Tags >> toxic
Mar 04
2010

PCBs in Fish Oil

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , toxic , Science , research , nonprofit orgs , medicine , Health , fish , environment , chemicals , animals

Bruce Robinson

Fish oil capsules have long been suspected of including small amounts of toxic PCBs, but a new lawsuit contends some manufacturers of the supplements contain far more of the banned chemicals than others.

 Oakland attorney David Roe, who filed the suit on behalf of the Eureka-based Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation (known for their actions seeking enforcement of California's Proposition 65) and two other plaintiffs, says it included actions against General Nutrition Center and CVS  Pharmacy stores because it is important that the consumer warnings also be prominently placed in locations where consumers purchase these products.

 Roe says the tests his clients have conducted, and the lawsuit those tests prompted, are also intended to encourage the industry that produces fish oil supplements to do more rigorous testing themselves.

 A new website set up to publicize the lawsuit has details on the  legal action as well as  an online petition calling for stronger labeling requirements. There is also a list of the products tested and  their  test results. A summary graph is shown below.

 

 

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Feb 22
2010

"The Poisoner's Handbook"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in toxic , technology , speaker , research , public safety , medicine , law enforcement , justice , journalism , history , education , drugs , chemicals , author

Bruce Robinson

Poisonings, both accidental and criminal, have been happening for centuries. But the science of investigating those deaths is barely a hundred years old.

As she began to research the history of forensic medicine in Jazz Age New York, science writer Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook,  says she was struck by the number and variety of toxic substances that were being used.

Many of those historic toxics are no longer in wide use, but that doesn’t mean we are any less vulnerable to poisons now, Blum (left) says. In fact, the chemistry of modern-day poisons is more complex than 90 years ago.

Forensic examinations and laboratory analyses have become central to a growing list of popular network television dramas. But Blum has no complaints about them.

 

 

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 06
2010

Project Kaisei

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , waste , toxic , Science , research , planning , ocean , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , garbage , fish , events , environment , education , design , conserve , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

Far out in the oceans of the world, away from the continents and even shipping lanes, vast floating seas of plastic garbage form an intractable sort of water pollution, something the bay area’s Project Kaisei  is working to combat.

The north Pacific gyre is 700 to 800 miles across, explains Mary Crowley,  co-founder of Project Kaisei, but it is not a solid mass of garbage so much as a shallow stew of floating debris.

The north Pacific Gyre is believed to hold the largest plastic Vortex anywhere on Earth, but Crowley observes that there are numerous other gyres across the seas, and each of them have their own growing expanses of floating garbage.

Returning from the Pacific Gyre, the Kaisei sailed under the the Golden Gate Bridge on August 31st. Kaisei is a Japanese word meaning "Ocean Planet."