Cleaning products damage women’s lungs as badly as a 20-a-day cigarette habit

Scientists at Norway’s University of Bergen found that lung function decline in women regularly using cleaning products was equivalent over the period to those with a 20 cigarettes a day smoking habit.
“When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all,” said Øistein Svanes , a doctoral student who led the study.
Read More Here


Did Flint’s Water Crisis Damage Kids’ Brains?

“Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley recently noticed a startling fact about kids in the lead-poisoned city of Flint, Michigan: They have become increasingly bad at reading since the water crisis began in 2014. A state government report showed that, from the year 2014 to the year 2017, third-grade reading proficiency in the city dropped from 41.8 percent to 10.7 percent. “That’s nearly a three-quarters drop in third-grade reading proficiency among children whose lives were affected by lead poisoned water during the Flint water crisis,” she wrote.

The Center for American Progress declared that Flint’s water crisis “has lead to a reading proficiency crisis,” while HuffPost reporter Alanna Vagianos tweeted that lead exposure in Flint was “having a significant developmental effect on children.” Their worry is grounded in the fact that, according to the CDC, lead exposure to children “can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and, at very high levels, seizures, coma, and even death.””

Read More Here


Air pollution: black, Hispanic and poor students most at risk from toxins – study

New researching documenting disproportionate danger to students of color and poor students from air pollution at school.
“Pollution exposure is also drawn along racial lines. While black children make up 16% of all US public school students, more than a quarter of them attend the schools worst affected by air pollution. By contrast, white children comprise 52% of the public school system but only 28% of those attend the highest risk schools. This disparity remains even when the urban-rural divide is accounted for.”
Read more.

Backyard Talk News Archive

Happy Valentines Day

heartBy Teresa Mills
Today as I opened my Valentines Day card I was immediately transported to a place that I had forgotten existed.  It was a small  neighborhood where the streets were lined with beautiful majestic trees with leaves just beginning to bud.  The sweet smell of spring was in the air.
As I walked along the streets, I did see an occasional patch of dandelions.  It was plain to see that the neighborhood children loved these tiny flowers as I found several rings and necklaces made from these golden flowers.  As I picked up one of these tiny rings, I noticed that these childhood treasures were the only things discarded on the sidewalks.  The lawns seemed natural; I wanted to take off my shoes and run through the yards like I did when I was young.
In this place I found adults sitting on their porches drinking tea out of beautiful handpainted porcelain cups, no throwaways here.  (Remember when houses had porches.)
As I passed by a group of neighbors talking about their upcoming neighborhood picnic, I could hear how excited they were, and it arose such a warm feeling in me that took me back to my childhood. Back to the days when teenagers would get so upset because everyone in town knew your business and kids knew they could not get away with anything, ya just knew someone would tell your mom.
When I looked up all I saw was a blue sky with an occasional puffy cloud.  I felt I could see forever.
Just as I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, I realized I had broken this wonderful spell I was under.  When I opened my eyes I was back to reality.  The sweet smells became the all too familiar heavy odorous smells of industry.  I once had an elected official tell me that the smells showed the community was prospering.  Really?
The so-called perfect manicured lawn I see every day are not natural they are lawns doused with man-made chemicals.  Have you ever look at one of those little signs they put in your yard after it has been sprayed?
Have a heart today, wish your neighbor a Happy Valentines day or just a good day. Today people go for months or even years without talking to their neighbors.  What a shame.
I tried to open my Valentines Card again to see if it would once again be transported back to my childhood days.  But my card turned out to be just a Happy Valentines Day Card from my loving husband.  But oh I wish I could go back to those carefree days.  Think of your childhood and have a beautiful Valentines Day.


A Toxic Tour Through Underground Ohio

The small white and maroon trucks that deliver the waste often come at night, she says. They contain what regulatory agencies innocently refer to as produced water, or brine, a slurry generated during fracking operations that can contain more than 1,100 chemicals and which is carcinogenic, flammable, and radioactive. Garman says she and her son occasionally smell, “a sweet odor in the air, almost like antifreeze.” One night last winter an alarm went off. “There was a red light and a real low siren,” she says, “and no one to call to see what was going on.”
In the morning, before heading off to work, Garman is back on her porch with a coffee, staring at a series of tanks, where the waste is temporarily held before being shot down the injection well. “The biggest thing,” she sighs, “is the worrying. What am I not hearing? What am I not seeing? What is being released into the air? The water? The soil? What does this mean for our health years down the road? That is the stuff that really eats away at me constantly.”
Read more here