Top Children's Health News

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water.

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. Circle of Blue

Mercury treaty now in force; brings new focus on alternatives.

The entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury Aug. 16 will spur companies worldwide to restrict their use of mercury and pursue alternatives to mercury added products. Bloomberg BNA

India threatens Philip Morris with 'punitive action' over alleged violations.

The Indian government has threatened Philip Morris International Inc with "punitive action" over the tobacco giant's alleged violation of the country's anti-smoking laws, according to a letter sent to the company by the federal health ministry. Reuters Health

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More news from EHN

BPA breakthrough: New treatment takes controversial chemical out of water.

Researchers report rapid removal of BPA from water using green chemistry. Environmental Health News

Science: Are we in a male fertility death spiral?

Male sterility is a growing problem. Here's why you should be worried—and your kids should be terrified. Environmental Health News

Reflections upon the death of a hero, Dr. Herbert Needleman.

David Bellinger

The passing of a great doctor and a fine American who shined a light on the injustice of lead poisoning. Environmental Health News

Hundreds of scientists call for caution on anti-microbial chemical use.

More than 200 scientists outline a broad range of concerns for triclosan and triclocarban and call for reduced use worldwide. Environmental Health News

The cost of clean: Disinfectants cause birth defects in baby mice.

Ordinary cleaning compounds—used in ordinary amounts—create long-lasting risks of spinal and brain defects in a lab study. Environmental Health News


EPA must get its facts straight on Exide cleanup.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seems to be having trouble explaining a lead-contamination cleanup it oversaw in Laureldale and Muhlenberg Township a decade ago. more…

Wolf, Shapiro right to defend clean air.

No commodity is as valuable as the air we breathe. If the EPA won’t protect it, then the states must. more…

Don't delay regulations for electronic cigarettes.

Public health advocates should be jumping for joy at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that it would explore ways to reduce nicotine levels in conventional cigarettes to non-addictive levels. more…

Children and environmental justice

An environmental threat: The East Chicago lead crisis one year later.

It has been more than a year since Mayor Anthony Copeland informed more than 1,000 West Calumet Housing Complex residents it was in their "best interest to temporarily relocate" because of contaminated soil. Northwest Indiana Times, Indiana

Researchers estimate lead released from Flint water pipes.

Lack of orthophosphate corrosion control contributed to city’s water crisis, according to new analysis. Chemical & Engineering News

Troubled Water: Crumbling pipes, tainted water plague black communities.

Skepticism about drinking water is pervasive through many black communities in northern cities and in pockets of poverty throughout the south. News21

Schools fail lead tests while many states don’t require testing at all.

While schools often struggle with the aftermath of finding lead in their drinking water, education advocates and health professionals agree that there’s an even costlier scenario: not knowing at all. News21

Stress, pollution could hurt fetuses of pregnant women.

The researchers found worse birth outcomes for chemical exposure alone than for chronic stress alone. But combined, the negative effects were multiplied. Sacramento Bee, California

Rural Appalachia lags the rest of the country in infant mortality and life expectancy.

The emerging health crisis in Appalachia is much more than the opioid epidemic. And the health gap between the region and national averages is relatively new. Washington Post

Kids around the globe

China to ban primary mercury mining by 2032 as convention comes into force.

China will ban the production and trade of a range of products containing mercury by 2020. Reuters

This beast kills at least 500,000 people a year. A Penn scientist is trying to stop it.

In the fight against Zika, malaria, and other mosquito-borne killers, the answer could lie with the insect's immune system. Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania

McDonald’s requests injunction against consumer agency’s probe report.

McDonald’s Korea has asked the local court to block the release of results from a consumer group’s analysis of hamburgers being sold at fast-food chains and convenience stores in Korea. Korea Herald, South Korea


Poison once flowed in America's waters. With Trump, it might again.

Over the past four decades, a huge amount of effort has gone into cleaning America’s heavily polluted waters. Is all of that progress about to be undone? more…

Is your drinking water safe? Here's how you can find out.

America's drinking water infrastructure is aging and needs billions of dollars in upgrades. Two extension educators urge consumers to monitor their water and have it tested if they suspect problems. more…

I was skeptical that the anti-vaccine movement was gaining traction. Not anymore.

Trump has energized the vaccine skeptics, and that’s dangerous. more…

Air pollution and kids

New study finds higher air pollution at school drop-off zones.

Kids are getting more than just a ride at school drop-off zones, according to research from the University of Toronto. Metro Canada

L.A. to make sure air filters are being installed in homes near freeways.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered Los Angeles building inspectors to begin tracking whether required air filtration systems are being installed in new homes near freeways, officials said Tuesday. Los Angeles Times

Unhealthy air in rural Alaska homes targeted in tribal program.

Children were wheezing, but it wasn’t because they were catching colds — their homes were sick. Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska

Smog follows Chicagoans on vacation to Wisconsin, Michigan.

Scores of Chicagoans and suburbanites retreat from the dog days of summer by heading to bucolic vacation spots around Lake Michigan. But there is no escape from city pollution. Chicago Tribune, Illinois

Kids and industrial agriculture

Thirteen Bangladeshi children died from controversial insecticide only recently banned by US.

A case of pesticide poisoning highlights stark differences in safety regulations on either side of the Atlantic as British negotiators seek trade deal with U.S. The Independent, United Kingdom

Trump’s EPA greenlit this pesticide linked to brain damage. Eight senators are fighting back.

On Tuesday, two senators introduced a bill that would ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to brain damage in kids. Mother Jones

Pesticides may have caused South Asian children's sudden deaths.

A pesticide banned by international treaty in 2011 could be responsible for the deaths of young children in South Asia, according to new findings. Voice of America

Solutions and Good News

Turning baker’s yeast into a disease sensor.

With a few tweaks, the fungus behind bread and beer could become a simple, low-cost cholera detector. The Atlantic

How to get people to wear more sunscreen: Make it free.

BrightGuard is installing free sunscreen dispensers across the country, in the hopes of reducing melanoma rates by 20% by 2025. Fast Company

Editor comments: Added bonus: The company's SPF follows guidelines spelled out in the Environmental Working Group’s annual sunscreen guide. -LP

US youth tobacco use in 2016 fell by largest amount in 6 years.

Youth tobacco use in the United States fell to historic lows in 2016, leading public health experts to speculate that a smoke-free generation may be within reach. Reuters

Global diarrhoea deaths down by a third.

The number of children dying worldwide of diarrhoea fell by a third between 2005 and 2015, researchers have found. BBC

Endocrine Disruption and kids

Can endocrine disruptors elevate risk of breast cancer?

Research suggests chemicals in the environment might help breast cancer grow. US News & World Report

1 in 5 Americans drank potentially unsafe water during past decade.

As many as 63 million people – nearly a fifth of the country – were exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade, according to a News21 investigation of 680,000 water quality and monitoring violations from the Environmental Protection Agency. News21

Ottawa ignoring hazards of top pesticides sold in Canada.

Canada's pesticide regulator, the PMRA, is accused of turning a blind eye to problems with three of the most popular pesticides on the market. National Observer, Canada

Studies shed new light on the EDC potential of BPA & BPS.

While bisphenol A is a known endocrine-disrupting compound (EDC), its substitute bisphenol S has been shown to be worrisome as well. Three new studies add more evidence that exposure to these EDCs early in life will likely lead to serious health issues later in life. Endocrine News

Climate and kids

Australia emits mercury at double the global average.

A report released this week by advocacy group Environmental Justice Australia presents a confronting analysis of toxic emissions from Australia’s coal-fired power plants. The Conversation, Australia

Thirty years after the Montreal Protocol, solving the ozone problem remains elusive.

Scientists warn of new threats to the ozone layer, including widespread use of ozone-eating chemicals not covered by the treaty. Yale Environment 360

Flint water crisis to remain an issue through 2018 governor's election.

Whoever replaces Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will have to confront the aftermath of the public health disaster and how he or she proposes to deal with it. Detroit Free Press, Michigan

The new climate change activists may surprise you.

New podcast series explores how some people are taking unique approaches to climate activism. National Geographic News

California’s biggest drought success story came with a high cost.

East Porterville was the hardest-hit community during the drought, when nearly 1,000 people were without water. Efforts to find a long-term fix have been successful but came with a big price tag and some important lessons. Water Deeply

Activists aim to turn Sun Belt into front line on climate.

In the sweltering Sun Belt, workers laboring outdoors are wrestling with the personal and political consequences of a worsening environment. New York Times

Energy and children's health

A pass to poison.

How the state of Texas allows industrial facilities to repeatedly spew unauthorized air pollution — with few consequences. Texas Tribune, Texas

Research on mountaintop removal health effects adequate, panel told.

Dozens of studies already published about mountaintop removal coal mining’s effects on public health provide adequate evidence to support ending the practice, a leading author on the subject told a National Academy of Sciences panel. Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia

Meet the people on the front lines of America’s coal wars.

As the coal industry falters and alternative energy gains steam, hear the voices from all sides of the debate. National Geographic News

Food, agriculture and kids

A soil app aims to get kids deep into dirt.

The Center for Ecoliteracy has developed a new tool to help kids understand where their food comes from. Civil Eats

The great soy formula experiment.

Soy milk and soy formula contain potent human hormone disruptors. We don’t know what this means for child development. Undark

More than 1 million malnourished children in Yemen at risk of cholera.

More than one million malnourished children aged under five in Yemen are living in areas with high levels of cholera, the charity Save The Children warned on Wednesday as it began sending more health experts to the worst hit areas. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Is fast food packaging harmful? Chuck Schumer wants FDA to investigate.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday urged the Food and Drug Administration to launch an investigation into the possible use of chemicals in the packaging of fast foods, that can have a detrimental effect on people’s health. International Business Times

Al-Shabaab militants ban starving Somalis from accessing aid.

Islamist militants in Somalia have imposed a ban on humanitarian assistance in areas they control, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to choose between death from starvation and disease or brutal punishment. The Guardian

New C.D.C. chief saw Coca-Cola as ally in obesity fight.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald said she would consider taking money from Coke for C.D.C. programs despite the agency’s having cut ties with the company in the past. New York Times