Daily Archives: January 20, 2010

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Too many colonoscopies performed on those at low risk for colon cancer

People considered “low risk” for colorectal cancer are having too many colonoscopies, and not enough patients considered “high risk” for the disease are having timely follow-up procedures, according to researchers with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. There is no debate that colonoscopies are vital for the early detection and treatment of cancers of the colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third most deadly cancer among American men and women. The American Cancer Society recommends people begin regular colon screenings at age 50 or earlier if they have a family history of the disease or are presenting bothersome ... Read More

Perry County residents voice concerns about coal ash storage

Ms. Ruby’s smile is infectious, but it is tinged with concern. At 80, she has lived in Perry County, Ala., all her life. But what has happened there these past few months has made her fear for her health. “You might have seen my picture in the paper,” she smiles at the video camera. John L. Wathen, a.k.a. Hurricane Creekkeeper, is shooting the video to capture community reaction to local government’s decision to store toxic coal ash in the nearby Arrowhead Landfill. That coal ash is recovered from the Emory River where more than a billion gallons of the toxic ... Read More

Why is toxic coal ash used to fertilize crops we eat?

We’ve all been told that eating fruits and vegetables can make us healthier. But some crops could make us sick. It’s the fertilizer that’s to blame. Farmers are being encouraged by the U.S. government to dust their fields with waste from coal-firing facilities. It’s a win-win situation, says the government. Coal ash helps loosen and fertilize soil for the farmers, and it helps reduce a waste disposal issue for the coal-firing plants. That coal ash is a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, produced by power plant “scrubbers” that remove sulfur dioxide from the smoke stack emissions. The chalky substance ... Read More

Chinese manufacturers substitute toxic cadmium for lead

Earlier this month, the Associated Press exposed yet another disturbing Chinese trade secret when it reported that some manufacturers in China are making children’s jewelry with the highly toxic metal cadmium. Children’s jewelry now joins the growing list of dangerous and sometimes deadly products pouring into the United States from China – a list that includes toys covered with lead paint, pet food and baby formula tainted with melamine, sulfuric drywall that has ruined thousands of homes, and other poorly made or defective merchandise. Evidence suggests that Chinese manufacturers are turning to cadmium as a substitute for lead, which the ... Read More