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Could Pollution Help Decide Your Baby's Sex?

A boy or a girl? New research suggests that the air pregnant women breathe or the water they drink could play a role in their baby's sex.

The finding stems from tracking hundreds of factors — including pollution exposure — surrounding the birth of more than 6 million Americans...

Pandemic Data Suggests Cars Spew More Ammonia Than Suspected

COVID-19 lockdowns brought surprising news to scientists studying pollution: Cars spew much more ammonia into the air than previously thought.

Ammonia is a common air pollutant that's a major cause of lung and heart disease, especially in cities.

“The tricky question has always been: How do we separate out ammonia concentrations owing to traffic from the ammonia emitted from sourc...

Old Spice, Secret Antiperspirants Recalled Due to Benzene

Several Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirants and hygiene products have been voluntarily recalled in the United States due to the presence of the cancer-causing chemical benzene, Proctor & Gamble says.

Benzene exposure can occur by inhalation, orally and through the skin. It can lead to cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as potentially lif...

Biden Announces New Lung Health Program for U.S. Veterans

A new program to help U.S. veterans with lung problems caused by inhaling toxins while deployed was announced on Veterans Day by President Joe Biden.

It will also assess the potential connection between cancers and time spent overseas breathing poor air, according to the White House.

"We're discovering there is a whole host of lung conditions related to deployment," Dr. Richard Meeh...

'Forever Chemicals' Might Raise Risk of Pregnancy Complication

So-called "forever chemicals" might increase pregnant women's risk of a dangerous condition known as preeclampsia, researchers say.

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are widely used and long-lasting chemicals found in the drinking water of many U.S. communities.

A new study found a link between PFAS exposure and late-onset preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressur...

Would You Like Phthalates With That? Fast Food Contains Industrial Chemicals: Report

Do you like your burgers well done with a side of plastic?

Probably not. But a new study suggests that fast food often comes with a sizable helping of plastic-softening chemicals that could potentially lead to hormone disruption, infertility and learning disabilities.

At issue are phthalates and other so-called "replacement plasticizers." Manufacturers use these chemicals to help so...

A High-Tech Pointer to Pollutants That Trigger Asthma in Kids

Dust mites and smoke are known triggers of asthma in children. Now, scientists have identified previously unknown combinations of air pollutants that appear tied to the respiratory disorder.

"Asthma is one the most prevalent diseases affecting children in the United States. In this study, we developed a list of air pollutants a young child may be exposed to that can lead to longer-term pr...

EPA Plans New Strategy Against PFAS 'Forever Chemicals'

MONDAY, Oct. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) --- A new plan to limit pollution from so-called "forever chemicals" will include restricting their release into the environment and speeding cleanup of contaminated sites, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday.

The chemicals, called PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), are used in products ranging from cookware to carpets ...

Smoke From Nuclear War Would Trigger Massive Climate Change, Endangering Health

Nuclear war would trigger worldwide climate change and take a dire toll on food production and human health, according to scientists who studied different scenarios using a modern climate model.

"Although we suspected that ozone would be destroyed after nuclear war and that would result in enhanced ultraviolet light at the Earth's surface, if there was too much smoke, it would block out t...

EPA to Sharply Limit Refrigerant Production in New Climate Rule

In a move to combat global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday that it will restrict U.S. production and use of hydrofluorocarbons by 85% over the next 15 years.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are potent greenhouse gases often used in refrigerators and air conditioners, and they are vastly more powerful than carbon dioxide. These gases can leak into the a...

Toxic Leaded Gasoline Is Finished Globally

Algeria recently became the last country in the world to halt sales of highly toxic leaded gasoline, the U.N. Environment Agency (UNEP) said Monday.

The agency said that marked the "official end" of the use of the fuel that's been linked to a wide range of human health problems, the Associated Press reported.

"The successful enforcement of the ban on leaded petrol is a huge...

Defense Department Isn't Protecting Service Members From Toxic 'Forever Chemicals': Audit

The U.S. Department of Defense isn't doing enough to guard service members against exposure to so-called "forever chemicals" associated with a range of health problems, the department's inspector general said Tuesday.

The internal audit also noted that the department is falling short on tracking the health effects from exposure to the toxic compounds, called perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroa...

Pesticide Harmed Children's Brains: Lawsuits

Lawsuits claiming that the widely used bug killer chlorpyrifos caused brain damage in children were filed Monday in California.

Past research has shown that the pesticide harms the brains of fetuses and children, the Associated Press reported.

Chlorpyrifos is approved for use on more than 80 crops, but was banned for household use in 2001. The U.S. Environmental Protection ...

Dyeing Your Hair? Beware Chemical Burns

Nothing can perk up your appearance like a new cut and color, but failure to take proper precautions when having your hair dyed could result in chemical burns on your scalp, an expert warns.

"We usually see this injury around prom season and into summer," said Dr. Nneka Okafor, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

"We are ...

Leaded Gas, Banned Decades Ago, Might Still Harm People Today

The good news: Levels of lead in the air that Londoners breathe are far lower today than they were in the 1980s, when leaded gas was an automotive staple.

The bad news: Decades-old lead particles still pollute the city's air, a stubborn and potentially hazardous leftover of a now banned product. The findings might have implications for the health of city dwellers globally.

In the ...

5 Tests You Should Not Order for a Child With Autism

A leading medical group is offering testing guidelines for children with autistic behaviors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health emphasized that certain measurements to test for exposure to chemicals are not helpful to guide treatment. The council pointed out that just because a chemical is found in the body doesn't mean it will cause harm.

The counc...

Hand Sanitizer Vapors Can Cause Nausea, Dizziness

The coronavirus pandemic has had an unexpected side effect -- a wave of bad reactions to alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Vapors from the products can cause headache, nausea and dizziness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which advises consumers to use the products in well-ventilated areas.

"We have received increasing reports of these side effects since the start ...

Are Women Absorbing Toxins From Their Makeup?

A polished, perfectly put-together face can be a huge boost to your confidence, but a new study shows that many of the cosmetics that help achieve that look might also be harmful to your health.

In the United States and Canada, plenty of beauty products appear to contain high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a potentially toxic class of chemicals linked to some seriou...

Moderate Use of Hair Relaxers Won't Raise Black Women's Cancer Risk: Study

Moderate use of hair relaxers doesn't increase a Black woman's risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.

"While there is biologic plausibility that exposure to some components contained in hair relaxers might increase breast cancer risk, the evidence from epidemiologic studies to date continues to be inconsistent," said lead author Kimberly Bertrand, an epidemiologist and assistant...

Poison Centers Warn Against Gas Siphoning

A rash of gasoline-related poisoning calls has led U.S. poison experts to warn against gas siphoning.

Gasoline hoarding and siphoning in some East Coast states has led to a significant increase in gasoline-related emergencies, the Association of Poison Control Centers said.

Recent concerns about limited gasoline supplies due to the shutdown of a major pipeline led some people to try...

Meat Production Is Dirtying the Air You Breathe

Steaks and burgers could be killing thousands of Americans each year, but in a way most people wouldn't expect -- via air pollution.

That's the conclusion of a new study estimating that airborne particles generated by food production kill nearly 16,000 Americans each year. Pollution related to animal products -- most notably beef -- accounts for 80% of those deaths.

"What we eat aff...

'BPA-Free' Bottles Might Need a Run Through Your Dishwasher First

It's a good idea to run drinking bottles you think are BPA-free through the dishwasher several times before using them, a new study suggests.

University of Cincinnati researchers found that some supposedly BPA-free water bottles contain traces of the chemical, which is believed to pose a health risk.

For the study, they analyzed water bottles bought in other countries and expected t...

Volunteer Firefighters Have High Levels of Potentially Toxic Chemicals

Volunteer firefighters have higher levels of so-called "forever chemicals" in their bodies than the general population does, a new study finds.

It also found that levels of these potentially toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in volunteer firefighters' bodies rise with years of service.

PFAS are found in everyday items like electronics and carpeting, and they have been...

Workers' Deaths From Paint Stripping Chemicals Are on the Rise

A deadly chemical in paint strippers continues to kill workers despite its known dangers, a new study finds.

The chemical methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane (DCM), is a solvent found in paint strippers, cleaners, degreasers, adhesives and sealants. When inhaled, it produces large quantities of carbon monoxide that can cut off oxygen to the heart. At high doses, it switches ...

A Woman's Exposure to DDT Could Affect Her Granddaughter's Health Today

A long-banned pesticide may be having health effects that ripple across generations, a new study suggests.

At issue is DDT, a once widely used pesticide that was banned in the United States in 1972. That ban, however, was not the end of the story.

DDT is a persistent organic pollutant, a group of chemicals that are slow to break down and linger in the environment for years. So ...

Common Household Chemicals Tied to Preemie Births

Even when women do their best to have a safe pregnancy, chemicals commonly found in the home could still raise their risk for premature delivery, a new study shows.

The chemicals -- called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) -- are used as flame retardants in items like furniture and carpets.

For the study, researchers analyzed blood samples from over 3,500 pregnant women, includ...

Formaldehyde in Hair Straighteners Prompts FDA Warning

You might decide your frizzy locks aren't so bad after all, given a new warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that most hair straightening/smoothing products release formaldehyde gas, a human carcinogen.

Being exposed to formaldehyde for longer periods of time and at higher concentrations increases the health risks, according to the FDA.

Formaldehyde exposure can ...

Catnip Might Be Your Next Mosquito Repellent

A common herb that makes your favorite feline high may hold the key to a mosquito-free summer in your backyard.

Researchers say catnip is as effective as synthetic insect repellents, including DEET, and they report why this common member of the mint family drives bugs positively buggy.

The active ingredient in catnip -- nepetalactone -- activates an ancient pain receptor found in an...

Drivers May Be Inhaling Dangerous Carcinogens Inside Their Cars

Worried about what damage the polluted air outside might pose to your health during your work commute? New research suggests you might want to worry more about the chemicals you are exposed to inside your car.

Benzene and formaldehyde are used in automobile manufacturing, and both are known to cause cancer at or above certain levels of exposure. Benzene also poses a risk of repro...

Pandemic Has People Cleaning, and That Means More Asthma Attacks

The coronavirus pandemic has turned many people into clean freaks, but new research suggests that deploying all those extra household disinfectants might be triggering asthma flare-ups.

"We became concerned with increased cleaning and disinfecting related to the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with people spending more time indoors may expose people with asthma to more environmental triggers ...

Hand Sanitizer Is Harming Kids' Eyes, Often Seriously

The explosive rise in use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dangerous, unintended consequence: eye injuries among children.

Using data from French poison control and a children's hospital in Paris, researchers reported that accidental eye injuries to kids under age 18 shot up sevenfold during a five-month period last year, compared to 2019.

Vaping May Addle the Adolescent Brain

Teenagers who use e-cigarettes may be at increased risk of "mental fog," a new study suggests.

The study, of thousands of U.S. teens, found that those who vaped were three times more likely than their peers to report problems with concentration, memory and decision-making.

The findings mirror those of a recent study of adults by the same research team: Men and women who used e-...

Microplastics Are Seeping Out of Baby's Bottle, Study Shows

New parents preparing a bottle for their baby should know the infant may ingest unwanted microplastics along with the nourishing formula, a new study warns.

High levels of microplastic particles are released from baby bottles during formula preparation, researchers discovered during lab testing.

Infants are likely exposed to an average daily dose of nearly 1.6 million microp...

No Link Between Permanent Hair Dyes and Cancer: Study

Millions of people color their own hair, even though some of the chemicals in permanent hair dyes are considered possible carcinogens.

So, is home hair coloring safe?

According to a new study, the answer is a qualified yes.

After tracking cancer risk among more than 117,000 U.S. women for 36 years, the investigators found that personal use of permanent hair dyes wa...

Toxins Form When E-Cigarette Chemicals Mix, Study Says

There's more bad news about electronic cigarettes: Researchers have identified previously unknown toxins that can affect the heart and lungs of those who vape.

The chemicals form when manufacturers combine flavorings with solvents in e-cigarettes, according to the study. These chemicals can irritate the airways and trigger reactions that result in breathing, heart and blood vessel pro...

Harmful Flame Retardants Detected in College-Classroom Dust

Indoor spaces often contains harmful chemicals, say researchers who found high levels of toxic flame retardants in the dust of some U.S. college classrooms.

The chemicals have been linked to thyroid disease, infertility, decreased IQ, cancer and other health problems. They were released by furniture in the facilities.

When they get into dust, the chemicals can enter your bod...

Hot Asphalt Releases a Lot of Pollution Into the Air

Asphalt baking in the summer sunshine is no fun for tender feet, but a new study suggests it's not doing your lungs any favors either.

As it heats up, asphalt releases chemical compounds that contribute to air pollution. And its emissions double as its temperature increases from 104 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers found.

Sunlight plays a key role in these asphalt emis...

Autopsies Show Microplastics in All Major Human Organs

Microscopic bits of plastic have most likely taken up residence in all of the major filtering organs in your body, a new lab study suggests.

Researchers found evidence of plastic contamination in tissue samples taken from the lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys of donated human cadavers.

"We have detected these chemicals of plastics in every single organ that we have investigat...

Fireworks Are Bad News for Your Lungs

A new threat has been added to the risks posed by fireworks -- they can release toxic metals that can damage your lungs.

These metals give fireworks their colors, according to researchers who found harmful levels of lead in two of 12 types of commercially available fireworks they tested.

"While many are careful to protect themselves from injury from explosions, our results s...

There's Another Benefit to Hand-Washing During Pandemic

Washing your hands more often may do more than slow the spread of COVID-19: New research suggests it also lowers your exposure to toxic flame retardants.

How? Scientists found that halogenated flame retardants used in plastic TV cases can travel from the TV to indoor air and dust, then to hands, and then to electronic devices such as cellphones.

That means that you can be ex...

Bleach on Fruit, Lysol Gargles:  Many Getting Home Disinfection Dangerously Wrong

Nearly two out of five Americans are using bleach and other household cleaners in potentially dangerous ways in an effort to protect themselves against COVID-19 infection, a new survey reveals.

About 20% Americans say they have applied bleach to their fruits and vegetables as a means of disinfection, a practice not recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Could Certain Chemicals Trigger Celiac Disease?

Toxic chemicals in a wide range of products are associated with an increased risk of celiac disease in children and young adults, researchers say.

People with celiac disease -- an immune disorder -- can't tolerate foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

New York University researchers analyzed the blood of 30 children and young adults newly diagn...

Replace That Old Carpet to Shield Your Kids From Toxins

If you have kids and carpets, it might be time to redecorate. Older carpets are a major source of kids' exposure to harmful chemicals known as PFAS, researchers say.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are associated with serious health risks in kids and adults, including impaired neurodevelopment, immune system dysfunction, hormone disruption and cancer.

The chemical...

As Coronavirus Fears Surge, Keep Cleaning Products Away From Children

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a wave of accidental poisonings from household cleaners and disinfectants.

With the National Poison Data System recently reporting a more than 20% spike in such emergencies, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) emphasized the need to store cleaning products safely away from children.

Bleach and alcohol-based hand sanitizers accoun...

Laser Process May Kill Bacteria on Metal Surfaces

Researchers have come up with a new twist on antibacterial technology.

By giving a metal surface a different texture, the team at Purdue University in Indiana said it may be possible to turn that surface into an immediate bacteria killer.

The technique won't kill viruses like the one responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, because they are much smaller than bacteria, the res...

FDA Pulls Heartburn Drug Zantac From Market

All versions of the heartburn drug Zantac (ranitidine) have been pulled from the U.S. market due to possible contamination with a probable cancer-causing chemical, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

This is the latest step in an ongoing investigation of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications, the agency noted.

In some ranitidine products, ...

The Most Effective Ways to Kill Coronavirus in Your Home

A number of home cleaning supplies may be effective against the new coronavirus, experts say.

"Not many scientific studies have asked which are the most effective disinfecting agents to use against [the new coronavirus] because it was discovered so recently," said Siobain Duffy, an associate professor of ecology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., with expertise in emerging ...

More Evidence Tying Vitamin E Acetate to Vapers' Lung Disease

Researchers have found more evidence from animal studies linking vitamin E acetate in vaping liquids to deadly lung damage in people who use electronic cigarettes.

Vitamin E acetate is sometimes used in vaping liquids with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Since August, there have been more than 2,800 U.S. cases of EVALI (e-cigarette- or vaping-associated lung injury...

Female Firefighters Face Higher Exposure to Carcinogens

Female firefighters are exposed to chemicals that may be linked with breast and other types of cancer, researchers say.

Compared to women working in offices, female firefighters in San Francisco are exposed to higher levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals are used in firefighting foam and uniforms, grease- and water-resistant coatings and in fabrics, fur...

Common Plastics Chemicals Linked to Autism Traits in Young Boys

Young boys whose mothers were exposed to chemicals known as phthalates while pregnant may face an increased risk for developing behaviors associated with autism, a new study warns.

Phthalates are chemicals found in many household products, including cosmetics and plastics.

The study didn't identify a heightened risk for autism per se among boys, but rather a "small" increas...