Tag Archives: safety

Climate change is exacerbating global inequalities and making people sick.

Citing the risk of conflicts of interest, the EPA administrator instituted a sweeping change to the agency’s core system of advisory panels on Tuesday, restricting membership to scientists who don’t receive EPA grants.

In practice, the move represents “a major purge of independent scientists,” Terry F. Yosie, chair of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board during the Reagan administration, told the Washington Post. Their removal paves the way for a fresh influx of industry experts and state government officials pushing for lax regulations.

The advisory boards are meant to ensure that health regulations are based on sound science, but that role may be changing. As of Tuesday, the new chair of the Clean Air Safety Advisory Committee is Tony Cox, an independent consultant, who has argued that reductions in ozone pollution have “no causal relation” to public health.

The new head of the Science Advisory Board is Michael Honeycutt, the head toxicologist at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who has said that air pollution doesn’t matter because “most people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors.”

The figureheads of science denial were on hand to celebrate Pruitt’s announcement. Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, called the move a “special occasion.”

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Climate change is exacerbating global inequalities and making people sick.

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5 Zero Waste Swaps to Make in Your Bathroom

Going zero waste can feel daunting ? trust me, I remember the feeling! The average American generates 4.5 pounds of trash every single day (that’s 220 million tons total each year).?How in the world does a person shrink down all that?household waste into nothing? Are there really?sustainable alternatives to everything I use in my daily life?

Truth is, going zero waste happens over the course of a lifetime ? baby step by baby step. One day, you decide to stop accepting plastic straws at restaurants; the next you locate a bulk shop in your area and start shopping exclusively package-free. And every day in between you gradually replace disposable, limited-use items with reusable, lasting ones.

Why This is Important

Our world is hooked on disposables. We manufacture and purchase?vast amounts of unrecyclable goods that are?designed to fail on us, then we throw them away without a second thought. Many of these are?single use plastics?that will not?decompose?for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

As such, most of these swaps involve replacing plastic with something better (often stainless steel, natural fibers or bamboo) that will stand the test of time or decompose naturally when it’s time to toss it.

Ready to join the party? Start by using up your old products (recycling, giving them away or selling them online), then gradually introduce these new options into your routine. Take care of them and you’ll be able to prevent all sorts of bathroom garbage from going to the landfill. Yipee!

10 Zero Waste Swaps to Make in Your Bathroom

1) Handkerchiefs vs. Tissues

Whether you’re fighting a cold or just dealing with allergies, it’s likely you go through a lot of tissues in your daily life. Grab a hankie instead! You can rinse?these as you go, then boil and line dry to get rid of any bacteria. Plus, they’re so much softer on the nose.

Related: 6 Potent Healing Herbs for Cold and Flu

2) Safety Razor vs. Disposable Razors

Disposable plastic razors are non-recyclable and extremely expensive. Plus, I’ve found that they tend to deteriorate remarkably quickly. Keep your skin smooth with a durable, stainless steel safety razor like this one instead and stop tossing razors for good.

3) Bulk Shampoo vs. Packaged Shampoo

Did you know you can buy hair and beauty products in bulk at most?bulk health food stores? It’s true! Just pour?what you need into a refillable glass pump bottle and use till it’s time to top off again. I purchased mine from Amazon, but you could likely find these in the bath aisle of any department store.

4) Coconut Oil vs. Makeup Remover

I’ve never found an eye makeup remover I like better than pure, organic coconut oil. It’s multi-purpose and dissolves?whatever tough makeup I have on at the end of the day. Buy your coconut oil in glass, then reuse or recycle the jar when you’re done with it.

Related: 15 Surprising Uses for Coconut Oil

5) Bamboo Toothbrush vs. Plastic Toothbrush

It’s time to be done with plastic like this for good! Standard plastic toothbrushes with plastic bristles are non-recyclable and wasteful. Look for a bamboo option instead. They are 100 percent biodegradable, eco-friendly and sustainably sourced and produced. Cool right? My favorite brands include Brush with Bamboo, WowE?and f.e.t.e. Huge fan!

Which zero waste swaps will you be making in your bathroom this fall? I’d love to know which ones stand out to you!?

How to Host a Zero Waste Dinner Party
3?Essential Zero Waste Items to Keep in Your Car
10 Ways to Start Living Zero Waste

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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5 Zero Waste Swaps to Make in Your Bathroom

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Darrell Issa Appears to Flee to Building Roof to Avoid Protesters

Mother Jones

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was seen taking refuge on the roof of his office building in Vista, California, Tuesday, taking photos of angry constituents who had gathered below to protest the congressman’s voting record. The incident comes before a much-anticipated town hall meeting this Saturday at San Juan Hills High School, where the nine-term congressman is expected to face a hostile crowd because of his support for various Trump administration policies, including the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Democrat Mike Levin, an environmental lawyer who recently announced his bid to challenge Issa in 2018, shared an image of the congressman appearing to avoid demonstrators on social media, where it was roundly mocked.

Others saw his retreating to a rooftop as reminiscent of Michael Scott, Steve Carrell’s character in The Office who memorably took to the roof in the episode titled “Safety Training.”

Issa, on the other hand, described his trip to the roof a bit differently. Shortly after the criticism, he took to Twitter to offer this narrative. We recommend zooming in to take a closer look at the signs:

For more on Levin and the fight to defeat Issa, the richest man in Congress, head to our profile here.

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Darrell Issa Appears to Flee to Building Roof to Avoid Protesters

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Apple doesn’t want you to be able to fix your own phone.

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority mentioned the leak in an annual report on offshore exploration but revealed no details about who operated the well.

That information came to light on Friday, when Woodside Petroleum — Australia’s largest oil and gas producer, owned by Royal Dutch Shell — admitted to owning the well on the North West Shelf of the country. The leak began in April 2016 and lasted about two months. All told, it spilled nearly 2,800 gallons of oil into the ocean.

Woodside gave a statement to the Australian Broadcasting Company claiming the spill caused no damage: “Due to the composition of the fluid, small quantity released, water depth at release site, and distance from environmentally sensitive areas, there was no lasting impact to the environment.”

Offshore oil safety expert Andrew Hopkins told the Guardian that the Australian regulator’s failure to identify who was responsible for the spill is concerning, as it spares reckless firms from justice via “naming and shaming.”

“Companies that know they will be named in the case of an incident like this,” Hopkins said, “are going to be less likely to do it.”

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Apple doesn’t want you to be able to fix your own phone.

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10 Products You Won’t Believe Are Derived From Petroleum

Most of us associate petroleum products with transportationgas for your car, jet fuel, etc. However, only 19.4 gallons out of a 42-gallon barrel is used to create gasoline.

Sowhat’s the rest used for?

The History of Petroleum Products

Back in 1872, a chemist named Robert Chesebrough came up with a method for extracting a waxy balm from the oily residue leftover in oil wells. What is that substance called today? Vaseline. Then a few years later, in 1913, the sister of a man named Thomas Williamsstartedadding in darkening agents to make a deeply coloredgel out of the stuff. They called their companyMaybelline.

Get where this is going?

Very soon, hundreds of other petroleum-derived products were making their wayinto the marketplace in the form of candles, sealing waxes, ammonia and even candy gum!

Are Petroleum Products Eco-Friendly or Safe?

Now isn’t this the million dollar question.

Many of us work hard to reduce oil demand by cuttingdown on our use of fossil fuels, limiting how often we drive, taking public transportation and trying to do away with plastics. The problem is, oil-derived products have infiltrated much more than just transportation.

Petroleum jelly, for example, is a byproduct of the oil drilling and refining process. It’s a result of one of the most environmentally degrading processes on earth!

There is also the question of safety.

While the beauty industry claims it removes all of the harmful components from its petroleum-based products,researchers are still findingdangersthatputs many people on the fence.

Petroleum products like mineral oil cannot be metabolized (which means once it ends up in your body it will never leave), and some studies suggest theymay be carcinogenic. No thank you!

Worried about your beauty products? Check your labels to see if any of these are present:

Mineral oil
Liquid paraffin
Paraffin oil

10 Products You Won’t Believe are Derived from Petroleum

1. Chewing Gum

Sorry friends, it’s true! The soft, chewy quality of chewing gum comes from an oil-derived base that includes waxes, petroleum, stearic acid, glycerin, lanolin and otheringredients all housed under the ingredient “gum base.” Gross!

2. Pantyhose

Tights, nylons,pantyhose. These little tights are made from nylon, a textile fiber that is actually a petroleum-derived thermoplastic.


Many cosmetic products like lipsticks and lotions are made with petroleum derivatives. Paraffin wax, for example, is used to help tube lipsticks keep their shape and then go on smooth. It might be time to replace that lipstick, considering how much product a woman swallows over the course of her life.

4.Non-Stick Coating

That Teflon-coated pan you love so much is actually made from a combination of chemicals called PFCs or perfluorinated chemicals which arepetro-derived. These are lipophobic and carcinogenic, and have been linked to many diseases like cancer and liver damage. Gross! Need a replacement? Go for cast iron!

5. Crayons

Every single crayon found in that Crayola box was made from paraffin wax, a solid that comes straight from petroleum. Paraffin wax is also used to make candles, add a shiny coating to apples or make chocolate look glossy. Not great.

Related: 7 Candles That Won’t Give You Cancer

6. Synthetic Fabrics

Most wrinkle-resistant clothing items are made from polyestera substance that gets its origin at the oil refinery. However, in this case it’s not all bad. Polyester fabrics can be easily recycled to produce new, high quality polyester fibers.

7. Aspirin

Aspirin is easily one of the most reliable medications discovered over the past few decades. And its uses are widespread! Most aspirin manufacturing today begins with benzene, a hydrocarbon that is usually derived from petroleum. Looking for a natural alternative? Try white willow bark.

8. Sports Equipment

Golf balls, basketballs, tennis racks and skis are all made with petroleum in some form or another.

9. Dentures

Modern denturesare dyed with carbon-based pigments that are manufactured using coal and petroleum resources. Want to avoid getting a fake set colored by fossil fuels? Try flossing instead.

10. Toothpaste

Toothpaste makes use of more oil-based ingredients than just about any other product. Poloxamer 407, for example, is a substance that helps oil-based ingredients to be dissolved in water.

Toothpaste manufacturers also toss in a number of dyes made from petroleum: D&C Yellow #10, DYC Red #30, and FD&C Blue #1. Red 40 is also a big one. All the more reason to start making your own!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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10 Products You Won’t Believe Are Derived From Petroleum

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This nine-step program is like Alcoholics Anonymous for climate anxiety.

Amnesty International investigators interviewed laborers as young as 8 working on plantations that sell to Wilmar, the largest palm-oil trader. Palm oil goes into bread, cereal, chocolate, soaps — it’s in about half of everything on supermarket shelves.

Wilmar previously committed to buying palm oil only from companies that don’t burn down forest or exploit workers. Child labor is illegal in Indonesia.

When Wilmar heard about the abuses, it opened an internal investigation and set up a monitoring process.

It’s disappointing that Wilmar’s commitments haven’t put an end to labor abuses, but it’s not surprising. It’s nearly impossible to eliminate worker exploitation without addressing structural causes: mass poverty, disenfranchisement, and lack of safety nets.

Investigators talked to one boy who dropped out of school to work on a plantation at the age of 12 when his father became too ill to work. Without some kind of welfare program, that boy’s family would probably be worse off if he’d been barred from working.

The boy had wanted to become a teacher. For countries like Indonesia to get out of poverty and stop climate-catastrophic deforestation, they need to help kids like this actually become teachers. That will require actors like Wilmar, Amnesty, and the government to work together to give laborers a living wage, and take care of them when they get sick.


This nine-step program is like Alcoholics Anonymous for climate anxiety.

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Gun Control Advocates Have Something to Smile About Today

Mother Jones

Even as the National Rifle Association celebrates Donald Trump’s victory, gun control advocates have something to smile about today. Of the four gun-related measures on state ballots this year, three passed.

Maine’s Question 3

The only gun-related ballot measure not to win, Question 3 asked voters whether background checks should be required for private gun sales. If neither the buyer nor the seller is a licensed gun dealer, they’d have to go to a licensed dealer who would run a background check. The measure would have also required a background check for loaning guns, with exceptions for gun transfers between family members, emergency self-defense, and temporary transfers for hunting and sport shooting. Supporters, including Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Fund and Mainers for Responsible Gun Ownership Fund, have spent $5.2 million to get the measure passed. Approximately $1 million was spent against it, the vast majority by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.

California’s Proposition 63

Prop 63 passed easily, garnering 63 percent of the vote. It will ban certain types of semi-automatic assault rifles, require background checks for ammunition sales, outlaw magazines that carry more than 10 bullets, create a system for confiscating guns from felons, and require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. Major components of the initiative already became law earlier this year, and gun rights groups say they will challenge the overlapping laws in court. Opponents spent nearly $1 million against the measure to the nearly $4.5 million spent by supporters.

Nevada’s Question 1

Similar to Maine’s ballot initiative, Question 1 will require most gun sales, including private sales, to be subject to a background check. However, it narrowly passed by less than 10,000 votes. The same exemptions that Maine allows also apply here. Supporters spent more than $18 million and received significant financial backing from Everytown For Gun Safety. The NRA Nevadans for Gun Freedom and Nevadans for State Gun Rights spent nearly $6.5 million to sink the initiative. The NRA stuck to its usual script in opposing the measure, writing, “Question 1 does nothing to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms.”

Washington’s Initiative 1491

Initiative 1491 allows family, household members, and police to petition a judge to temporarily prohibit a person’s access to guns if that person is found to be a risk to himself or others. Petitions for an “extreme risk protection order” will last one year. Those under order can request a hearing to argue against the order. The NRA opposed the measure, saying that “if a person is truly dangerous, existing law already provides a variety of mechanisms to deal with the individual.” Nonetheless, it passed with 71 percent of the vote.

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Gun Control Advocates Have Something to Smile About Today

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Exclusive: The Democratic National Committee Has Told the FBI It Found Evidence Its HQ Was Bugged

Mother Jones

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In an episode reminiscent of Watergate, the Democratic Party recently informed the FBI that it had collected evidence suggesting its Washington headquarters had been bugged, according to two Democratic National Committee officials who asked not to be named.

In September, according to these sources, the DNC hired a firm to conduct an electronic sweep of its offices. After Russian hackers had penetrated its email system and those of other Democratic targets, DNC officials believed it was prudent to scrutinize their offices. This examination found nothing unusual.

In late October, after conservative activist James O’Keefe released a new set of hidden-camera videos targeting Democrats, interim party chairwoman Donna Brazile ordered up another sweep. There was a concern that Republican foes might have infiltrated the DNC offices, where volunteers were reporting to work on phone banks and other election activities. (For some of their actions, O’Keefe and his crew have used people posing as volunteers to gain access to Democratic outfits.)

The second sweep, according to the Democratic officials, found a radio signal near the chairman’s office that indicated there might be a listening device outside the office. “We were told that this was something that could pick up calls from cellphones,” a DNC official says. “The guys who did the sweep said it was a strong indication.” No device was recovered. No possible culprits were identified.

The DNC sent a report with the technical details to the FBI, according to the DNC officials. “We believe it’s been given by the bureau to another agency with three letters to examine,” the DNC official says. “We’re not supposed to talk about it.”

A Democratic consultant who has done work for the DNC, who asked not to be identified, says he was recently informed about the suspected bugging.

The DNC officials will not say what countermeasures were subsequently taken. “As a general policy, we don’t talk about such efforts,” the other DNC official says. But this official adds, “You have to take all of this incredibly seriously.” The first DNC official notes, “We are the oldest political party in this country, and we are under constant attack from Russia and/or maybe others.”

Adam Hodge, a spokesman for the DNC, says, “The DNC is not going to comment on stories about its security. In all security matters, we cooperate fully with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and take all necessary steps to protect the committee and the safety and security of our staff.”

The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

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Exclusive: The Democratic National Committee Has Told the FBI It Found Evidence Its HQ Was Bugged

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Now Samsung Washing Machines Are Exploding Too

Mother Jones

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Holy cow. Now Samsung washing machines are exploding too:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the tops can detach during use. The company has received more than 700 reports of incidents and nine reports of injuries including a broken jaw, the agency said Friday….In August, three consumers filed suit against Samsung, alleging that their machines suddenly exploded while in use.

….In April 2013, Samsung initiated one of Australia’s largest consumer recalls—of about 150,000 washing machines that it had sold there since 2010— after rescue services reported a spate of house fires believed to be caused by Samsung washers.

Luckily this doesn’t affect me. I plan to buy an LG washing machine someday thanks to their clearly superior technology:

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Now Samsung Washing Machines Are Exploding Too

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We are the bosses of self-driving cars, say the feds.

Despite the political and market forces arrayed against it, the coal industry is still clinging to life, pushing forward massive new mines, export terminals, railway lines, and power plants.

In a special report this week, Grist examines the struggling industry’s long game, including one company’s efforts to build a $700 million project on the Chuitna River in south-central Alaska. Here are seven other places where the American coal industry is trying to resuscitate itself at the expense of, well, the rest of us:

  1. Millennium Bulk Coal Terminal Longview, Washington

Even after major backer Arch Coal declared bankruptcy and dropped its stake in 2016, the $640 million export terminal won’t die.

  1. Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal Oakland, California

The city council and Gov. Jerry Brown oppose the $1.2 billion proposal, but developers are threatening legal action.

  1. Wishbone Hill Coal Mine Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska

The project had cleared most of its regulatory hurdles when members of the the nearby Chickaloon tribe filed a lawsuit.

  1. Coal Hollow Mine Kane County, Utah

A company with a history of cleanup violations wants an expansion that would double the mine’s annual output.

  1. Kayenta Mine Navajo County, Arizona

Located on reservation lands on Arizona’s Black Mesa, the Peabody-owned mine opened in 1973 but faces new opposition.

  1. Dos Republicas Mine Eagle Pass, Texas

Opened for business in November 2015, the mine on the U.S.-Mexico border threatens archaeological sites and burial grounds.

  1. Kemper County Energy Facility Kemper County, Mississippi

Mississippi’s $6.7 billion “clean coal” plant has been criticized as excessively expensive and too carbon-heavy, but officials say it could be operational by October.

Read our special report: Coal’s Last Gamble.

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We are the bosses of self-driving cars, say the feds.

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