More than 5,000 pesticides studied

Biological contaminations such as E. coli now present a larger threat than chemical residues, says the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency has nearly finished approving 5,237 existing pesticide tolerances, modifying 1,200 others and revoking 3,200. The revocations mean that of the many possible combinations of pesticides and crops, 3,200 will no longer be allowed. The EPA Office of Pesticides Program states that the 10-year study under the Food Quality Protection Act provides “the highest food safety standards in the world.”

Studies from many sources continue the frustrating effort to measure the ambient causes of cancer.

Researchers think that about 80 to 90 per cent of all cancers are due to environmental causes including lifestyle such as smoking and diet.

It’s far harder to tease out just how much is due to polluted air, water or food, or to radiation or workplace exposures to cancer-causing substances. One recent estimate of the impact of pollution placed the total cancers due to this factor at about 8 to 16 per cent.

Another update:
Applying the Clean Air Act to dust and soot begins 2012. To protect people living downwind, new standards for regulating soot, dust and other coarse air pollution particles are aimed at industrial and urban sources and will gradually extend to any “particulate matter deposited in the ambient air”.