General Environmental Health News

FEMA trailers caused at least 17,000 illnesses among Katrina survivors


by Naomi Spencer
World Socialist Web Site

Approaching three years since the devastation of the US Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina, a public health nightmare continues for thousands of survivors who were housed in government-supplied trailers.

Many of the 300,000 residents who were relocated into housing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have developed serious respiratory problems because of excessive levels of the industrial chemical and known carcinogen formaldehyde, according to a report by Spencer Hsu published May 25 in the Washington Post.

Some of the most seriously affected are infants and children, who have developed chronic asthma and require lifelong medical care. The cancer rates will not be known for at least a decade, according to health experts.

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Continued pesticide use challenged in US


A coalition of environmental and farm workers groups has now sued the US government over the continued use of four hazardous pesticides.

The legal action is being taken by groups including the United Farm Workers, the Teamsters, Pesticide Action Network North America, Beyond Pesticides and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The suit challenges the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2006 decision to reauthorize the use of four pesticides used on fruit and vegetable fields in California.

The coalition argue that the government has ignored its own evidence that the chemicals are toxic to farm workers, children, and animals.

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Aerotoxic Syndrome Investigated


A former commercial pilot is leading the investigation into the effects that toxic cabin air onboard passenger jets can have on the health of passengers and crew.

Former British Airways pilot, Tristan Loranie, who flew commercial airliners with the company for 19 years is warning that cabin air contains toxic chemicals which can incapacitate the crew, putting the lives of all on board in jeopardy.

Loranie has just completed six years of personal research into the quality of aircraft cabin air and the effects that poisonous chemicals it contains can have on those on board. He says that pilots could effectively become incapable of flying the aircraft due to these chemicals. In an article he wrote for the Daily Mail in the UK he said "Even more worrying is that, just like an over-confident drunk driver at the wheel of a car, they would have no idea they were doing anything wrong.

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Children have pesticides in their bodies after consuming regular food


A new US study demonstrates that harmful pesticides can be detected in the body fluids of children who consume conventionally grown foods.

The study was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and involved scientists from Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the University of Washington. The results are published in this month's issue of the Environmental Health Perspectives journal.

The study was conducted over the period of a year and involved children living in suburban areas of Seattle in the state of Washington.

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Participants Needed for Candida and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Research


Here at The Environmental Illness Resource we strongly believe that only through a huge increase in the amount of research being conducted into environmental illnesses will the recognition they deserve be forthcoming. Over the years there have been a not insignificant amount of studies into conditions such as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) with the majority suggesting there is something physically wrong with patients that is worthy of further study. The problem is that these studies have all been small, involving only a handful of patients. This has meant results are often not taken seriously by the medical establishment and other researchers, and this coupled with a severe lack of funding has meant further research has been limited.

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