Quantcast
EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
We’re Miscalculating the Cancer Risk From a Massive Class of Chemicals: MIT Study

Regulators need to look at a broader range of polycyclic aromatic carbons — and their breakdown products — to understand a community's cancer risk.

Health + Wellness
People can be exposed to PAHs in a variety of ways, from smoking to eating grilled food to breathing in tailpipe or wildfire emissions. RyanJLane / E+ / Getty Images

By Elizabeth Gribkoff

Around the world, regulators have long relied on one compound to assess a community's lung cancer risk from a class of chemicals that we're exposed to while grilling burgers, waiting in traffic, and breathing in wood smoke from a fire.

That compound—benzo(a)pyrene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)—however, only accounts for 11% of lung cancer risk associated with PAHs, MIT researchers found in a study published earlier this month in GeoHealth. Meanwhile, 17% of the PAH-linked cancer risk in the study came from the largely unregulated and under-studied breakdown products.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Everyday cleaning products can emit harmful air pollution. SolStock / E+ / Getty Images

By Krystal Vasquez

A specific component of air particle pollution found in some common household products could be responsible for up to 900,000 premature deaths every year — 10 times greater than previous estimates, according to new research published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Read More Show Less
andresr / E+ / Getty Images

From bamboo utensils to bamboo toothbrushes, household products made from bamboo are becoming more popular every year. If you have allergies, neck pain or wake up constantly to flip your pillow to the cold side, bamboo pillows have the potential to help you sleep peacefully through the night.

In this article, we'll explain the benefits of bamboo pillows and how they can help you on your journey to better sleep. We'll also recommend a few of the best pillows on the market so you can choose new bedding that's right for you.

Read More Show Less
Anglers on Lake Ontario. Ian Muttoo / Flickr

By Andrew Blok

A record-setting fish was pulled from Hamilton Harbor at the western tip of Lake Ontario in 2015 and the world is learning about it just now.

The fish, a brown bullhead, contained 915 particles—a mix of microplastics, synthetic materials containing flame retardants or plasticizers, dyed cellulose fibers, and more—in its body. It was the most particles ever recorded in a fish.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Fireworks over Portland Oregon. jose1983 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Krystal Vasquez

Before you head out to see your local fireworks display this 4th of July, you might want to consider closing your windows, replacing your HVAC filter, and running your air purifier on full blast.

Read More Show Less
A large North Carolina farm flooded during Hurricane Florence. Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. / Flickr

By Cameron Oglesby

As North Carolina heads into another hurricane season, some residents and organizations fear the stormy season will again flood communities with hog waste.

Read More Show Less
View of the Lusk fracking facility in Scenery Hill, Pennsylvania, on October 22, 2020. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP via Getty Images

By Kristina Marusic

Living among fracking wells is linked to higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths due to heart attacks, according to a new study.

The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, compared heart attack rates in Pennsylvania counties with fracking to demographically similar counties in New York where fracking is banned.

Read More Show Less
Food dyes in products such as breakfast cereals, juice and soft drinks, frozen dairy desserts, candies, and icings were linked to adverse neurobehavioral outcomes in children including inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and restlessness. bhofack2 / Getty Images

By Nate Seltenrich

Synthetic dyes used as colorants in many common foods and drinks can negatively affect attention and activity in children, according to a comprehensive review of existing evidence published this month by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).

Read More Show Less
Trending

By Quinn McVeigh

About 2.3 million Americans are exposed to high natural strontium levels in their drinking water, a metal that can harm bone health in children, according to a United States Geological Survey study.

Read More Show Less

By Cameron Oglesby

Since 1960, about 21 percent of global agriculture production, including livestock, tree farming, and traditional crops such as corn and soybeans, has been negatively impacted by climate change, according to a new study.

Read More Show Less
Trending
One type of algae in the Great Lakes, Cladophora, readily tangles up with plastic microfiber. Brenda Lafrancois / National Park Service

By Andrew Blok

Great Lakes algae is catching huge amounts of microplastics.

Researchers found that one type of algae, which has greatly expanded its range within the Great Lakes and is one of the most abundant algae by weight there, could catch up to one trillion pieces of microplastic in the Great Lakes.

Read More Show Less
LumiNola / E+ / Getty Images

By Gwen Ranniger

Fertility issues are on the rise, and new literature points to ways that your environment may be part of the problem. We've rounded up some changes you can make in your life to promote a healthy reproductive system.

Read More Show Less
Steve Carrara, head custodian for Dr. Philip O. Coakley Middle School in Norwood, cleans school buses with disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus on March 8, 2020 in Norwood, MA. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

By Casey Crownhart

Disinfectant use has exploded during the coronavirus pandemic as people try to keep their hands and surfaces clean. But one family of cleaning chemicals is receiving scrutiny for potential health concerns.

Read More Show Less