Health

Posted on October 17, 2012

Children are not simply small versions of adults-they can be affected more easily, and more seriously, by pesticides and other contaminants.

In recent years there has been increasing concern about the health effects of exposure to pesticides, especially in children. This is partly due to the mounting toxicological evidence that children's exposures can be more hazardous than adult exposures, and because of the number of health effects in children that can be attributed to pesticide exposure.

Posted on October 17, 2012

Suddenly, and without much warning, biotech companies are rushing to get gene-altered products onto the shelves of local stores.

Review by Colin Graham, of
The Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops, Jane Risseler and Margaret Mellon; The MIT Press, 1996, 128 pp.

Consumers can help puncture the inflated claims of giant agrochemical companies. The science of gene splicing has appeared rather suddenly as an arcane, sometimes hopeful, but more often threatening technology. Polls show that 80% of British Columbians would, if given the choice, avoid transgenic food.

Posted on October 17, 2012

The community marketplace not only provides health benefits, it also contributes to the quality of life in rural settings.

Community marketplaces and related endeavours, such as farmers' markets, seed exchanges, and simple networking, are among the best features of rural life. Indeed, such amenities also produce benefits for city dwellers, as produce is frequently brought into urban settings to be sold country style. Vancouver's Granville Island is one of the most successful of such city marketplaces.

Posted on October 17, 2012

There's a good chance you're cleaning your hair with an APE—an AlkylPhenol Ethoxylate—and it may not be as biodegradable as you think it is.

We all try to be careful about pouring hazardous waste down sinks, toilets and storm drains. But we may not be quite as vigilant about the contents of our bath or shower water.

Posted on October 16, 2012

Canadian federal scientists say the common additive to industrial and household detergents and sprays seems to be related to the troubles of East Coast salmon stocks. The question is, where else are these chemicals causing problems?

by Miranda Holmes

Recent Department of Fisheries and Oceans research suggests that nonylphenols (one of the breakdown products of the family of chemicals known as alkylphenol ethoxylates or APEs) may be playing a role in the failure of salmon stocks to return to many of Canada's East Coast rivers.

Posted on October 15, 2012

Let Them Eat Plastic

Although it's been an issue of concern for many years in the scientific community, the mainstream media is only just catching up with the fact that plastics and food may not mix.

Posted on October 15, 2012

While snails undergo involuntary sex changes, the government dithers, forgetting about the precautionary principle and human health.

by Delores Broten

Tributyl tin (TBT), a substance still commonly painted on the hulls of large ships to repel barnacles and weeds, although banned for non-aluminium small boats, should be fast-tracked for virtual elimination by the Canadian government, says the World Wildlife Fund.

Posted on October 15, 2012

The image of Prince Edward Island as a pastoral paradise is a thing of the past, as agricultural pesticides pollute the rivers of the Maritime province.

by Sharon Labchuk

The carefully constructed image of Prince Edward Island as a pastoral paradise was shattered this summer. Over the course of one month, nine rivers were poisoned by agricultural pesticides. Thousands of fish were found belly-up, and frogs, snakes, worms, slugs and insects were exterminated.

Posted on October 15, 2012

Most things will biodegrade ... but what do they biodegrade into?

The most important question to ask yourself about the products you buy is, "What does clean really mean?" How important are polished silverware, absolutely white linens or shining floors? Are you trying to extend the useful life of the items or are you engaged in chemical warfare against dirt and germs at any price?

Posted on October 15, 2012

The pulp and paper industry is one of the largest and most polluting industries in the world; it is the third most polluting industry in North America.

by Delores Broten and Jay Ritchlin

(may be downloaded in pdf format)

Introduction

Pulp and paper mills still pollute our water, air, and soil. This guide explains how mills pollute, gives a vision for a sustainable pulp industry, and shows how British Columbia's "Zero AOX" law can help achieve a pulp and paper industry that sustains the environment, healthy communities, and jobs. This Pulp Pollution Primer explains the basic facts of pulp mill pollution, presents alternatives, and examines industry's resistance to change.

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