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Why are harmful flame-retardant chemicals still sh...

July 26, 2019 — Environmental and children’s health advocates breathed a sigh of relief when, over a decade ago, U.S. manufacturers began to phase out a number of flame retardant chemicals from furniture, electronics, textiles and other everyday items. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, were facing increasing scrutiny (and some had already been banned in parts of Europe) for impacts on children’s brain development,...

Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% M...

Researchers at the University of Colorado studied pregnant women who are among the 17 million Americans living within a mile from an active oil or gas well “Looking at where mothers lived immediately before pregnancy and during the first critical weeks after conception and what was going on at nearby fracking wells, researchers found startling patterns,” said public health advocate Dr. Sandra Steingraber. (Photo:...

Are bioplastics better for the environment than co...

July 16, 2019 — Have you ever stood in front of a supermarket shelf and wondered if you should buy that product made from bioplastics rather than the conventional kind? Many people assume all bioplastics are made from plants and can break down completely in the environment. But that’s not the case. The term “bioplastics” is actually used for two separate things: bio-based plastics (plastics made at least partly from...

How to Combat Weeds … Gently

Spraying chemicals in the yard is a tempting shortcut for many a home gardener looking to protect a tasty crop or a bed of flowers. But weed killers aren’t necessary, and they may be linked to health risks. To embark on a natural plan of weed suppression, start by deciphering your yard’s condition: Is it ablaze with dandelions? Taken over by crabgrass? You’ll need to customize your approach depending on the...

Trump’s EPA is ‘cooking the books’ to justify its ...

Experts call it a “deeply cynical strategy” that puts lives at risk. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to distort the way it measures the benefits of some of the agency’s most impactful policies, regulations that safeguard human health by limiting air pollution. The primary beneficiary of such distortion? The coal industry. When the government evaluates the health and financial benefits of clean air,...

EPA Says Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer. Other P...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto‘s Roundup weedkiller, does not cause cancer, reaffirming its 2017 finding and contradicting juries who ruled the opposite in two high profile trials, Reuters reported. In August 2018, a California jury awarded $289 million to a Bay Area groundskeeper who said that repeated Roundup use caused his...

One thing you can do: Reduce Your Lawn

Spring is here, and that means millions of Americans will soon be seeding, fertilizing and mowing their grass. America has a lot of lawns. Add them all together, and they’d cover an area roughly the size of Florida, making grass the most common irrigated plant in the country. And all that grass comes with an environmental cost. To keep weeds at bay, homeowners dumped around 59 million pounds of pesticides onto their...

One Thing you can do: Your tips for going plastic-...

” src=”https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/03/06/climate/cli-newsletter-headers-march/cli-newsletter-headers-march-custom5-v3.png” border=”0″> After Eduardo Garcia shopped plastic-free for a week, we asked our readers for other tips on avoiding plastics. Hundreds of you responded, with suggestions for toothpaste, sunscreen and many other products. Here are some of your ideas (we plan to use...

Early Pesticide Exposure Linked to Increased Autis...

Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection. The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children...

EPA Announces 20 Toxic Chemicals It Won’t Protect ...

On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as “high priority” for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA’s record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated. Of the 20...

Plastic Bags, or Paper? Here’s What to Consider Wh...

WASHINGTON — The decision by New York State to ban single-use plastic bags from retail stores makes it a good time to revisit everyone’s favorite environmental quandary: paper or plastic? Unfortunately, there’s not a simple answer on whether paper or plastic bags are better for the environment. They both have downsides, but there are a few broad lessons to keep in mind when you’re hitting the grocery store. Plastic bags,...

Plastic Pollution: Could We Have Solved the Proble...

There’s plastic in seabirds, in the middle of the remote Pacific Ocean, even in people. It’s a challenge to turn to the news these days without reading or hearing the latest horror story about plastic pollution. These updates seem new and striking and scary, but in reality much of the fundamental information contained in these stories is actually far from fresh. “In the last five years there has been more...

Man Who Developed Cancer After Roundup Use Awarded...

A jury in the first U.S. federal Roundup trial ruled Wednesday that Bayer must pay more than $80 million in damages to 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who developed cancer after using the glyphosate-containing weedkiller to control poison oak, weeds and overgrowth on his Sonoma property for years, the Los Angeles Times reported. Hardeman’s trial had been split into two parts. In the first, decided last week, the jury ruled...

Trump’s Pick to Head Interior Blocked Report...

Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who faces a Senate confirmation hearing Thursday after President Donald Trump nominated him to head Interior permanently, acted to block a report that found that two pesticides “jeopardize the continued existence” of more than 1,200 endangered species, according to documents obtained by The New York Times and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). In 2017, Fish and...

Studies Link Lawn Chemicals to Canine Cancer

Dogs whose owners have their lawns professionally treated with herbicides and pesticides are 70 percent more likely to get cancer, one study found. Several studies have shown a link between the use of lawn chemicals and cancer in dogs. The most recent study found the professional application of lawn herbicides and pesticides was associated with a 70% increased risk of canine malignant lymphoma. Canine malignant lymphoma is...