Sunlight surprise raises cadmium pollution risk

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Even though cadmium is considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is still used to give some plastics and ceramics red, orange, or yellow hues. That’s because organic pigments are unstable at the high temperatures used to make these products, and pigments like cadmium red are thought to be relatively inert in the environment on account of their reportedly low solubility in water.

That belief has been turned on its head by a new study showing that in sunlight, a commercially available cadmium red pigment rapidly dissolves in water, releasing the toxic metal (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00654).

The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban

Read the full statement and supporting documentation in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban documents a consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals on the hazards of and lack of demonstrated benefit from common uses of triclosan and triclocarban. These chemicals may be used in thousands of personal care and consumer products as well as in building materials. Based on extensive peer-reviewed research, this statement concludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms. Evidence of other hazards to humans and ecosystems from triclosan and triclocarban is presented along with recommendations intended to prevent future harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and antimicrobial substances with similar properties and effects. Because antimicrobials can have unintended adverse health and environmental impacts, they should only be used when they provide an evidence-based health benefit. Greater transparency is needed in product formulations, and before an antimicrobial is incorporated into a product, the long-term health and ecological impacts should be evaluated.

Health experts are furious with Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Environmentalists aren’t the only ones outraged over President Trump’s decision to have the U.S. walk away from the Paris accord on global warming. Health experts are pretty dismayed as well.

County officials conducting health survey among neighbors of former battery-recycling plant

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Hundreds of Los Angeles County health officials and volunteers went door to door Saturday conducting health surveys of residents who live around a shuttered battery-recycling plant near downtown, which is blamed for decades of lead emissions spread across seven southeast communities.

How to Find Deleted Public Health Assessments for Contaminated Sites

Via The Memory Hole.

Click here to access the missing reports from prior to October 2004

UPDATE [June 8, 2017]: There’s a second source for these documents. Most of them exist in PDF format in the Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service website. (These PDFs were never posted to the ATSDR’s own site.) Go here, and in the left-hand column search for either “public health assessment” or “health consultation” (in quotation marks), followed by the city, state, or site that you’re interested in. Be sure to check the box that says: “Only documents with full text.” [Thanks to Susan Maret for pointing this out.]

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) – a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – conducts health assessments and consultations for contaminated Superfund sites designated as national priorities by the EPA or “when petitioned by concerned individuals.” As ATSDR explains: “The aim of these evaluations is to find out if people are being exposed to hazardous substances and, if so, whether that exposure is harmful and should be stopped or reduced.”

ATSDR posts these reports on its website here. But in January 2017 (the time Trump assumed office), it pulled down all assessments and consultations dating prior to October 1, 2004, in order to somehow “streamline” the site. Huh?

Those 1,200 deleted reports are still technically available but in a highly inconvenient way. ATSDR has made a list(which I’m mirroring here) of all reports that it deleted. When you want one, you must email them asking for a copy, which they will then mail to you on paper. So, instead of simply leaving these reports online so they’re instantly available in full, they delete them, give us a list, make us email them for what we want, then snailmail us print-outs. That’s “streamlining”?

But all those reports are still online. They were captured by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, and you can browse them at the link at the top of the page. The link takes you to a December 2004 capture of the ATSDR site, so it almost exclusively contains the deleted pre-Oct2004 reports.

[Hat tip to Frank Vera for pointing out that the reports had been deleted.]


How Trump’s Funding Cuts Will Make America More Toxic Again

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Trump’s environmental chief praises the Superfund program. But if he wants to improve the country’s health–and property values–he’ll have to fight for it.

CDC’s Tracking Network Enviro Health App Challenge Still Accepting Submissions

You may already know that CDC is crowd sourcing innovators to use the Tracking Network and its API (Application Program Interface) to create easy-to-use software applications that will track environmental and/or health data indicators, monitor trends, provide access to data, educate the public, identify at-risk populations, and/or expose potential health hazards through the Enviro Health App Challenge. What you may not realize is the submission deadline is drawing near. CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program is still accepting submissions for the app challenge until June 23, 2017.

Successful challenge submissions are eligible for the following prize awards: