General
Links to comprehensive information about environmental issues.

Information and data resources are organized by topic area in the links at left. Sites that cover more than one topic are cross-referenced on two or more of these page links.


June 2, 2004

Bad Air Causes Heart Disease, Heart Group Says

Tue Jun 1, 2004 10:47 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Air pollution causes heart disease, the American Heart Association said on Tuesday.
While pollution does not cause as many heart attacks as high blood pressure, for example, it is a serious risk factor, the group said in a statement.

"This is a serious public health problem due to the enormous number of people affected and because exposure to air pollution occurs over an entire lifetime," said Dr. Robert Brook of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who helped write the statement.

Writing in the Association's journal Circulation, Brook and colleagues said this was the first firm conclusion from the group about the long-term effects of chronic exposure to pollution. Their statement adds authority to a collection of findings that some groups have disputed.


May 18, 2004

Set for ban, DDT lingers in battle against malaria

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
By Alister Doyle, Reuters

OSLO, Norway — Few poisons have ridden such a roller coaster through environmental history as DDT.

Once hailed as a miracle pesticide, DDT is outlawed as one of a "Dirty Dozen" chemicals as of Monday, even as it stays in use as a controversial spray against malaria-spreading mosquitoes.

The man who discovered its power to kill insects won a Nobel Prize in 1948, while shock at its damage to wildlife awoke a global environmental movement in the 1960s.

Into the 21st century, countries including South Africa and Ethiopia still swear by DDT to combat malaria, which kills a million people a year. They say there is scant evidence that DDT is carcinogenic for humans.

"There is still a role for DDT," said Jim Willis, head of the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) chemicals division, estimating that about 25 countries will use DDT under exemptions from the DDT pesticide ban.


May 14, 2004

Stockholm Convention on POPs to Become International Law, Launching Global Campaign to Eliminate 12 Hazardous Chemicals

From UNEP Geneva
Friday, May 14, 2004

STOCKHOLM/NAIROBI, 14 May 2004 - The 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) enters into force on Monday, 17 May, marking the start of an ambitious international effort to rid the world of PCBs, dioxins and furans, and nine highly dangerous pesticides.

"The Stockholm Convention will save lives and protect the natural environment -- particularly in the poorest communities and countries - by banning the production and use of some of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind", said Executive Klaus Toepfer of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), under whose auspices the Convention was adopted.


Defects from smog passed on in mice

Researchers in Hamilton find that particles of soot and dust cause genetic mutations in sperm that affect offspring

Friday, May 14, 2004 - Page A17

Researchers in the heavily industrialized city of Hamilton have found that the microscopic particles of soot and dust in air pollution cause genetic mutations in mice sperm that are passed down to the next generation.

They say their findings add to the accumulating evidence that air pollution may pose genetic risks to both humans and wildlife, in addition to the well-documented cardiovascular and respiratory problems caused by breathing smog.


May 13, 2004

Researchers: Pollution Could Affect Unborn Children

Thu May 13, 2004 05:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Soot and other types of air pollution can not only affect animals and people, but their unborn children, too, researchers reported on Thursday. They found that genetic mutations known to be caused by some pollutants can be passed through sperm to baby mice. Presumably, the same thing could happen to human beings, they report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

Mice that breathed polluted air from a steel mill were much more likely to father offspring with clear genetic mutations than mice that breathed filtered air, the team at McMaster University in Toronto found.

"Our study identifies airborne particulate matter as a contributor to heritable mutation induction in mice; however, a direct link between ... mutations and health effects has not yet been established," they wrote.


May 11, 2004

Public Health Grand Rounds - May 21 / Evidence-based Tobacco

Greetings from Brad Myers:

For many of you who have asked for a web-based tutorial or example of how
findings from the Guide to Community Preventive Services can be used to
enhance or support public health efforts at the state and local level, I am
pleased to announce the next broadcast of Public Health Grand Rounds,
"Tobacco Prevention and Control: Using Evidence Based Strategies to Save
Lives and Resources," scheduled to air Friday, May 21, 2004, at 2:00 - 3:00
p.m. Eastern Time. The case study for this program will focus on the
efforts of the New York State tobacco prevention and control program,
county level partners (in particular the Onondaga County Health Department)
and their community partners in Syracuse, NY, to save lives and improve the
health of their citizens by using evidence based strategies (in particular
findings on tobacco prevention and control from the Community Guide).

Please register at>http://www.PublicHealthGrandRounds.unc.eduRegistration and evaluation allow us to measure the impact of this program
and receive funding to offer this series at no cost to the
viewer. Evaluation will also provide staff at CDC supporting the Task
Force on Community Preventive Services critical information about awareness
and use of Community Guide findings.

This broadcast may be viewed at a satellite downlink site near you or
online. If you need assistance in finding a site close to you, please
contact Public Health Grand Rounds staff by emailing or phone 919.843.9261.
Remember! Your nearest site facilitator may need a request from you before
registering a viewing site for the broadcast.

Continuing education credit for various health professions will be offered
based on one hour of instruction.

May 5, 2004

African groups criticize U.S. over gene-altered food aid

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
By Reuters

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
By Reuters

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Some 60 African farm campaigners criticized the United States Tuesday for what they said was relentless pressure on Sudan and Angola to accept gene-altered food aid to avert hunger.

In March Sudan imposed restrictions on the importation of genetically modified food aid, demanding that it be certified as GM-free first, while Angola said it wanted all gene-altered grains milled before shipment to its hungry...


U.S. lawmakers seek to remove lead from tap water

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
By Reuters

WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday to eliminate lead in the nation's drinking water supply after high levels of the toxic metal were found in the capital's tap water.

The Lead-Free Drinking Water Act, introduced in the Senate and the House, would require utilities around the country to test their water immediately and sets stricter standards for notifying customers of problems. It also would provide $200 million a year for four years to utilities to help them meet new tougher standards for replacing lead service lines, believed to be a main source of lead in drinking water.