Green Buckeye RN

Grist.Org: Parks And Recreation: The Best American Cities For Green Spaces
June 5, 2012, 10:19 am
Filed under: News

By Claire Thompson

With the revitalization of American cities has come increased excitement about public parks; we may have less land to spare than in Frederick Law Olmsted’s day, but we’re finding creative ways to squeeze more open space and greenery out of brownfields, empty lots, and old train tracks. The mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., even turned his unused parking space into a mini-park.

Now, the nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) has devised a system that allows you to keep tabs on your city’s progress, and compare your hometown to the burg next door. It’s called ParkScore, and it measures and ranks the park systems of the country’s 40 largest cities. It’s not like Walk Score, where you can type in your address and get a walkability rating for your immediate neighborhood, but I’m sure the data could be used the same way (and similarly co-opted as a real-estate selling point).

And the winners? San Francisco came in first, followed by Sacramento, New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Bringing up the rear is Fresno, Calif., where more than 60 percent of the population lacks easy access to public parks. Charlotte, N.C., Louisville, Ky., and Indianapolis are also at the bottom of the heap.

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iWatch News: OSHA Rules On Workplace Toxics Stalled
June 5, 2012, 10:14 am
Filed under: News

By Jim Morris

6:00 am, June 4, 2012 Updated: 10:55 am, June 4, 2012

At 58, retired machinist Bruce Revers is tethered to his oxygen machines — a wall unit when he’s at home, a portable tank when he’s out. The simple act of walking to the curb to pick up his newspaper is a grind.

“This is a hell of a thing to live with,” Revers, of Orange, Calif., said of his worsening lung disease. “There’s nothing I can do without my air.”

His undoing was beryllium, a light and versatile metal to which he was exposed in a Southern California factory that makes high-tech ceramics for the space, defense and automotive industries. His bosses tried to keep the place clean and well-ventilated, Revers says, and he wore a respirator to shield his lungs from the fine metallic dust. Nonetheless, he was diagnosed with chronic beryllium disease in 2009.

He will not recover.

The federal standard in place to protect workers like Revers from beryllium is based on an Atomic Energy Commission calculation crafted by an industrial hygienist and a physician in the back of a taxi in 1949. For the last 12 years, an effort to update that standard has been mired in delay. A plan to address another toxic hazard — silica, a mineral that also damages the lungs — has been tied up even longer: 15 years.

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Brigham and Women’s Hospital: Study Shows Consumers Need More Guidance About Fish Consumption Choices
June 5, 2012, 10:09 am
Filed under: News

Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers lead a novel evaluation of the factors that influence fish consumption in the United States

Boston, MA – In a first-of-its kind summary of fish consumption choices, a team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital has determined that consumers are not getting all the information they need to make informed decisions about fish consumption. Their research is published in the June 1 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

The researchers, led by Susan Korrick, MD and Emily Oken, MD of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), summarized the issue of fish consumption choice from toxicological, nutritional, ecological, and economic points of view through evaluation of the scientific literature, public health guidelines and fish consumption advisories made in the United Sates. They found that there is no one place that gives consumers a complete view of the advantages and disadvantages of various fish species. “Our research shows that there is no one perfect fish when considering nutritional value, toxicity rates and the environmental and economic impact,” said Oken. “Consumers are forced to decide what tradeoffs they are willing to make. But as a consumer standing in a store, it is difficult to understand the pros and cons of a fish purchase, because the amount of readily available information is limited.”

“Our research highlights the need for the development of clear and simple consumer advice that describes the multiple impacts of fish consumption,” said Korrick. “Despite caveats, fish is generally a healthy food; the challenge is providing advice that is both comprehensive and accessible so consumers don’t give up eating fish out of frustration.”

Additionally, researchers also emphasize the need for policy and fishery management interventions to ensure long term availability of fish as an important source of human nutrition.


This study was funded by a Dartmouth College Superfund Research Program Grant, a Dartmouth Formative Children’s Center Grant, the National Institutes of Health (R01 ES 016314), the Harvard Clinical Nutrition Research Center, the Gelfond Fund for Mercury Research & Outreach, the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Research, SUNY Stony Brook, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

This study is a companion to a study led by Dartmouth researcher Margaret Karagas, Ph.D. which examines the current scientific evidence for effects of low-level exposures to methylmercury on neurological and other human health outcomes and also appears in the June 1 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. Both papers resulted from the Coastal and Marine Mercury Ecosystem Research Collaborative.

PhysOrg: The Environment And Pharmaceuticals And Personal Care Products: What Are The Big Questiosn?
June 5, 2012, 10:02 am
Filed under: News

May 30, 2012

Researchers at the University of York headed a major international review aimed at enhancing efforts to better understand the impacts of chemicals used in pharmaceuticals or in personal care products, such as cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, deodorants and toothpastes (PPCPs), on the natural environment.

Over the last two decades, scientists and regulators have raised concerns over the potential environmental effects and risks of the 4,000 pharmaceuticals and substantial number of personal care products that are used by society.

Following use, these substances can be released to the sewer system and can end up in rivers, aquifers and soils. Many PPCPs have been detected in the natural environment across the world. Though reported concentrations are generally low, some people are worried that, due to the biological activity of these substances, they could be adversely affecting the health of the environment and may also be getting into drinking water supplies.

The researchers in the University of York’s Environment Department, working with academic, government and industry colleagues in the USA, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, S. Korea and Argentina identified key outstanding issues regarding the effects on human and ecological health in order that future resources will be focused on the most important areas. Their findings are published in the latest issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

They developed a ‘Top 20’ list of questions about issues that need to be addressed to better understand and manage the risks of PPCPs in the environment. An international expert workshop reduced an initial list of 101 potential questions to a final 20 ranked by importance.   The top 20 questions fell into seven categories:

•Identification of PPCPs and situations that research should be focussed on

•Understanding how PPCPs get into the natural environment •Uptake of PPCPs from the environment into organisms

•Assessment of effects on organisms

•Assessment of risks to people and the environment

•Antibiotic resistance

•Management of risks .

Professor Alistair Boxall, of the Environment Department at York, who led the review, said: “A large body of information is now available on PPCPs in the environment. This exercise has prioritised the most critical questions to aid in development of future research programmes and policy development on this important topic The development of the ‘top 20 list’ should mean that researchers, regulators and industry can begin to work more closely together to answer the most pressing questions in a coordinated and timely manner.”

EPA Launches Video Project Asking Americans Why “Water Is Worth It”
June 5, 2012, 9:58 am
Filed under: News

2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation’s law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. Everyone deserves clean water – it is vital for our health, communities, environment and economy.

To help commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is asking people to send in a 15-second video clip about the important role that water plays in their life. Each video should include the phrase “Water Is Worth It,” but the rest is up to you.

EPA will post selected videos on its website and Facebook page. To learn more and register, visit Fill out a video entry form, and submit your entry as a video response to the promotional video on EPA’s YouTube page at

Video submissions must be received by September 14, 2012. Grab your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, and pets and let us know why “Water is Worth It” to you!

OMB Watch: Momentum Builds For Legislation To Curb Use Of Toxic Flame Retardants
June 5, 2012, 9:42 am
Filed under: News

Posted on May 30, 2012

Lawmakers are calling for legislation to protect children from toxic flame retardant chemicals embedded in a host of everyday consumer products. The substances have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and other serious illnesses. Since these chemicals are widely used in furniture, clothes, and carpets, practically every home in the country could be affected.

Dangers of Flame Retardants   For over forty years, a class of synthetic chemicals, called flame retardants, has permeated the lives of all Americans. Flame retardants are used in everything from baby blankets and strollers, children’s clothes, electronics, furniture, carpets, vehicle and airplane parts, and many other products. While these chemicals are intended to reduce the flammability of products, they also slowly leak out into the air, dust, and water and eventually enter our food and bodies.

Studies have increasingly shown that these chemicals are harmful and can cause cancer, developmental problems, neurological deficits, and impaired fertility. A Duke University study, released just last week, linked early exposure to one flame retardant, called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), to low birth weight, lower IQs, and impaired motor and behavioral development. The study also revealed that toddlers from lower-income minority families had levels of PBDEs in their bodies nearly twice that of white toddlers. This may be because lower-income families often must rely on less expensive clothing and products, which are usually made of synthetic materials and may have higher treatments of flame retardants. An earlier study by the University of California-Berkeley found that high exposure to flame retardants in pregnant women can alter brain development in the fetus.

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OIG Report: EPA Inaction in Identifying Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals May Result in Unsafe Disposal
June 5, 2012, 9:38 am
Filed under: News

Access the report at