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Canada Used Agent Orange on Roads Until 1980

Government promises inquiry after newspaper's probe

(Newser) - Canada used Agent Orange, the Vietnam War-era chemical linked to genetic defects, as a means of clearing roadside brush until about 1980. A Toronto Star investigation found that Canada’s forestry workers faced exposure to the chemical, poured from planes, starting in the 1950s; the government promises an inquiry, amid... More »

Oil Slick Blasted With Record Dose of Cleanup Chemical

Oil dispersant helps break up slick

(Newser) - The massive oil slick bobbing in the Gulf of Mexico still hasn't reached shore, thanks in part to the unprecedented doses of an oil-dispersing chemical that are being dropped on it. The spill is being blasted with as much as 60,000 gallons of the dispersant each day, by way... More »

Dangerous Chemical in Zhu Zhu Pet: Watchdog

Maker denies stuffed hamster contains unsafe level of antimony

(Newser) - The manufacturer of Zhu Zhu Pets is defending Mr. Squiggles against charges the stuffed hamster contains unsafe levels of a dangerous chemical. The robotic toys are the big hit of the holiday shopping season—or they were, before GoodGuide said one model has more than the permitted level of antimony,... More »

5 Ugly Beauty Biz Facts

Toxic chemicals lurk in products

(Newser) - The beauty industry banks $500 billion a year by helping people hide the epidermal truth—so it should come as no surprise that the biz glosses over a few facts. Treehugger lists five:
  • Skin-toxic chemicals lurk in many skincare products, "and trigger skin problems such as rashes, redness, acne,
... More »

Stress Keeps Mosquitoes Away

Scientists near bug spray derived from body chemicals

(Newser) - Mosquito magnets, take note: British scientists have identified which bodily chemical odors make some people less attractive to mosquitoes, and they may be ones related to stress, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s thought that the insects avoid anxious people in favor of healthier prey, a finding that could... More »

Rocket Fuel Chemical Found in Baby Formula

(Newser) - Traces of a chemical used in rocket fuel have been found in several brands of powdered baby formula, according to a CDC study. The chemical, perchlorate, has also been found in several cities’ water supplies; if that water is combined with contaminated formula, it could exceed the level of perchlorate... More »

In Vino, Room for Interpretation

Despite study's hints, wine tasting remains a personal pursuit

(Newser) - That peppery flavor of Syrah? It comes from the same chemical that gives pepper its aroma, a recent study says. So sommeliers aren't making this stuff up: Wine bouquets actually have an empirical basis. But the compounds are tough to pin down because they change when mixed, and 20% of... More »

Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's

Risk is greater to home gardeners than via exposure at work

(Newser) - People exposed to pesticides ran a 1.6 times higher risk of developing the neurological disease Parkinson’s, reports a new study of 600 participants. "Recreational pesticide use in the home and garden was more of a source of exposure than occupational use,” says one researcher. Experts now... More »

Nerve Gas Found at UN Building

Building evacuated after vials of dangerous chemical turn up in office

(Newser) - Weapons inspectors cleaning out an office in a United Nations building near its Manhattan headquarters found six to eight vials of a nerve gas believed to have been recovered from Iraq in 1996, the AP reports. A UN spokeswoman said there was no immediate danger from the substance, identified as... More »

2 Studies Tie Dopamine to ADHD

Low level of brain chemical connected to substance abuse, too

(Newser) - Levels of dopamine—a brain chemical associated with movement and emotion—may explain the occurrence of attention deficit and hyperactivity, two studies published yesterday concluded. The studies found decreased dopamine activity in the brains of individuals, both children and adults, diagnosed with ADHD. Doctors say these decreased levels could have... More »

10 Stories