Tags >> research
Feb 05
2010

Farmworker Health Risks

Posted by Bruce Robinson in vineyards , research , public safety , jobs , Health , farms , employment , chemicals , California , business , air quality , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

California’s 1 million farmworkers are at increased risk for respiratory diseases and other health problems, according to a new report, in large part due to poor air quality where they are working.

 

Pesticides and other chemicals are part—but only part—of the air quality issues that affect farm workers, especially in California’s Central Valley. So even the most basic measures to shield workers from the worst of the dust and smog can make a significant contribution to protecting their respiratory health, says Marc Schenker (right),  Director of the Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at the University of California at Davis.

The study cited in this North Bay Report was published in the current issue of the quarterly journal, California Agriculture. You can access a summary or the full text of that article here.

 

 

Jan 27
2010

Cytotoxins

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , waste , toxic , technology , speaker , research , public safety , medicine , healthcare , government , environment , drugs , chemicals , activism

Bruce Robinson

 Inside the human body, powerful anti-cancer drugs can be life-saving medicine. But when they pass through into the environment, these potent chemicals may pose a health hazard that is only starting to be recognized.

Jim Mullowney has taken his concerns about cytotoxic chemicals and their disposal to top scientists in key federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, which issued an unprecedented collaborative response to the issue last year.

Because cyto-toxic chemotherapy drugs pass through the human body and are excreted, they typically wind up in wastewater flows, which Mullowney cautions can be very hazardous for septic systems, and potentially for the fresh water supplies in the adjacent area.

The long-term consequences of discharging these chemicals into the air and water are only beginning to be studied, but based on his own understanding of them, Mullowney speculates they could eventually be tied to some other public health mysteries.

Jim Mullowney will also discuss cytotoxins and the risk they pose to fresh water supplied on a forthcoming edition of the local cable access television program, The Holistic Half, to be broadcast on Comcast Channel 30 in Sonoma County in the first week of March.

 

 

Jan 22
2010

"The Empathic Civilization"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , speaker , Sonoma , sacred , resources , research , religion , peace , Ideas , history , government , environment , energy , community , climate change , author

Bruce Robinson

Empathy, not self-interest, is the core impulse of human nature, according to social analyst Jeremy Rifkin. And that realization may hold the key to successfully responding to the environmental and economic challenges that now confront humanity.

One key to recent scientific research relating to empathy is the discovery of  “mirror neurons,” a finding that originated, Rifkin relates, in a chance encounter during some unreleated experiments with monkeys in an Italian laboratory.

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Jan 21
2010

2010 Economic Forecast

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , research , jobs , international , government , farms , employment , economy , construction , coast , California , business , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

The economic forecast for 2010 in California and Sonoma County suggests a sluggish recovery for at least the first three quarters, with hopes for a brighter forecast in the following year.

Housing, construction, retail and government are all sectors of the California economy that can be expected to continue struggling in 2010, says economist  Dr. Jerry Nickelsburg (left) with UCLA Anderson Forecast. But there is one key sector that has already begun to rebound.

 Large as it is, the California economy is still partially dependent on other players, including its trading partners around the Pacific Rim.

 

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