Environment

According to Maria Diuk-Wasser at the Yale School of 
Public Health, 
the onset of human-induced global warming is likely to increase the infection rates of mosquito-borne diseases like 
malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus by creating more mosquito-friendly habitats.
PHOTO: U.S. Department of Agriculture

EARTHTALK: Mosquito-borne diseases on the uptick — thanks to global warming

EarthTalk® Dear EarthTalk: Is there a link between the recent spread of mosquito-borne diseases around the world and environmental pollution?–Meg Ross, Lantana, FL If by pollution you mean greenhouse gas emissions, then definitely yes. According to Maria Diuk-Wasser at the Yale School of Public Health, the onset of human-induced global warming is likely to increase 

Posted 4 years ago by

EarthTalkOrganic

Organic: Still a small slice of the pie

Dear EarthTalk: I understand that, despite the popularity of organic foods, clothing and other products, organic agriculture is still only practiced on a tiny percentage of land worldwide. What’s getting in the way?–Larry McFarlane, Boston, MA Organic production may still represent only a small fraction of agricultural sales in the U.S. and worldwide, but it 

Posted 4 years ago by

Household cleaning products are responsible for almost 10 percent of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. poison control centers. Fortunately,  there are plenty of safer alternatives available, from brands like Ecover, Seventh Generation, Green Shield and Earth Friendly Products, pictured here.                                                                                                 PHOTO: Earth Friendly Products

EARTHTALK: Alternatives to toxic cleaning supplies

Dear EarthTalk: I’m concerned about toxic ingredients in my cleaning supplies, especially now that I have young children. Where can I find safer alternatives?–Betsy E., Hartford, CT It is true that many household cleaners contain potentially toxic substances, so parents especially should make an effort to keep them out of the reach of children or, 

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PHOTO: Comstock/Hemera Collection

EARTHTALK: Air conditioning options

Dear EarthTalk: Now that hot weather is coming, I want to upgrade my home’s A/C. Which are the most energy-saving models and should I go central air or window units?- Jackie Smith, Cary, NC According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), energy consumption for home air conditioning units accounts for more 

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A century ago some five millions wild elephants roamed Africa. Today fewer than 500,000 remain, a result of poaching for meat and ivory as well as habitat loss due to expanding human development.  
PHOTO: Comstock

EARTHTALK: African elephants declining rapidly

Dear EarthTalk: How are populations of African elephants faring these days? What conservation efforts are underway and are they working? — Libby Broullette, Salem, MA A century ago some five millions wild elephants roamed Africa. Today fewer than 500,000 remain, a result of poaching for meat and ivory as well as habitat loss due to 

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EARTHTALK: Getting kids outside to appreciate nature

Dear EarthTalk: My kids just want to play videos games and watch TV all day. Do you have any tips for getting them outside to appreciate nature more?–Sue Levinson, Bowie, MD Getting kids away from computer and TV screens and outside into the fresh air is an increasing challenge for parents everywhere. Researchers have found 

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EARTHTALK: The Monsanto Protection Act

Dear EarthTalk: What is the “Monsanto Protection Act” and why are environmentalists so upset about it?–Rita Redstone, Milwaukee, WI The so-called Monsanto Protection Act is actually a provision (officially known as Section 735) within a recently passed Congressional spending bill, H.R. 933, which exempts biotech companies from litigation in regard to the making, selling and 

Posted 4 years ago by

EarthTalkPreventingCancer

EARTHTALK: Avoiding environmental cancer triggers

Dear EarthTalk: I know that some of us are genetically predisposed to get cancer, but what are some ways we can avoid known environmental triggers for it?–B. Northrup, Westport, MA Cancer remains the scourge of the American health care system, given that four out of every 10 of us will be diagnosed with one form 

Posted 4 years ago by

EarthTalkDepletedFisheries

EARTHTALK: Fisheries on the brink of collapse

Dear EarthTalk: I understand that many of the world’s fisheries are on the brink of collapse, “fished out,” to put it bluntly. How did this happen and what is being done about it?– Mariel LaPlante, New Orleans, LA Many of the world’s fisheries are indeed in crisis today due to years of overfishing, pollution and 

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A typical carpet, made from petroleum-based synthetic fibers, contains dozens of chemicals, gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other potential toxins—and they can compromise indoor air quality for years on end and cause dangerous reactions in the sensitive among us, including little ones and the elderly.?
PHOTO: iStockPhoto/Thinkstock

EARTHTALK: Healthy and green-friendly carpeting

Dear EarthTalk: I like the feel of carpeting, but I’m concerned about all the chemicals. What are some good non-chemical (but still soft!) options?–Jennifer Jones, Madison, WI Modern day carpets, in all their plush and stain-resistant glory, are wonders of technology and help make our homes and workplaces more comfortable. But the typical carpet, made 

Posted 5 years ago by