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The Tucson International Airport Area Superfund Site, shown here in 2012, was listed by the EPA in 1983. Luis Jou García / Flickr

Pollution From Air Force Keeps Causing Cancer in Tucson, Residents Say

Twenty-seven years ago, 1,600 residents of Tucson, Arizona's south side settled an $84.5 million dollar lawsuit with Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon Missile Systems Co.), claiming the Air Force contractor had been dumping the industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) into the water table for 29 years since 1952, causing cancers and other ailments.

Now, more South Tucson residents are coming forward to claim that justice still hasn't been served.

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Paint strippers containing methylene chloride line shelves in home-improvement stores across the country. Jamie Smith Hopkins / Center for Public Integrity

EPA Once Planned to Ban a Deadly Paint-Stripping Chemical, But Will It Follow Through?

By Jamie Smith Hopkins

It might be surprising to learn that simply removing paint could be fatal, but the key ingredient in many paint-stripping products has felled dozens of people engaged in this run-of-the-mill task. In the waning days of the Obama administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to largely ban paint strippers containing the chemical methylene chloride so they would no longer sit on store shelves, widely available for anyone to buy.

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Health

Toxic Chemicals May Increase Chances of Regaining Weight After Dieting

By Alexis Temkin

Exposure to fluorinated industrial chemicals, known as PFAS or PFC chemicals, may increase the amount of weight that people, especially women, regain after dieting, according to a new study by Harvard University researchers, published in PLOS Medicine. It found that women with higher levels of PFAS chemicals in their blood at the start of the study regained an average of 3.7 to 4.8 pounds more than women with lower levels of the chemicals in their blood.

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Business
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: 'We have approved Bayer's plans to take over Monsanto because the parties' remedies, worth well over €6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full.' EU Commission Twitter

EU Approves Controversial Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The European Union approved Bayer's takeover of Monsanto, a major hurdle in the $66 billion merger that would create the world's largest integrated seed and pesticide conglomerate.

The European Commission said the German chemical-maker's takeover of the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant is "conditional on an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties' overlaps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture."

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Marine debris laden beach in Hawaii. NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr

Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years

If we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report.

The Future of the Sea report, released Wednesday for the UK government, found that human beings across the globe produce more than 300 million metric tons of plastic per year. Unfortunately, a lot of that material ends up in our waters, with the total amount of plastic debris in the sea predicted to increase from 50 million metric tons in 2015 to 150 million metric tons by 2025.

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Aerial photo of Duke Energy Coal Ash Spill. Wake Forest University Center for Energy, Environment & Sustainability

Trump Administration Seeks to Gut Water Pollution Safeguards, Putting Communities at Risk

By Mary Anne Hitt

A Hollywood scriptwriter couldn't make this up. One day after new data revealed widespread toxic water contamination near coal ash disposal sites, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt announced a proposal to repeal the very 2015 EPA safeguards that had required this data to be tracked and released in the first place. Clean water is a basic human right that should never be treated as collateral damage on a corporate balance sheet, but that is exactly what is happening.

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Health
Lead was a common component in exterior and interior paints until federal regulations restricted the use of the toxic substance in the 1970s. Ben+Sam / Flickr

Lead Exposure Linked to 412,000 Premature Deaths in U.S. Each Year

Up to 412,000 deaths a year in the U.S. can be attributed to lead exposure, according to a new study published Monday in The Lancet Pubilc Health.

Of that figure, exposure to the toxic metal may be an "important, but largely overlooked" risk factor behind the 256,000 annual cardiovascular disease deaths in the country, the authors found.

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In 2008, coal ash spilled from a failed impoundment at TVA's Kingston plant in eastern Tennessee. Wikimedia Commons

EPA Moves to Overhaul Obama-Era Coal Ash Disposal Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing major changes to Obama-era coal ash disposal regulations, seeking to give states and utilities more leeway in how they dispose of coal ash, which can contain highly toxic substances such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

The Scott Pruitt-led agency claims that the proposal, if finalized, can save the utility sector up to $100 million per year in compliance costs.

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Health

EPA Dissolves Program That Studies Effects of Chemical Exposure on Children

By Jake Johnson

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the leadership of Scott Pruitt moves to make it easier for big industry to dump dangerous chemicals into the nation's air and water, the agency announced late Monday that it is dissolving a program that funds studies on the effects of pollution and chemical exposure on America's children.

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