Articles on Environmental health

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The health benefits of being close to nature are well established. priscilla du preez/Unsplash

Why apartment dwellers need indoor plants

Health benefits of being close to nature are well established, but the rise of apartment living means we can't always be close to greenery.
Dancing sunlight patterns reflected onto an interior ceiling from a wind-disturbed external water surface. Kevin Nute

The next step in sustainable design: Bringing the weather indoors

Research shows that bringing nature indoors, in the form of movement created by light, wind and water, makes occupants calmer and more productive. It also could promote interest in sustainable design.
Wind turbines require massive structures that are polluting to produce and can harm ecosystems, but these impacts compare favorably with those of fossil alternatives. www.shutterstock.com

Does ‘green energy’ have hidden health and environmental costs?

No energy source is perfect, but solar and wind have a much lower health and environmental footprint than fossil fuels, a study finds. Biopower, though, is a mixed bag.
An innovative water-sensitive project aims to dramatically improve the health of slums and their environment together.

Water-sensitive innovations to transform health of slums and environment

A five-year project announced today will implement an innovative water-sensitive approach tailored to informal settlements. The goal is to revitalise 24 communities in Fiji and Indonesia.
Dr. Kofi Amegah of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, installing a small air sensing unit built by the University of Massachusetts. Kofi Amegah

Can we rely on DIY air pollution sensors?

Citizens and activists are using cheap off-the-shelf sensors to collect their own data on air pollution. It's a promising trend, but these devices have serious technical limitations.
Face masks like these, modeled by students from the Peltier Aerosol Lab, vary widely in effectiveness against fine particle pollution. Richard E. Peltier

Millions rely on cheap cloth masks that may provide little protection against deadly air pollution

Inexpensive cloth face masks, worn by many people in heavily polluted countries, offer only partial protection. Instead governments should warn people to avoid exposure and work to clear the air.
Successive governments have ignored the health risks of climate change. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being

As the new Australian parliament takes the reins, health groups are moving to ensure the new health minister addresses a major health threat in this term of government: climate change.
What’s in that bottle? And is it safe? www.shutterstock.com

Will the new toxic chemical safety law protect us?

Congress has passed a long-overdue update of a key law regulating hazardous chemicals. But a legal scholar says the new law does not go far enough to reduce chemical exposure risks.
A human-dependent mosquito, the range of the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti is projected to grow in the U.S. and affect more people globally. sanofi-pasteur/flickr

Global warming to expose more people to Zika-spreading mosquito Aedes aegypti

More people in the U.S. and world will be exposed to the disease-carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti, not just because of warmer temperatures but global population changes as well.
Field tests of flood-tolerant ‘scuba rice.’ International Rice Research Institute/Flickr

Moving beyond pro/con debates over genetically engineered crops

Advocates have argued for years about whether genetically engineered crops are safe to grow and eat. Plant pathologist and geneticist Pamela Ronald calls for a more nuanced discussion.
The chemical PFOA, used in common coatings, was found in elevated levels in the water supply of Hoosick, New York earlier this year. dougtone/flickr

Should you be worried about PFOA in drinking water? Here’s what we know

A growing number of communities in upstate New York and New England are discovering the chemical PFOA in their water supply. Here's what you should know about the health effects of PFOA.

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