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In The News / Dec 5

Amid India’s coal fields death lurks in poisoned water.

Death crept without warning to the mud huts of Jogaeal in central India. One by one, children began to die. By the end of 2011, parents buried 53 of them in this forested hill country village occupied by subsistence farmers and day laborers.

That scenario played out in three other villages in and around the contiguous coal-mining districts of Singrauli and Sonbhadra about 600 miles southeast of New Delhi.

Most were tied to drinking polluted water, according to reports obtained by Bloomberg News in October. They stopped short of identifying the pollutants but independent scientists who have conducted exhaustive toxicology tests in the region say they know the chief culprit: mercury.


Powerful antibiotic for cows often misused by farmers.

The strength of the antibiotic ceftiofur – and the frequency with which it’s being misused on farms across America – has created a threat to human health that may overshadow the drug’s effectiveness, a Reuters examination shows.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautioned in 2012 that ceftiofur could pose a “high public health risk,” in part because the drug belongs to a class of antibiotics considered critically important in human medicine.

A Reuters analysis of government data indicates that the risks to human health may be more significant than previously known. Since last year, records kept by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that traces of ceftiofur were found at illegal levels in slaughtered animals more frequently than with any other drug.



More news from EHN From EHN's Newsroom

As climate talks open, human rights issues take the spotlight.

The U.N. global climate talks are no longer just about emissions limits and trends. The annual negotiations, opening today in Peru, have also become the most visible effort to address social justice and human rights.


Social injustice dogs two promising climate solutions.

As human rights gain prominence at the UN climate talks, clean energy and forest protection projects lose their shine amid allegations of inequity.


Statins: Widely used drugs may protect people from air pollution.

One of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States may have an extra benefit: protecting people from air pollution. Statins, prescribed to lower cholesterol and reduce risks of heart attacks and strokes, seem to diminish inflammation that occurs after people breathe airborne particles.


Coal's black wind: Pregnant women in parts of India advised to stay away.

Amritraj Stephen/Community Environmental Monitoring

In some regions of India, a married woman will return to her mother’s house for the last trimester of pregnancy and the birth of her child. But in Mettur, pregnant women are advised by their doctors to stay away. “Black wind” from a coal yard wafts constantly across poor neighborhoods, settling on rooftops, walking paths and even indoor furniture.



  • Hold the confetti for cheap gas.

    It’s a buzzkill, but those cheap gas prices that have cheered everyone with a raise recently may not be so cheap at all, especially if they come at the cost of life on Earth as we know it. more…

  • ‘Peak oil’ debunked, again.

    The end-of-oil myth is more wish than prediction—a desire to see the end of fossil fuels to serve a larger political agenda. It is also a way of scaring governments into pouring money into alternative energy sources that can’t compete with oil and natural gas without subsidies and mandates. more…


  • Using art to fix climate change.

    When Todd Siler was 12 years old, he asked what the point of the universe was. He became the only one ever to get an art-and-psychology Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is now collaborating with a scientist to give us a new, boundless energy supply that could end global warming fears. more…

  • Steps taken on climate change.

    While this was the hottest year on record, it should also go down as a record year for climate action. At a minimum, it will be considered a turning point: a time when the scientific evidence became crystal clear. more…

Media Notes

Notable media news and reviews
  • EPA eases media rules for scientists. Dec 02

    The Environmental Protection Agency is reversing course, saying that the independent scientists on its advisory committees may speak freely with representatives of the media. Timothy Cama, The Hill. more…

In The News: (CONTINUED) / Dec 5

  • Exhausted by a house that saves energy.

    Dotty Kyle and Eric Brattstrom had an ambitious vision for the home they would build when they sold their bed-and-breakfast seven years ago and retired. If they had it to do over, their house would be much smaller. They’d still choose solar power, but would use it to run heat pumps. New York Times

More news from today

Many more stories today, including:

  • Two hours of London pollution could cause respiratory problems
  • Climate: Inside big oil's 'conspiracy' to kill climate news; Church of England challenges BP and Shell over global warming; How ocean current could power half the homes in Florida
  • Stories from: UK, Ireland, Israel, Indonesia, Australia, Canada
  • US stories from: ME, VT, NY, NJ, PA, VA, NC, SC, AL, TN, IA, MO, AR, UT, CA, AK
  • Smoking erases Y chromosomes
  • Opinions: Low oil prices will actually help the Gulf; Environmental change and the ecology of infectious disease