India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?
- This Indian Startup Turns Polluted Air Into Climate-Friendly Tiles ... ›
- How to Win the Fight Against Plastic - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Stephanie Eick
You may not realize it, but you likely encounter phthalates every day. These chemicals are found in many plastics, including food packaging, and they can migrate into food products during processing. They're in personal care products like shampoos, soaps and laundry detergents, and in the vinyl flooring in many homes.
- 7 Types of Plastic Wreaking Havoc on Our Health - EcoWatch ›
- Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Results in Decline in Toxic Phthalates ... ›
- Phthalates Exposure in Womb Linked to Autistic Traits in Boys ... ›
Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.
Charlotte's Web<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDcwMjk3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MzQ0NjM4N30.SaQ85SK10-MWjN3PwHo2RqpiUBdjhD0IRnHKTqKaU7Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="84700" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a2174067dcc0c4094be25b3472ce08c8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="charlottes web cbd oil" data-width="1244" data-height="1244" /><p>Perhaps one of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for several years. The company is currently in the process of achieving official USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts. Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavor options such as chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist.</p>
- Best CBD Oils of 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oil for Pain Management - Top 10 CBD Oil Review 2020 ... ›
- Best CBD for Dogs 2020 - Organic CBD Oil for Pets - EcoWatch ›
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil: What To Know - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Waters: Plus All You Need to Know - EcoWatch ›
- The Best Water Soluble CBD Available Online - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD for Sleep (Lab-Tested, Person-Tested Oils) - EcoWatch ›
- Strongest CBD Oils to Buy in 2021? - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Oils For Pain: Top 3 Brands of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
- 8 Science-Based Benefits of CBD Oil - EcoWatch ›
- Best CBD Vape Pen: Top Brands of 2020 - EcoWatch ›
- Because Price Matters: Most Affordable CBD Oils of 2021 - EcoWatch ›
Dealing with pest infestations in your home can be stressful. While there are plenty of exterminators that can use toxic chemicals to rid you of your problem, sometimes you want a less harmful solution. Luckily, there are some DIY, eco-friendly methods and natural products that can effectively keep pests out of your home. Below, we're discussing some easy-to-use, natural pest control options for the most common household pests.
Bed Bugs<p>Bed bugs are among the most prevalent pests to infest homes, and they're among the most stressful for homeowners to manage.</p><p>Luckily, there's a simple DIY solution you can use to kill bed bugs in their tracks. Sprinkle baking soda around the areas you believe to be infected, including around the base of your beds and couches, especially near the legs.</p><p>When bed bugs inevitably try to traverse the powder, the baking soda will naturally dry them out and can kill them before they get to you to feed. Let the powder sit for about a week before vacuuming it up and disposing of the dead bed bugs.</p><p>Pro tip: baking soda is effective against cockroaches as well!</p>
Termites<p>Termites feed on wood and often burrow into the framing of your home to feed, gradually causing damage and potentially compromising the structural stability of your house.</p><p>Many pest control companies use bait stations with potentially harmful chemicals to kill termites, but you can often get a successful treatment using vinegar and lemon juice. The acidity will either deter termites or kill those that are exposed to it.</p><p>Simply mix a cup of white vinegar with the juice from four lemons, and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Apply the solution to areas where you see termite damage or believe the insects may enter your home. Reapply regularly to ensure thorough treatment.</p>
Rodents<p>Whether you live in a rural setting, or an urban sprawl like New York City, mice, rats, and other rodents have an uncanny ability to find a way into your home. However, many of us still feel bad about using poison or rodent traps to kill or capture them. Thankfully, there's a much simpler method for keeping rodents out that won't cause them any harm.</p><p>Mice and rats naturally stay away from certain scents, and peppermint is one of the odors they detest the most. Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them around your home where you believe the rodents are entering. The smell can help keep them at bay and may make them decide to relocate entirely.</p><p>If you have a major infestation you can't solve on your own, don't hesitate to look for <a href="https://www.peststrategies.com/exterminators/new-york/new-york-city/" target="_blank">eco-friendly pest control companies in cities like New York</a> that use non-toxic solutions and integrated pest management. Their treatments often have better results than homemade repellants while remaining safe for the environment.</p>
Ants<p>It's never pleasant to find ants in your home, and keeping them outside where they belong is often straightforward, even without harmful insecticides.</p><p>Ants leave scent trails to help others locate food sources. Aside from eliminating potential attractions in your home like garbage, crumbs, or unsealed food, destroying the scent trail is an excellent way to ruin their chance of finding a meal in your house.</p><p>The acidity and pungent odor of lemon juice can wipe out a scent trail. Spraying some around areas where you notice ants entering your home can help deter them altogether.</p>
Mosquitoes<p>Mosquitoes are just about the only thing that can ruin a beautiful, sunny day in your yard. Most pest management companies can spray pesticides to keep them at bay, but these can be harmful to you, your family, and other beneficial insects on your property.</p><p>Luckily, there's an eco-friendly solution that can keep mosquitoes away for weeks on end. Mix about two cups of mint-flavored mouthwash, three cups of Epsom salt, and three cans of stale, non-alcoholic beer (yes, really!). Spray the solution around your yard, avoiding only flowers.</p><p>The zero-toxicity repellent can deter mosquitoes entirely, leaving you to enjoy the outdoors in peace.</p>
By Brett Wilkins
Texas oil refineries released hundreds of thousands of pounds of pollutants including benzene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide into the air as they scrambled to shut down during last week's deadly winter storm, Reuters reported Sunday.
Californians with long commutes may be inhaling chemicals that put them at risk for cancer and birth defects, a new study has found.
- Scientists Combine House Plant With Rabbit Gene to Form 'Green ... ›
- 'Car-Free Zones' Launching in London - EcoWatch ›
- Self-Driving Cars Could Cause More Pollution – Unless Electric Grid ... ›
By Martin Kuebler
In recent years, scientists had been alarmed by a sudden unexplained rise in ozone-attacking chemicals in the atmosphere. Higher levels of trichlorofluoromethanes, also known as CFC-11, were showing up in air samples — despite being officially banned worldwide since 2010.
- Human Cooperation Can Restore Climate Patterns: The Case of the ... ›
- UN: Healing Ozone Layer Shows Why Environmental Treaties ... ›
- Honeybee Venom Kills Aggressive Breast Cancer Cells, Study ... ›
- Is Your Pet Exposed to Glyphosate? New Study to Offer Tests and ... ›
- Push for Answers About Environmental Causes of Child Cancer ... ›
- How to Help a Sick Looking Marine Animal - EcoWatch ›
By Elliot Douglas
First developed in China more than a thousand years ago, fireworks have since become an integral part of celebrations all over the world. From New Year's Eve festivities, to U.S. Independence Day and Diwali in India, many events have become almost synonymous with the spark and spectacle of mini explosions lighting up the night sky.
By Jessica Corbett
A joint report on Monday highlighted the pressure that President-elect Joe Biden is already facing to deliver on his environmental justice campaign promises—particularly when it comes to the 34 Superfund sites nationwide for which there is no reliable cleanup funding—the largest backlog of "unfunded" sites in 15 years.
- U.S. Military Is World's Biggest Polluter - EcoWatch ›
- Do You Live Near One of the 1,300 Most Toxic Sites in America ... ›
- 945 Toxic Waste Sites at Risk of Disaster From Climate Crisis ... ›
- Biden Has Pledged to Advance Environmental Justice – Here’s How the EPA Can Start - EcoWatch ›
By Doug Johnson
Laptops, phones and tablets come out in new, flashier upgrades each year, and consumers lap them up, eager to own the latest desirable models with the most cutting-edge features. But with every upgrade, older models mount up in landfills around the world.
- Electronic Waste Reaches Record Levels, New Report Finds ... ›
- Old Batteries Can Be Sources of New Energy - EcoWatch ›
- Designing Batteries for Easier Recycling Could Avert E-Waste Crisis ... ›
- The EU Declares War on E-Waste - EcoWatch ›
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) failure on food chemical safety has left consumers at risk of chronic diseases.
We Are Sick<p>A lot of us are affected by chronic health conditions. <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/research/reports/children-diabetes-rates-rise.html" target="_blank">Diabetes in children</a> and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr123-508.pdf" target="_blank">adults</a>; <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_258.pdf" target="_blank">attention</a>, learning and memory disorders; <a href="https://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/obesity.asp" target="_blank">obesity in children</a> and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr122-508.pdf" target="_blank">adults</a>; thyroid dysfunction; and the list goes on. Experts call them non-communicable diseases because, unlike pathogens like bacteria and viruses, we do not pass them from one person to another. <a href="https://www.who.int/nmh/publications/ncd-status-report-2014/en/" target="_blank">Global public health experts</a> linked tobacco use, physical inactivity, alcohol abuse, and unhealthy diets to increases in the risk of non-communicable diseases.</p><p>Unhealthy diets are usually associated with calorie-dense nutrient-poor foods, often called ultra-processed foods, due to their ingredients resulting from a series of industrial processes, many requiring sophisticated equipment and technology (sweet and savory snacks, reconstituted meats). In addition to industrially produced ingredients (high-fructose corn syrup, protein isolates, hydrogenated oil), such food also contains numerous additives including dyes, flavors, emulsifiers, thickeners, and artificial sweeteners. Further, industrial chemicals used in packaging manufacturing and food processing equipment —such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, PFAS, perchlorate— are also found in these foods.</p><p>These intentional uses of chemical additives number in the thousands, and many have been linked to endocrine disruption, neurological and behavioral problems, cancer, and heart and liver disease.</p>
Congress Added Guardrails Against Chronic Health Effects<p>In the U.S., approximately <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2011.00166.x" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10,000 chemicals</a> can be purposely added to food or enter the food supply through processing equipment and packaging, and 60 percent of the calories ingested are from ultra-processed foods. In 1958, Congress gave the FDA authority to regulate chemicals intentionally added to food or to food contact materials, commonly known as food additives, to ensure their use is safe. <a href="https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=170.3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Safe</a> means the potential toxic health effects of a new additive that becomes part of the diet must be assessed in combination with other substances already present and are expected to have similar health effects. Thus, the cumulative assessment of health effects by a class of related substances prevents the addition of intentional new or expanded uses of chemical additives that would increase chronic disease. Moreover, this approach, together with systematic review of prior safety decisions results in health risk reduction.</p>
FDA Neglected Its Responsibility to Follow the Law<p>We wanted to investigate whether and how food manufacturers and the FDA had implemented the cumulative effect requirement. To do that, <a href="https://www.edf.org/media/lack-key-considerations-fda-food-chemical-safety-process-leaves-consumers-risk-chronic" target="_blank">we downloaded and reviewed all 877 safety determinations</a> contained in the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) <a href="https://www.fda.gov/food/generally-recognized-safe-gras/gras-notice-inventory" target="_blank">notifications inventory</a>. These notices were voluntarily submitted by food manufacturers to the FDA between 1997, when GRAS notification program began, and March 24, 2020. We looked at GRAS notices because they are publicly available and FDA rules require that food manufacturers include in the notice an explanation of how they considered the cumulative health effect of a new additive. Unfortunately, our investigation showed that both the FDA and the food manufacturers appeared to have ignored this crucial safety requirement.</p><p>We searched the documents for terms "cumulative effect" and "pharmacological" presuming that any analysis of the cumulative effect of chemical or pharmacologically related substances would include those terms. We evaluated every positive finding for context and reviewed the document more closely when warranted. We found that in only one of 877 GRAS notices did a food manufacturer consider the cumulative effect requirement in a meaningful way. Notably, that one notice stopped short of establishing a safe exposure for the class as required by regulation. And we found no evidence that the agency either recognized this single attempt to follow the law or had objected to the omissions in the 876 other notices.</p><p>To better understand how these blatant omissions happened, we also reviewed the FDA's relevant guidance for industry documents to determine if they contain information to help industry understand how to consider the cumulative effect of the substance as required by law and regulations. We used the agency's online research tool and identified 21 documents related to food chemicals. For each document, we searched for key terms including "cumulative effect", "chemically related", "pharmacological effects", and "pharmacologically related". We also searched for references to key regulations or statutory provisions directly related to the cumulative effect requirement. We found next to nothing and what information was there was either incomplete or confusing.</p><p>Ten documents did not mention the legal requirement and two simply restated it. Four documents created confusion by using terms such as 'cumulative exposure' or 'cumulative intake.' Five documents provided incomplete and potentially misleading information. For example, excluding the requirement from the definition of safety or paraphrasing the safety requirement in a manner that limited the assessment to a single chemical instead of related substances in the diet.</p>
The Unknown Cost of FDA’s Six Decades of Failure<p>This is an obvious failure by the FDA and food manufacturers that has significant consequences for public health, particularly for communities already facing significant health and socio-economic disparities and for <a href="doi:%20https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-1408" target="_blank">children</a>, who are uniquely susceptible to dietary exposures to multiple chemicals. It is known that fetal and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-11-42" target="_blank">early life exposures</a> have been associated with long-term diseases or disorders that usually manifest later in life. Development of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2014.05.003" target="_blank">neurological, immune, reproductive</a>, and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2015-1010" target="_blank">endocrine systems</a> have been shown to be particularly susceptible to chemical exposures. For example, several <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2014-203980" target="_blank">food additives and contaminants</a> in common foods – including nitrates, perchlorate, thiocyanate, BPA, phthalates, potassium bromate, synthetic dyes – all harm the thyroid's ability to produce a hormone essential to brain development. The common-sense preventative measure to reduce exposures is to treat chemicals in the diet with related health effects as a class – as Congress mandated in 1958.</p><p>The healthcare costs of long-lasting health conditions, especially when they arise during <a href="https://doi.org/10.1586/erp.11.93" target="_blank">childhood</a>, as well as the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(20)30128-5" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">economic benefits</a> of preventing exposures to substances that disrupt the normal function of the endocrine system have been documented.</p><p>How can this be remedied?</p>
Solutions<p>First, the FDA needs to add definitions of key terms such as "cumulative effect", "chemically related", "pharmacologically related" and "pharmacological effect." This should not be a heavy lift. For instance, the agency's own Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has already <a href="https://www.fda.gov/media/77834/download" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">established definitions</a> for pharmacologically related substances and pharmacological effects; food additive regulators could also implement this. We are not implying that additives be regulated as drugs; rather, that the body does not identify whether a chemical that binds to a hormone receptor is a pharmaceutical or a food additive. But it certainly may have a similar biological response with potentially different health consequences depending on the dose, duration of exposure and life-stage of the individual.</p><p>Second, the FDA should review the requirement for all forms industry must complete when submitting petitions or notifications to the agency for review of their products' safety assessment. FDA should provide clear and specific guidance to industry on what it is expected and how to accomplish it. And, of course, the agency needs to ensure compliance with the law.</p><p>Medical and scientific societies together with health and environmental organizations have formally submitted <a href="https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2020-P-2003" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a petition to the FDA</a> to revise its food and color additive regulations and associated guidance to ensure compliance with the requirements in law. Safe food is fundamental to protect the health and well-being of all Americans. Putting into action the protections already available in the law and regulations would also restore the confidence in the FDA's mission to protect the public health by assuring the safety of our nation's food supply.</p><p>Lastly, these efforts should be conducted without delay so we begin to curb the epidemic of chronic diseases that continue to inflict personal and financial pain in so many families and worsen an already strained healthcare system.</p>
By Jessica Corbett
A large and diverse coalition of over 550 organizations came together Tuesday to call on President-elect Joe Biden to tackle the plastic pollution crisis through executive actions that would collectively help turn the tide against consumer waste that is choking the planet's natural world and harming human health.
- Plastic Polluters Have Avoided Regulation Worldwide for Decades ... ›
- Microplastics Found in Human Organs for First Time - EcoWatch ›
- Activists Are Alarmed Over Biden Pick Who Took Fossil Fuel Money ... ›
- Biden's EPA Pick Michael Regan Urged to Address Environmental Injustice - EcoWatch ›