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Environmental Medicine

Mercury surprise: Rice can be risky

Posted April 20, 2010

Ask toxicologists how best to avoid mercury poisoning and theyíll almost certainly advise against eating too much of the wrong types of fish. (Never mind that thereís considerable confusion about what the wrong types are.) But a new study out of China shows that for millions of people at risk of eating toxic amounts of mercury-laced food, fish isnít the problem. Rice is.

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Volcanic Ash From Iceland May Have Health Consequences

Posted April 20, 2010

The World Health Organization (WHO) today issued a statement warning about a potential health risk due to fine ash particles from the ongoing eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland. People with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions such as emphysema or bronchitis may be more susceptible to irritation if the ash is in the lower atmosphere or in high concentrations. The ash cloud from the explosion contains very tiny particles of glass, but as long as it remains in the upper atmosphere

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Cleanliness Leads to Rise in Allergies, Asthma

Posted April 17, 2010

Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but it also appears to be the cause of the significant increase in allergies, asthma, eczema, and autoimmune conditions. A University of Montreal study finds that the more we attempt to clean up our childís environment, the more he or she is at risk for developing allergies or an immune problem.

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40 years on, reserve mercury poisonings return

Posted April 9, 2010

Forty years after mercury poisoning gripped remote northwestern Ontario native reserves and captured international attention, the tragic story is still unfolding. Residents, who werenít even born when the province banned fishing on the Wabigoon-English River system in 1970, are showing the effects of mercury poisoning, environmentalists say.

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Farm pesticides linked to deadly skin cancer

Posted April 3, 2010

Workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, according to a new scientific study. The researchers identified six pesticides that, with repeated exposure, doubled the risk of skin cancer among farmers and other workers who applied them to crops.

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UK Scientists Devise Worldwide Food Alert System

Posted March 24, 2010

Countries producing food containing harmful bacteria and toxins could be named and shamed more quickly using a worldwide alert system devised by a team of scientists from Kingston University in South West London. The team, led by Professor Declan Naughton, says the easy to use computer tool can be used to monitor contaminated products; helping to prevent them reaching shop shelves and ensuring that food is safe to eat.

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Arsenic in apple juice: How much is too much?

Posted March 19, 2010

Every school day across the Tampa Bay area and America, kids leave home with apple juice in their lunch boxes. Their toddler siblings drink it from sippy cups. The labels look kid-friendly: Motts, Apple & Eve Organics, Tree Top. But what’s inside those boxes may not be completely benign.

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Better living through green chemistry

Posted March 16, 2010

PASS by a chemical plant, and the plumes billowing from its smokestacks may get you thinking. What filthy concoctions are being brewed inside, and what nasty stuff is it spewing into the environment? You could be right to worry. The chemical industry relies on many ingredients that in the wrong place are harmful to the environment, human health or both.

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Just say ìNoî to GMOs!

Posted March 14, 2010

In recent articles, weíve touched on the subject of genetically modified organisms (GMOs): their potential to contaminate organic crops, the complete failure to test their safety for your health or the environment, and the failure of labels to alert shoppers to the presence of GMOs in foods theyíre considering buying. We now have some updates. A non-GMO product-verification program is up and running. This will help you avoid GMO contaminated food.

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How Grass-Fed Cows Could Save the Planet

Posted March 13, 2010

Of all the animals that humans eat, none are held more responsible for climate change than cows. Cows not only consume more energy-intensive feed than other livestock, they also produce more methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. But grass-fed cows may have the opposite effect.

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