Green-News: Wednesday 4.8.09

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Green-News: Wednesday 2.25.09

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Health-Points: Friday 2.20.09

  • At 66 years old rock and roll immortal, Sir Paul McCartney, isn’t slowing down. In fact, the newly named Fireman does Yoga six times a day. He does eye Yoga, something he picked up during a recent trip to India. It involves various eye movements to keep the eye muscles strong; from Healthy Hollywood.

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Perfluorinated Compounds Impair Fertility in Women

New findings in the journal of Human Reproduction suggest perfluorinated compounds, fluorine-containing chemicals used to make products non-stick and found in shampoo, dental floss and denture cleaners, may cause infertility in women. Researchers studied 1,240 pregnant women, whose levels of the perfluorinated chemicals had been measured, concluding that higher levels of chemicals were associated with longer pregnancies and 26% to 33% reduced chance of getting pregnant; Reuters reports.

Moms aren’t the only ones at risk! Plastic toys and medical devices may be exposing babies to phthalates, a chemical used to make plastics flexible, and even eating certain fish, like tuna and shark, is a danger, risking mercury exposure, leading to birth defects.

And in 2007, it was discovered a chemical found in rocket fuel and explosives, called perchlorate, was turning up in women’s breast milk. Egad!

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Corn Syrup and Sugar, It's All Too Sweet...

A 12-ounce soda can have as much as nine teaspoons of sugar. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), an artificial sweetener made from corn, usually gets the blame, but one expert contends even if the food industry replaced all the HFCS with traditional sugar, we’d still have exactly the same health problems we have now, referring to our epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes; The New York Times investigates.

And a few months ago there was a big push to prove high-fructose corn syrup is equal to sugar, which might be true, but still isn’t a reason to let HFCS off the hook. High-fructose corn syrup drives childhood obesity and leads to soda addiction in adolescents.

Then last week, a new study discovered mercury in high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid and sodium benzoate, all ingredients of soda. So yeah, don’t drink soda!

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High Fructose Corn Syrup Oozing Mercury...

A new study in Environmental Health discovered mercury in citric acid, sodium benzoate and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). An analysis of HFCS from three different manufacturers revealed mercury levels ranging from under the detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms of mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. The researchers claim average daily consumption of HFCS in America is 50 grams per person, spelling possible danger for children and sensitive populations; Reuters investigates.

But back in October, the lunatics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled that high fructose corn syrup is natural, prompting an ad campaign by corn refiners insisting that HFCS is the same as sugar. Yeah, because that’s something to brag about!

Sorry sugar pushers. Previous reports have linked high fructose corn syrup with diabetes and obesity and soft drinks with cardiovascular disease.

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Green-News: Tuesday 1.20.08

  • Sorry spring-breakers, tequila is not good for the environment. The region of Mexico, where tequila is made, cannot re-grow blue agave cactuses, tequila’s prime ingredient, fast enough. The blue agave takes 6 years to mature and increased production has made tequila unsustainable; from NewScientist.
  • Climate change whacks the environment. But it also harms human health. And not just from pollution. An epidemic of nephropathia epidemica, which can cause internal hemorrhaging and death, in Europe is being blamed on booming vermin populations, due to warming temperatures; ScienceDaily explains.
  • A group of major U.S. corporations, including 3 automakers, has announced a joint pact to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. A spokesperson for the coalition says America, has the will, the capabilities and the courage to eco-innovate, even in these tough economic times; via ENN.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has settled a lawsuit over their failure to adequately monitor mercury emissions from cement plants. In 2007, a group of 9 states sued the EPA. As part of the settlement, the agency will now regulate cement plant mercury pollution; the Associated Press reports.
  • More bad news for the EPA, this time 6 environmental groups have sued the EPA over a rule that doesn’t require dairies and livestock farms to notify officials when harmful materials, like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, found in cattle urine and feces, are released; the Associated Press investigates.

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Green-News: Tuesday 1.6.09

  • Every year tourists flock to New York City’s Times Square to ring in the New Year. But this year, after the 1 million guests went home and a ton of confetti was released, the city was stuck with 40 tons of garbage to clean up, sanitation crews worked until 8AM; the Associated Press reports.
  • Following the massive coal ash spill in East Tennessee, nearby water supplies have tested high for arsenic, lead, chromium and other toxic metals, ranging 2 to 300 times higher than acceptable drinking water standards, even as far as 2 miles downstream; The New York Times investigates.
  • A Swedish town is set to recycle heat from a local crematorium. Cremating human remains releases toxins, such as mercury from dental fillings, and in order to clean this gas it must first be cooled. So recovering this heat can be used to feed the public heating system; from TreeHugger.
  • Scientists have invented cement that absorbs earth-warming carbon dioxide. Traditional cement actually produces 5% of the world’s total carbon emissions. But this new formulation uses magnesium silicates and eats large amounts of carbon dioxide as it hardens; via The Guardian.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is dying. At the current pace, researchers fear all new growth will stop by 2050. Since 1990, robust corals have slowed in growth by 14%. Scientists cite warming sea temperatures and ocean acidification for the decline; The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Jeremy Piven Sick from Sushi, Mercury...

Hollywood big shot Jeremy Piven has bailed on his Broadway show due to a high mercury count and the cause, eating too much sushi. Piven is a sushi fiend, eating raw fish twice a day. Piven told reporters he has 6 times the healthy amount of mercury in his system and complained of dizziness, fatigue and difficulty lifting his limbs. His doctors advised him to rest; Reuters reports.

Mercury freaks me out! And according to Dr. Fuhrman, mercury from fish, particularly fish with high levels, like swordfish, mackerel, tilefish, shark and tuna, can be hazardous, specifically in pregnant women. He advises expectant mothers avoid fish and for everyone else, don’t eat fish more than twice a week and choose low-mercury seafood, like sole, trout, flounder and tilapia.

Now, I love sushi, but I hardly eat raw fish anymore. Instead, I eat veggie sushi. It tastes great and it’s easy to make!
 

Green-News: Monday 12.22.08

  • Sails power boats by wind, but Japan has launched the first solar-powered cargo ship. It can carry 6,400 cars and is outfitted with 328 solar panels, costing $1.68 million dollars. This power system with generate 40 kilowatts and covers 0.2% of the boats energy needs; the AFP reports.
  • Speaking of chilly temps, the United States wants to protect 7 species of penguins. The list includes 6 varieties classified as threatened and the African penguin that is an endangered species. But the penguins also live beyond the U.S., so protection could be limited; from MSNBC.