November 2012

Good Friday: Exide Smelter Closing Today

by jim on November 30, 2012

Sometimes, all it takes is the slightest push of an index finger, or a focused exhaling of breath. Sometimes the house of cards is so precarious, so unstable, that any challenge, no matter how slight, can send the established structure to the ground. A year ago a small, newly-formed citizens group that had just staged […]

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A “Solar Happy Hour” Tonight

by jim on November 29, 2012

Because you haven't really partied until you've partied with clean energy advocates. The Sierra Club, along with the Blue Green Apollo Alliance, and the Clean Energy Works for Texas coalition, is hosting what they're calling a Solar Happy Hour, TONIGHT where everyone concerned with increasing conservation, wind and other renewables can get together informally and […]

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Traffic Pollution Linked to Autism

by jim on November 29, 2012

Along with a higher risk of asthma, children who are born and live their first year closer to major freeways also suffer a significantly elevated risk of autism. That's the conclusion of a new study by the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "Compared to 245 California children […]

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The story is behind the DMN's paywall, but there's a new piece of the Gulf War Illness puzzle that's been provided by UT-Southwestern researchers lead by Dr. Robert Haley, and it has some relevance to those who think their own health problems can be traced back to chemical exposure. Originally dismissed by many to be […]

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This is a heads-up to all Dallas residents: Dallas City Hall – the building, the people, everything – has climbed into a time machine and traveled all the way back to 2010. This has allowed the City council and staff to ignore citizen demands for a more protective gas drilling ordinance, the defeat of a […]

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Cutting-Edge Toxicologist Talks Toxic Soup

by jim on November 27, 2012

Dr. Linda Birnbaum is an unsung hero of the modern environmental movement. For 33 years, she's been a leading researcher and writer on environmental toxicology issues, advancing understanding of specific poisons as well as the cumulative impact of the thousands of chemicals we're exposed to in daily life. First at the EPA, and now at […]

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In an opinion piece in The Daily Climate, Michael MacCraken, the chief scientist for the DC-based Climate Institute advocates an end-run strategy to avoid the political logjam over large CO2 cuts as a way to fight global warming. He suggests concentrating on reducing Methane and Particulate Matter pollution as a way to "appreciably slow the […]

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You know that argument you sometimes hear about how those ecologically-minded Europeans are burning everything in incinerators and cement plants, so it must be OK to do it here? Maybe not so much. In one of the most ambitious and far-ranging efforts of its kind ever attempted, the newly-published results of a 10-year study from […]

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A new NAACP report examining the locations and impacts of all 378 coal-fired power plants in America found that those living near the plants were disproportionately poor and members of minority groups. More often than not, the worst-performing coal plants were also in predominately poor and minority communities. "Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People" failed […]

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Everything in italics and "quotation marks" below is a direct quote from the latest chapter of the ATSDR's (Agency for Disease Registry and Toxic Substances) "health consultation" on the impact of certain kinds of industrial air pollution on the local population. You should take five minutes to glance over the sentences. They've taken a better […]

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In a study involving approximately 15,000 people, the U.S. National Institute on Aging found that higher levels of exposure to fine particulate matter pollution, or soot, is prematurely aging the brain of those 50 and older by up to three years. PM pollution had already been linked to other neurological conditions by previous studies, including […]

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Scientists from Southern Cross University in Australia found levels of greenhouse gases in that country's largest fracking play that were three times normal background levels, and higher than those recorded anywhere else on the planet. “The concentrations here are higher than any measured in gas fields anywhere else that I can think of, including in […]

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Another argument for the implementation of the Precautionary Principle.   PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are chemicals that were used as coolants and lubricants in electrical equipment for 50 years. They were banned in the US in 1979 because of their severe toxicity. Although they're no longer manufactured, PCBs are still present in older products, such as […]

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An Idea Worthy of Our Consideration

by jim on November 14, 2012

Under current law, EPA can designate states to enforce federal environmental laws if they, in fact, actually enforce the law and run competent programs. Once given by the EPA, rarely is this power taken away from a state. But when a state doesn't do a good job of enforcing the law or runs a program […]

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Here in DFW, we've paid the price of continuing dirty air for the state's bias toward blaming all air quality problems in DFW on cars. As cars got so much cleaner, all of our smog problems were supposed to literally go "poof." This was almost the entire basis of the just-failed TCEQ clean air plan, […]

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By way of the Environmental Health News comes word of a new study looking at the effects on low-level, "ambient" levels of the toxic metal Cadmium on 5 year-olds in Bangladesh.  Although the exposure pathway in the study assumes the Cadmium is coming primarily from a diet of food grown in contaminated soil, the results […]

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