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Health
Prayitno / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Vehicle Pollution Could Increase Risk of Childhood Obesity

From ear infections to loss of intelligence, it's become increasingly clear that air pollution can affect more than just our lungs.

Now, a study from University of Southern California researchers suggested that early exposure to traffic pollution increases the risk of childhood obesity in later life, adding more evidence that dirty air is a public health threat to children.

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Residents stand in a long queue to fill water containers on May 27 in Shimla, India. Deepak Sansta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

World Peace Requires Access to Safe Water

International Peace Day is Sept. 21. Mekela Panditharatne, attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, submitted the following op-ed to EcoWatch in commemoration.

In drought-ravaged East Africa, the cracks in the plains echo the fault lines splitting tribes.

Across the globe, the devastation of deadly brawls is being exacerbated by tensions over access to water. Water crises, often worsened by governance failures, can portend warning signs for instability and conflict. This year, the World Resources Institute cautioned that water stress is growing globally, "with 33 countries projected to face extremely high stress in 2040." The effects of such water stress span the gamut from civil unrest to open warfare.

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Health
Air pollution harms life expectancy, especially in countries such as Bangladesh, a new study shows. Mirza Khalid / CC BY-SA 4.0

Air Pollution Shortens Human Life by One Year, on Average

In a summer marked by air quality alerts as wildfires rage in the western U.S., a study has been published finding that air pollution lowers the average lifespan by one year worldwide.

The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters Aug. 22, was the first to assess the impact of particulate matter pollution smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) on human life expectancy on a per country basis, ScienceNews reported.

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Climate
An Indian man carries a basket of bananas next to houses immersed in flood waters in Ernakulam district of Kochi, in the Indian state of Kerala on Aug. 10. AFP / Getty Images

Historic Floods in Southern Indian State Kill 39, Displace More Than 60,000

Flooding in India's southern state of Kerala has killed 39 and left more than 60,000 homeless as of Monday, The Times of India reported, in what India Today called the region's "worst flood crisis" since 1924.

Kerala, a popular tourist destination, has already seen heavy flooding this monsoon season, but the most recent inundation began last Wednesday, relief commissioner P.H. Kurian told CNN Sunday. The rains were so heavy that they forced authorities to open the shutters of a large number of reservoirs Friday to relieve pressure and prevent collapses.

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GMO
Pallava Bagla / Getty Images

Study Reveals 'Large-Scale Illegal Presence' of GMOs in India's Food Supply

by Jake Johnson

Despite India's law barring genetically modified (GM) foods from being produced or sold in the country without government approval, a study by the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found that thanks to lax enforcement, a deeply flawed labeling system and corporate deception, Indian supermarkets are inundated with GM foods.

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Climate
School student wades through a water log street after monsoon rain. Spells of rain and thundershower occurred in Kolkata and others part of West Bengal. Saikat Paul / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

537 Dead in India Monsoon

Flooding and heavy rains associated with India's monsoon season have killed 537 people so far, The Times of India reported Saturday.

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Food
Farmers ploughing a rice field in southern India. Sonja Pieper / CC BY-SA 2.0

Could Swapping Rice for Other Grains Help Solve India’s Water Crisis?

A study published in Science Advances Wednesday offers a potential solution to India's growing nutritional and water needs: replace rice with less thirsty, more nutrititious cereals.

The study found that by replacing the rice grown in each district with the grain that required the least water for irrigation, India could decrease water demand by 33 percent while increasing protein production by 1 percent, zinc production by 13 percent and iron production by 27 percent.

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Plastic bags that will be washed, dried and then recycled in India. World Resources Institute / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Mumbai Becomes Largest City in India to Ban Single-Use Plastics

The Indian state of Maharashtra—which encompasses the fast-paced and densely populated city capital of Mumbai—imposed a statewide ban on single-use plastics over the weekend.

The protocol, first introduced on March 23, prohibits the manufacturing, use, sale, distribution and storage of materials such as plastic grocery bags, cutlery, plates, PET and PETE bottles and foam takeaway containers. The state government gave establishments three months to dispose of existing stocks.

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Climate
Women fetching water in India. Pixabay

India Suffers 'Worst Water Crisis in Its History'

India is facing its "worst-ever" water crisis, according to a report from a government think tank issued last week.

Around 200,000 Indians die each year due to lack of water access, the report finds, and demand will be twice as much as supply by 2030.

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