SETAC MultiBrief
Oct. 3, 2013

EPA study could be used to expand reach of law over waters
Bloomberg BNA
Federal regulators may be able to assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over more waters and wetlands than are now protected on the basis of a draft scientific study that links all streams and certain wetlands with larger, downstream navigable waters, attorneys and policy analysts say. The Environmental Protection Agency's draft study finds that all tributary streams, including perennial and the previously unprotected intermittent and ephemeral streams, are physically, chemically and biologically connected to downstream rivers.More

Ruth Patrick, ecology pioneer, dies at 105
The Washington Post
Ruth Patrick, whose studies of freshwater ecology in the 1930s helped galvanize the later environmental movement and whose success in a profession dominated by men charted a course for other female scientists, died Sept. 23 at a retirement community in Lafayette Hill, Pa. She was 105. Dr. Patrick, who in 1996 received the nation's highest award for scientific achievement, began focusing on ecology at a time when the dangers of pollution barely pierced the national consciousness. More

California to review toxic substances in consumer products
Los Angeles Times
Hundreds of items found on supermarket shelves, such as shampoos, cleaning supplies, cosmetics and food packaging, could get chemical makeovers under new rules being put in force by California. Recently, state toxic chemical regulators will unveil what they say is the nation's most comprehensive program for identifying and reformulating common consumer products containing hazardous chemicals.More

5 healthy reasons to visit Nashville, Tenn., now
If you want to do plenty of walking while visiting Nashville, Tenn., what better way to do it than follow in the footsteps of the stars, producers and location scouts for ABC's hit TV show Nashville? Sure enough, it turns out that getting out into some of the neighborhoods where the people who make Music City hum (and sing) live, eat and play is a great way to do that.More

How environmental toxins harm women's reproductive health
Live Science
Two leading groups of doctors and researchers on reproductive health say toxins in the environment are harming women's ability to have children. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine issued a joint committee opinion calling for U.S. government policy changes, and urging greater action by physicians to help prevent chemical exposure during pregnancy.More

6 ways the government shutdown will impact science and health
Scientific American
The clock ran out for the U.S. Congress to agree on a budget bill and avoid a federal government shutdown. In addition to furloughs keeping thousands of government workers from their jobs, the shutdown will have wide consequences for the country's science, innovation and health. From a panda cam gone dark and national park visitors getting the boot to a halt on the government's flu program, here's a look at six ways the shutdown will impact science.More

Drugs found in Lake Michigan, miles from sewage outfalls
Great Lakes Echo
Prescription drugs are contaminating Lake Michigan two miles from Milwaukee's sewage outfalls, suggesting that the lake is not diluting the compounds as most researchers expected, according to new research. "In a body of water like the Great Lakes, you'd expect dilution would kick in and decrease concentrations, and that was not the case here," said Dana Kolpin, a U.S. Geological Survey research hydrologist based in Iowa.More

Russia charges 14 from Greenpeace ship with piracy
The Washington Post
Russian authorities turned their informal descriptions of Greenpeace activists as pirates into legal charges, a chilling evolution in a saga that began two weeks ago as a protest against drilling in the Arctic. Prosecutors charged 14 people — including a British journalist — with piracy, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. An additional 16 await formal charges. More

Bangladesh's toxic tanneries ravage lives and environment
Inside the Bangladesh factory, shirtless workers stretch freshly dyed sheets of goat leather across industrial drying racks. But outside, under the glaring sun, toxic runoff, the color of crude oil, is discharged into open gutters that course their way through jam-packed streets and makeshift housing, en route to city waterways.More

EPA chemist who revealed twin towers toxic dust fired — again
Environment News Service
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist who first revealed the dangers of toxic dust at the World Trade Center disaster site has received a second notice of proposed removal from her job more than a year after a federal civil service court ordered her returned to work. Dr. Cate Jenkins, a senior chemist of more than 22 years tenure with the EPA, publicly alleged that due to falsified EPA standards, first responders to the attack on the twin towers were exposed to dust so corrosive that it caused chemical burns deep within their respiratory systems.More

A new approach to managing hazardous waste sites
University of Buffalo via HealthCanal
Environmental engineer Alan Rabideau and colleagues want to integrate community engagement with science, engineering, ethics and policy in the long-term management of hazardous waste sites in the U.S. Often called brownfields or superfund sites, these are former steel mills, oil refineries, old military bases and other contaminated grounds that threaten public health. With thousands nationwide, the estimated cleanup cost, already billions of dollars, continues to climb.More