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News in Brief: Toxic Chemicals Found in Virtually All Pregnant Woman, Study Shows

Toxic Chemicals Found in Virtually All Pregnant Women, Study Shows

Toxic Chemicals Found in Virtually All Pregnant Women, Study Shows

A new study published in a federal health journal shows that toxic chemicals can be detected in 99 to 100 percent of pregnant women in America, according to the Environment News Service. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked for 163 different toxic chemicals in the bodies of 268 pregnant women that represent a national sample of the population and consistently detected chemicals such as pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs, perfluorinated compounds, phenols and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. In some cases, the scientists detected DDT, a dangerous pesticide banned since the 1970s. Some of the chemicals are used in common household items like plastics and nonstick cooking pans, but researchers say their compounded presence could threaten the health of the unborn.

Loughner Indicted for Attempted Assassination

A federal grand jury indicted 22-year-old Jared Loughner on three counts today, according to The Washington Post. Loughner is accused of killing six people on January 8 and injuring 13 more in an armed attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) in Tucson. Loughner was charged with attempting to assassinate Giffords and murdering two of her aides, and prosecutors say more charges will be filed.

House Republicans Plan to Challenge EPA’s Carbon Rules

A document obtained by The Hill reveals that House Republicans are planning to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) climate change regulations. In the document, Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan) outlines an agenda that would challenge the “EPA’s regulatory chokehold” of Clean Air Act rules aimed at reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming. “We believe it critical that the Obama administration ‘stop’ imposing its new global warming regulatory regime, which will undermine economic growth and U.S. competitiveness for no significant benefit,” the document says.

First Lady Teams Up With Walmart to Fight Childhood Obesity

First Lady Michelle Obama joined Walmart executives today to launch the Nutrition Charter, the mega-chain’s new initiative to sell healthier food at lower prices, according to a White House statement. Walmart plans to lower prices on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, reformulate packaged food to be healthier and provide consumers with information on healthy food options. First Lady Obama said that the charter would help Americans reach the goals set forth by her Let’s Move program to fight childhood obesity.

Jobless Claims Drop, Raising Hopes for 2011

The Labor Department reports that fewer Americans filed unemployment claims during the week ending on January 15 than the first week in January, raising hopes that employers are beginning to hire more people in the new year. The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits fell 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted figure of 404,000. About 9.5 million Americans currently receive unemployment benefits.

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