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The Radon Threat Is Still With Us

“I AM really sorry to tell you this, but you have less than a 50 percent chance of living for one year and about a 15 percent chance of living for five years.” This gloomy prognosis is delivered each year to thousands of Americans who have been given a diagnosis of lung cancer caused by […]

Friday Briefing

Regulators reject bid to ban BPA from food packaging. The Food and Drug Administration today turned down a petition from environmentalists that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical, also known as bisphenol-A, from such items as plastic bottles and canned food. The agency said that petitioners did not present compelling scientific evidence to justify new […]

Thursday Briefing

Autism rates climb among U.S. children. A report today from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a 23 percent increase in diagnoses from 2006 to 2008. Among children up to age 8, one in 88 was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in 2008. Two years earlier, the rate was one in […]

Wednesday Briefing

Judge bars import of anesthesia drug used in executions. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided with lawyers for death row inmates in Tennessee, Arizona and California who challenged the use of unapproved, foreign-produced sodium thiopental. He found that the Food and Drug Administration ignored the law when it allowed the drug to be imported. Sodium […]

Tuesday Briefing

Crippled Japanese nuclear reactor still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water for cooling. An internal assessment, disclosed today, found that damage at the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s No. 2 reactor is so severe that special technology will need to be developed to decommission the operation, a process expected to last decades. The disclosure […]

Monday Briefing

Study forecasts temperatures rising as many as 5.4 degrees by 2050. Researchers at Oxford University concluded that, if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, average global temperatures could climb 2..5 to 5.4 degrees by mid-century. Their findings are based on 10,000 computer model simulations. The study comes as the U.S. is simmering through its hottest March […]

Thursday Briefing

Brazilian prosecutors file criminal charges against 17 Chevron and Transocean executives for an offshore oil  leak. Authorities accused the executives of environmental crimes, misleading Brazil’s oil regulator about safety plans and failing to provide accurate information after the November spill. In the incident, at least 110,000 gallons of oil seeped through cracks on the ocean […]

Wednesday Briefing

Operators of 20 aging U.S. nuclear reactors have not saved money for dismantling. If the reactors — including some whose licenses expire soon — are forced to shut, the operators intend to let them sit like industrial relics for 20 to 60 years or longer. Mothballing the plants makes hundreds of acres of prime industrial […]

Tuesday Briefing

High rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis are striking wealthy and poor nations. While London has been dubbed the “tuberculosis capital of Europe,” a recent study documenting new cases of a supposedly “totally drug resistant” TB in India suggests the disease could get a lot worse. Russia, China and South Africa also report large numbers of TB […]

Monday Briefing

World Health Organization leader warns that antibiotic resistance could mean “the end of modern medicine as we know it.” At a conference in Copenhagen last week, the WHO’s director general, Dr. Margaret Chan, said hospitals have become “hotbeds for highly resistant pathogens,” a development “increasing the risk that hospitalization kills instead of cures.” Already, she […]