Environment

A pesticide called heptachlor epoxide and used in 1970s was found in milk at that time - and it being linked to Parkinson's disease now, in a paper in Neurology.

Early life exposures to toxic chemicals such as PCBs and DDT dampen an infant's response to the tuberculosis vaccine, according to a new study.

DDT? Banned over 40 years ago but so safe the United States EPA creates guidelines for other countries to spray it inside homes? 

It's that pesky 'persistent pollutant' designation which, like endocrine disruptor, is invoked when nothing else is available. Todd Jusko, Ph.D., an assistant professor in epidemiology at the University of Rocheste, lead author of the paper, also says PCBs - banned in the 1970s - are still impacting babies and, in case that doesn't get environmental activist fundraiser juices flowing, that thousand of other pollutants similar to PCBs and DDT have "unknown health implications."

Though 99.9999% of species that have gone extinct have never actually been identified, it is common to read claims that we are facing a catastrophic species extinction crisis.

It's best to take such talk with a grain of salt, because conservationists are only now discovering that cities are better at preserving species than pristine wilderness environments. A recent study looked at the distributions of 1,643 protected species in Australia, and counted up the number of these species that occurred in square-kilometer units across the continent. They found that, on average, urban environments contain more threatened protected species in a given area than rural environments.

A carbon tax of just $11 would offset the CO2 emissions from tourism, according to a paper in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism.

Every time people go on vacation, or journalists go off to climate conferences like the one in Paris, they are using fossil fuel energy. The total emissions from vacations like that would be the sixth largest emitter of CO2 if it were a country - five percent of total human-made emissions of CO2.   

The extinction of one carnivore species can trigger the demise of fellow predators - a phenomenon called horizontal extinction cascades, where extinctions of carnivore species can have a ripple effect across species triggering further unexpected extinctions of other carnivores.

Using insects, the research team Frank van Veen, Dirk Sanders and Rachel Kehoe from the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University's Penryn campus in Cornwall, set up experimental communities with complex food webs in 40 four-square metre outdoor field-cages which they observed over a spring and summer season. These communities consisted of several species of aphids and their natural enemies, parasitoid wasps.

Mexico City has the best hotel shower ever. I am not one to spend a long time in the shower, but since I have long thick hair, efficient showers are of great importance to me when on travel. So-called eco-friendly showers are doing the exact opposite of their intentions in my case.

Environmental activists love to harass farmers because, let's face it, protesting farmers is safe. You never see activists protesting the far worse environmental damage done by Mexican cartels raising illegal marijuana. Dead bodies are terrible for fundraising.

But that doesn't mean the damage isn't obvious. A new study has found that the annual rate of poisoning deaths of relatively rare, forest-dwelling fishers (Pekania pennant) rose 233 percent compared to a study in 2012. The toxicants were associated with illegal marijuana farms on public and tribal lands in Northern and Southern California.

Samples of permafrost soil are providing new ways to anticipate what may happen if northern regions of the world warm and begin to thaw.

Florida State University doctoral student Travis Drake and Florida State University Assistant Professor Robert Spencer write in a new paper that permafrost organic material is so biodegradable that as soon as it thaws, the carbon is almost immediately consumed by single-cell organisms called microbes and then released back into the air as carbon dioxide, feeding the global climate cycle. Their findings are laid out in an article published today by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Low-income housing residents who live in "green" buildings that are built with eco-friendly materials and energy-efficient features appear to have fewer "sick building" symptoms (SBS) than residents of traditionally constructed low-income housing, according to a new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Asthma outcomes--hospitalizations, attacks, and missed school days due to asthma--were also significantly lower for children living in the green buildings.