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10 Toxins Found in 90% of Indoor Dust Samples

And they could lead to everything from cancer and respiratory problems to lower IQ

(Newser) - We're surrounded by toxic chemicals, and even holing up in our meticulously kept homes may not save us, Time reports. Ten chemicals that may be hazardous to our health were found in over 90% of indoor dust samples taken for a study published in the Environmental Science & Technology... More »

Humans Have Polluted Deepest Part of the Oceans: Study

Crustaceans in Mariana, Kermadec trenches rife with chemicals

(Newser) - Survival of the fittest in the depths of the sea likely includes plenty of its own inherent challenges, but now it's got a man-made one to add to the list. A research team out of Scotland's University of Aberdeen has discovered high concentrations of human-created organic pollutants in... More »

Congress Just Passed a Huge Environmental Law

Rules on chemicals get first update in 40 years

(Newser) - It may have gotten lost in all the election news, but a substantial piece of legislation has just managed to clear Congress: A massive overhaul of federal laws regulating chemicals sold in the US is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature—the first such update in 40... More »

Your Fast Food May Come With Side of Industrial Chemicals

Would you like infertility with that?

(Newser) - People who eat fast food may have higher levels of potentially infertility-causing industrial chemicals in their body, according to a new study . Bloomberg reports researchers were looking specifically at DEHP and DiNP, two types of phthalates found in everything from cosmetics to window blinds. They studied nutrition data from nearly... More »

Pesticide-Maker Announces Change to Save the Bees

Ortho will go neonics-free in its products by 2021

(Newser) - Here's some news to bee excited by: A major maker of home and garden products announced it will be phasing bee-harming chemicals out of its pest-control products, NPR reports. According to the AP , neonics damage insects' central nervous systems, either killing them outright or making them vulnerable to disease... More »

Drugs We Dump May Be Causing Sex Changes in Fish

Male bass in Northeast undergoing strange changes

(Newser) - Male bass are experiencing unwanted sex changes, apparently thanks to the "chemical soups" that pass for waterways in the Northeast. The Washington Post reports 85% of male smallmouth bass surveyed in the region have "characteristics of the opposite sex"—specifically eggs where their testes should be. The... More »

Chemical Sleuthing Adds Another Clue to Baby Doe Puzzle

Isotopes in hair, teeth of girl found on Boston beach suggest she was transient

(Newser) - The "first big break" in Boston's Baby Doe case came earlier this month when tests discovered local pollen on the dead girl's clothing and blanket. Now another clue has emerged, thanks to the chemical detective work of a Utah lab: After analysis that compared oxygen isotopes in... More »

Scientists Warn of Chemicals in Pizza Boxes, Carpet Care

Common 'PFAS' come under new scrutiny

(Newser) - A group of environmental scientists issued a warning Friday about commonly used chemicals known as PFASs. The chemicals, which go by the longer names of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, are found in everything from pizza boxes to carpet treatments, reports the New York Times . "If you got a pastry with... More »

The Hidden Reason People Shake Hands

We are subconsciously sniffing our own chemosignals

(Newser) - Signaling molecules called chemosignals have been implicated in everything from the conveyance of fear to the lure to mate, and even to the synchronizing of women's menstrual cycles. Now researchers out of Israel have written in the journal eLife that one of the reasons we shake hands is to... More »

Nail Polish Can Lower a Baby's IQ

Columbia University study links phthalates to lower IQ in children

(Newser) - Want your baby's IQ to be a few points higher? Then keep it away from chemicals in household items like shower curtains, nail polish, and dryer sheets during pregnancy, a new study says. Researchers at Columbia University came to this conclusion after analyzing 328 women and their kids in... More »

You're Using Antibacterial Soap Wrong

And its chemicals may be bad for you and the environment

(Newser) - Big on antibacterial soap? Sorry, but it's probably not helping you, and could even be altering your hormones and damaging the environment, a researcher says. In a new review paper , Rolf Halden argues that people get little benefit from antibacterial products because they use them incorrectly, LiveScience reports. You'... More »

Peeing in the Pool May Actually Be Bad for You

Study finds urine, chlorine create dangerous chemical byproducts

(Newser) - Peeing in the pool: gross, sure, but no real harm done? Think again. Researchers at Purdue and China Agricultural universities recently studied what happens when urine meets water containing chlorine and other chemicals—and they found that two potentially dangerous chemical byproducts are formed, Discover reports. The uric acid in... More »

Almost 500 US Foods Contain Plastic Chemical

Report singles out brands and products that use ADA

(Newser) - Azodicarbonamide is a chemical used to make shoes, yoga mats, a variety of plastic products, and … bread? American supermarkets are crawling with the chemical, also known as ADA, according to the Environmental Working Group , which today released a report identifying almost 500 food products that use it. Most of... More »

2 Students Arrested After Chemical 'Device' Goes Off

Colorado police say rupture was 'not accidental'

(Newser) - Two Denver-area students have been arrested after a chemical device "went off" in a high school class room yesterday morning, sending at least four students and one teacher to the hospital. In a statement , police said they'd determined that the device's rupture "was not accidental,"... More »

Treatment Plants May Miss Half the Drugs in Sewage

Antibiotics, herbicide among chemicals found in Great Lakes study

(Newser) - Treatment plants may only be getting rid of about half the drugs and other "chemicals of emerging concern" that turn up in our sewage, a study finds. Officials in a joint US-Canadian study of the Great Lakes assessed 42 of these chemicals using a decade's worth of data,... More »

Animals Are Having an Obesity Crisis, Too

Does that mean lifestyle isn't the only cause?

(Newser) - Americans aren't the only ones getting fatter—our animals are also growing overweight, reports Pro Publica . And it isn't just pets and lab animals piling on the pounds (though they are; the likelihood of chimps living with or near humans being obese increased tenfold between 1985 and 2005):... More »

Germ Killer We've Used for 40 Years Gets FDA Review

Researchers to complete review of triclosan ordered back in the '70s

(Newser) - It's been on the market for more than 40 years, and it's found in everything from antibacterial soap to toothpaste to toys. But there's a chance that the FDA is about to declare the chemical triclosan unsafe, in a review due to be completed this year. The... More »

Scientists Spot 'Precursor to Life' in Deep Space

Milky Way chemical could help seed planetary life

(Newser) - Astronomers have spotted hints of a precursor to chemical to life about 1,000 light-years away, LiveScience reports. Detected in a star-forming region of the Milky Way, the chemical—called hydroxylamine—is theoretically able to mix with other compounds, form amino acids, and seed other planets with life. "It'... More »

Flame-Retardant Chemical Lurks in Soda, Sports Drinks

Brominated vegetable oil is in 10% of the drinks America buys

(Newser) - Nasty or neutral? Brominated vegetable oil, a long-used drink additive tucked into the ingredients list of about 10% of the drinks sold in America, finds itself the subject of fresh debate. It's used in Mountain Dew, Gatorade, and other citrus drinks in order to distribute that lemon/lime/orange flavor evenly,... More »

Hazmat Alert Issued After Train Derails in Kentucky

Top-level hazmat warning issued

(Newser) - Officials have issued the highest-level hazardous material warning in Kentucky after the derailment of a freight train. The train, which was carrying chemicals including hydrogen chloride and hydrochloric acid, derailed in West Point, the Courier-Journal reports. A highway has been closed across two counties, and residents are being evacuated. Thus... More »

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