This month in EHP
The November issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/) highlights mercury exposures from mining, and the immediate and long-term effects of dam removal.
Quicksilver and Gold: Mercury Pollution from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining
Mercury amalgamation has been used for centuries to process precious metals. Today, artisanal and small-scale gold mining is the world’s second greatest source of atmospheric mercury pollution, after coal combustion. Other mercury waste ends up in soils and waterways. With gold prices now exceeding $1,600 per ounce, artisanal and small-scale gold mining is on the rise, along with its mercury problem.
Lessons of the Elwha River: Managing Health Hazards During Dam Removal
The Elwha River’s two hydroelectric dams have become stars of a four-decade-long saga, culminating in the complete removal of the lower Elwha Dam this past summer, and the planned removal of the taller Glines Canyon Dam by summer 2013. Tearing down dams releases mass quantities of sediment and, in some cases, contaminants in the short term, but restores ecosystems in the long term. As the Elwha River ecosystem begins a dramatic transformation, the biggest dam removal in history is being touted as a model for future dam breaches.
Podcast — Exploring Links Between Arsenic and Diabetes, with Ana Navas-Acien
Arsenic is a problem in communities around the world, from Bangladesh to New Hampshire. It’s one of the environmental chemicals the National Toxicology Program explored at a recent workshop as possibly contributing to the worldwide rise in diabetes. In this podcast, (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/category/podcasts/) Ana Navas-Acien, M.D., Ph.D., talks about a new review by investigators at that workshop, who summarize the evidence for a link between arsenic exposure and diabetes.
Featured commentaries, reviews, and research this month include:
- Variation in Estimated Ozone-Related Health Impacts of Climate Change Due to Modeling Choices and Assumptions
- Near-Roadway Pollution and Childhood Asthma: Implications for Developing "Win-Win" Compact Urban Development and Clean Vehicle Strategies
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Detected at Four U.S. Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Predictors and Variability of Urinary Paraben Concentrations in Men and Women, Including Before and During Pregnancy