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    • Would you like flame retardants with that couch?
      For consumers worried about the potential health hazards of upholstered foam furniture treated with flame retardants, options abound. Yet the latest changes in standards, ongoing pushback from the chemical industry and resulting flux in the marketplace are also posing challenges for people shopping for new furniture.
    • Northwest wildlife refuges to phase out pesticide.
      Federal wildlife refuges in the Northwest and Hawaii will phase out a class of pesticides that are chemically similar to nicotine because they pose a threat to bees and other pollinators key to crop growth. The region covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii is the first in the agency to ban neonicotinoids.
    • The rivers that run through it: A basin of toxins.
      Blooms of blue-green algae spread across Lake Erie late every summer like a plague of slime, the vivid green coating so thick its soup-like texture can be seen from space. Those who ingest it suffer fevers, headaches and nausea from the toxins.
    • Genome editing of crops may be restricted by EU rules, warn scientists.
      A fledgling technology to manipulate the genes of crops in order to make them less susceptible to disease and more productive is at risk of falling foul of the European Union’s genetic modification rules, scientists warned on Monday.
    • US pork producers' use of drug may derail European trade deal.
      The growing anxiety over the safety of U.S. pork and other food products could thwart an expanded trade deal between the two economic superpowers, a top priority for President Barack Obama.
    • UN body sets new standards for milk, rice.
      A new set of standards by a United Nations food-standards body identified maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and arsenic in rice.
    • Massive raid to help Yurok tribe combat illegal pot grows.
      The California National Guard on Monday joined more than a dozen other agencies to help the Yurok tribe combat rampant marijuana grows that have threatened the reservation's water supply, harmed its salmon and interfered with cultural ceremonies.
    • Drier than the Dust Bowl: Waiting for relief in rural America.
      The current drought in Colorado is worse and longer-lasting than anyone here has ever seen — so punishing that it’s pushing people, whose families have survived on the land for decades, to the brink of giving up.
    • A double scorcher: June joins May with heat record.
      Last month was the Earth's warmest June since records began in 1880, according to data released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
    • Tinderbox explodes in wildfires across Northwest.
      Spreading mostly across sparsely populated areas in the Northwest, the fires have a vast scope: Less than a week into the typical three-month fire season in Washington and Oregon, the total area of scorched ground is already higher than in any full year in at least a decade.
    • Pennsylvania: Oil and gas operations damaged water supplies.
      Oil and gas operations have damaged Pennsylvania water supplies 209 times since the end of 2007, according to official determinations compiled by the Department of Environmental Protection that the agency is preparing to release for the first time.
    • Families sick from fracking exposure turn to concerned scientists.
      Like people in other regions transformed by the shale energy boom, residents of Washington County, PA, have complained of health problems. Instead of waiting years for studies, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project is using best available science to help people with ailments.
    • Is this US coal giant funding violent union intimidation in Colombia?
      Drummond — a closely held company based in Birmingham, Alabama, with revenues that reached $3 billion last year—has helped Colombia become the world’s fourth-largest coal exporter. It has also been named in several lawsuits alleging financial ties to paramilitary groups since the mid-1990s.
    • China meat scandal hits Starbucks, Burger King.
      A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald's said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets.
    • Group finds higher levels of PCBs in Malibu schools.
      The most contaminated classroom in the nation could be in Malibu due to highly toxic chemicals found in caulk, according to a public employee advocacy group.
    • Putting coal ash at the airport still on the table.
      Charlotte city officials and Duke Energy are still trying to figure our where to put millions of tons of coal ash sitting on the banks of Mountain Island Lake as they consider sites at Charlotte Douglas International Airport other than under runways.
    • Autism linked primarily to common gene variants.
      The main cause of autism disorders isn't environmental influences or DNA mutations but the inheritance of certain common gene variants, according to a study based on data from an unprecedentedly large population sample.
    • Beef pollutes more than pork, poultry, study says.
      Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says.
    • Drones on a different mission.
      The military use of armed drones is well known and contentious. But drones have been used to monitor seabird populations off Australia and rain forests in Indonesia, to study caribou and their effects on vegetation in Greenland, to combat poaching in Nepal and to conduct other conservation work.
    • Chemicals produced by body pose challenge in gauging exposure risks, EPA advisers say.
      A scientifically appropriate way the EPA could base safe lifetime exposure decisions about a chemical using data from human studies is just one of the questions a scientific advisory panel is wrestling with as it develops advice on a draft agency analysis of ammonia.

About us

This weblog is for the discussion of contemporary environmental public health issues – issues that may occur locally, nationally, or internationally. My name is Dr. Raymond W. Thron and I will be one of your hosts for this weblog. Joining me is Dr. Shana Morrell. Additional contributors and authors will be announced as they join. The commentaries reflect the opinions and beliefs of the individual writer. Your hosts will will attempt to ensure that all information posted is credible.

For any commentary, to see comments offered, please click on the commentary title, or on “comments” link at the end of the commentary.

Please note that all links in the commentaries were functional at the time the specific commentary was published. Links, however, do change. If you should encounter a non-functional link, do let me know. I will then try to find the new document location, if possible. Send a note to rwthron@yahoo.com

Thank you.

Raymond W. Thron, Ph.D.
Dr. Thron has had a life long career in environmental public health, having worked for both local and state agencies, the private sector, and currently as a faculty member at Walden University. At Walden University, he helped create and served as the first faculty chair for its doctorate program in public health. For ten years, he served as the director of environmental and occupational health for the State of Minnesota.

Previously he had the opportunity to work in several East European countries helping them regarding public health infrastructure, including environmental and occupational health issues, workforce development, and public health collaborative endeavors. Past academic affiliations include the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), Howard University, and through training provided to faculty at Namibia University, Namibia, and Kenyata University, Kenya.

Shana Morrell, Ph.D., MPH
Dr. Morrell received her MPH and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She majored in environmental health, specializing in environmental toxicology. She currently is the Academic MPH Program Coordinator with Walden University, in the School of Health Sciences.  She maintains a special interest in global environmental health and environmental and social justice.

Mehrdad M. Javaherian, Ph.D., MPH

 Dr. Javaherian holds degrees in civil/environmental engineering and public health, and a PhD in public health focused on epidemiology. His current research is focused on quantitative assessment of the benefits of sustainable best management practices on carbon dioxide emission reductions, including potential health implications. His past research has included quantitative assessment of the association between the built environment and pedestrian activity, and on mathematical modeling of vapor intrusion to indoor air. Dr. Javaherian also has 19 years of consulting experience in the field of environmental health, including performing site investigations, human health and ecological risk assessments, and design and implementation of in-situ remediation technologies at hazardous waste sites. He is currently involved on research, development, and application of multiple patented green and sustainable technologies focused on generating renewable sources of energy, and achieving unrestricted soil and groundwater cleanup in a sustainable manner.

Nina M. Bell, MPH
Mrs. Bell has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations, most of which encompass the healthcare arena. A resident of Northwestern Pennsylvania, she currently works as the Vice President of Stewardship and Development for The Wesbury Foundation, which supports a Continued Care Retirement Community of 400 aging adults.

In the realm of athletics, Mrs. Bell is a triathlete and completed five Ironman competitions as well as several Olympic and Sprint distance races. In 2000, she was named the ASCInet Ohio State Triathlon Series Age-Group Champion. She has also won her division in several regional races in Northwestern Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio. In 2007, she was named the Ford Ironman Everyday Hero at Ironman Wisconsin for her work in developing a children’s bicycling program to combat childhood obesity. That program is being developed into a publication that will be used as a model for other communities.

She holds a BA degree in public relations/journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s diploma from the University of London in organizational behavior, and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), a credential held by only 5,000 people worldwide. She is currently working toward her MPH and PhD in public health/health promotion and education at Walden University.

Return to the Environmental Public Health Today home posting page.

08 Feb 2010>

One Response

  1. Hello,
    I am a Walden University student, and I was to create a username and post my presentation on this weblog. However, I accidentally created a blog account rather than just obtain the username. I was wondering how exactly I would be able to contribute my presentation on here, or if I would need to create a different account.

    Thanks,

    Abe

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