June 10, 2011 |
Formaldehyde now officially falls into the "known to be a human carcinogen" category. So does the botanical compound aristolochic acid. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has updated its Report on Carcinogens, and such were the results. That report lists compounds -- even biological ones (again, "natural" does not mean "safe," "nontoxic" or "please consume") -- known to increase or strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer. As for styrene, it can now officially be described as "reasonably anticipated" to be cancer-causing.
March 29, 2011 |
Japanese emergency crews are scrambling to contain rising levels of extremely radioactive water that has leaked into tunnels and basement equipment rooms at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, putting up dangerous new obstacles to workers trying to bring the reactors under control. Workers were using sandbags and concrete panels Tuesday in a desperate attempt to prevent the contaminated water from further spreading through the plant or into the nearby soil and ocean. Their challenge is compounded by the fact that they must continue to douse water on the nuclear reactors and the spent fuel pools that would otherwise overheat and release additional radiation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2010 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency levied a $302,100 fine Tuesday against the operator of a toxic waste dump near a Central California farming community beset by unexplained birth defects, saying the company failed to properly manage carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. Chemical Waste Management Inc., which owns the facility about 3½ miles southwest of Kettleman City, in July was given 60 days to clean up PCBs in soil adjacent to a building where hazardous wastes are treated for disposal.
November 24, 2010 |
In the mid-19th century in Europe, a rather strange theory arose ? the idea that eating arsenic could improve one's health. It originated with the discovery that peasants in the Austrian mining region of Styria liked to mix a little of the poison into their morning coffee. As reported in 1855, the miners had discovered that exposure to arsenic ? an element naturally occurring in metallic rocks ? brought "beauty and freshness to the complexion. " This pink-cheeked ideal of health led to what I always think of as the arsenic-eating insanity days of Victorian times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 4, 2010 |
In a major victory for community activists worried about health risks linked to a contaminated former nuclear research facility overlooking the west San Fernando Valley, state and federal authorities on Friday proposed a settlement agreement to clean up the site by 2017. Under the proposal by the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control will oversee what is expected to be among the most intensive cleanup programs in the country. The effort would involve hauling significant amounts of soil contaminated with carcinogenic dioxins, heavy metals and radioactive materials from the Santa Susana Field Laboratory to licensed waste dumps as far away as Utah, according to Rick Brausch, project director at the California agency.
May 5, 2010 |
People are exposed to a massive number of chemicals in the environment, and scientists know very little about their potential role in causing cancer, according to a new report from the President's Cancer Panel released Thursday. Government and industry should invest much more money in researching the potential risks of such chemicals — and that research should be done before the chemicals come into wide use, not after large numbers of people have been exposed to them, the report said.