chemicals

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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 »

Chemical Plant Pollution Growing as Global Threat

Pesticides alone could cost $90B in sub-Saharan Africa between 2005 and 2020

(Newser) - Pesticide poisoning is worsening in sub-Saharan Africa, and the tab for illnesses in the region between 2005 and 2020 could hit $90 billion, the UN warns—more than the aid available. As the production of chemicals in general skyrockets, the UN Environment Program report notes that health and the environment... More »

Antibacterial Soap Ingredient Spells Trouble for Muscles

Triclosan inhibited muscle function of human heart cells in test tubes

(Newser) - If you're an antibacterial-soap junkie, it might be time to cut back. A three-part study suggests triclosan, a common chemical found in such products, slows muscle function in both human and animals. A paper published yesterday outlines the experiments: Scientists exposed human heart and skeletal muscle cells to levels... More »

Johnson & Johnson Booting Harsh Chemicals by 2015

And for baby products, even sooner

(Newser) - By 2015, almost every single Johnson & Johnson product will no longer contain dangerous chemicals, the company pledged yesterday. It had already promised to remove "chemicals of concern" from baby products by the end of next year, and is still on track to do so. Now it also plans... More »

Elderly Termites Grow Suicide Backpacks

... and then explode them when enemies invade

(Newser) - Some termites grow up to be suicide bombers. Researchers observing the termite species Neocapritermes taracua found that certain workers, when they became elderly, grew a pair of dark blue spots between their abdomen and torso. When invaders raided their colony, these aging workers bit the intruders and then exploded the... More »

Scientists Invent Paint-On Batteries

Spray-painted power source is half a millimeter thick

(Newser) - If you tend to associate spray paint with nefarious behavior involving graffiti, prepare to have your mind blown. Scientists have invented batteries that can be spray painted onto any surface. Researchers at Rice University demoed the new technology by coating steel, glass, and a beer mug with painted-on batteries. "... More »

Chemical Fumes Sicken 80 at Indiana Pool

Bad mix of chemicals creates chlorine gas

(Newser) - At least 80 people, most of them children, were hospitalized after being overcome by chemical fumes at a public pool in Indianapolis. Investigators say a toxic out-of-balance mix of chemicals was pumped into the pool, creating chlorine gas, reports the Indianapolis Star . The gas wasn't as lethal as the... More »

Culprit for Epidemics of Autism, Obesity: Fungicide?

New study suggests chemicals' effects linger for generations

(Newser) - Can the recent increase in autism, obesity, and anxiety disorders be traced back to chemical exposure? That's what a new study involving pregnant rats suggests, AFP reports. Pregnant rats who were exposed to the common fungicide vinclozolin had descendants who, three generations later, weighed more, were less sociable, and... More »

Chemical Regulators Aren't Protecting Us

Nicholas Kristof says lobbying is keeping harmful chemicals legal

(Newser) - Male frogs born with female organs. Male fish laying eggs. Male alligators with tiny penises. These are just some of the bizarre effects we've seen in nature thanks to hormone-mimicking chemicals, Nicholas Kristof laments in the New York Times. Despite this, the same class of chemicals is nearly unavoidable... More »

Eyeless Shrimp? Report Raises Concerns in Gulf

Mutant creatures showing up after BP spill, says Al Jazeera English

(Newser) - Shrimp missing their eyeballs (and even eye sockets), fish covered in lesions, deformed crabs, and other mutated sea creatures are showing up in unsettling numbers in the Gulf of Mexico two years after the giant BP oil spill, according to an investigation by Al Jazeera English . "The fishermen have... More »

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