ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pain-Relieving Powers of Acupuncture Unclear
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
DIET, NUTRITION
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Smog Standards Need Tightening, Activists Say
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Living With Less TV, More Sweat Boosts Weight Loss
Eating More Soy May Be Good For Your Lung Function
Cocaine Spurs Long-Term Change in Brain Chemistry
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
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Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health

(HealthDay News) -- U.S. environmental officials said Monday that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide endanger people's health.

The so-called endangerment finding was announced by Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at an afternoon press conference. It could signal a possible first step by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. But Jackson said the agency would prefer that Congress pass legislation that would limit production of the pollutants.

"The scientific community, the business community and the policy world have spent decades studying greenhouse gas pollution and climate change," Jackson said, adding that there have been alarming increases in the amount of greenhouse gases over the years.

"That increase is deteriorating the natural balance in our atmosphere and changing our climate -- the threat is real," she said.

This finding means the Obama administration is prepared to act to limit global warming without Congressional support.

The finding is also noteworthy as the United States prepares to take part in a 192-nation climate conference that began Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the past, the United States has been criticized for dragging its feet on efforts to combat global warming.

The endangerment finding means that "we arrive at the climate talks in Copenhagen with a clear demonstration of our commitment to facing this global challenge," Jackson said.

Previous research has linked air pollution to a variety of diseases, including heart disease, cancer and asthma.

In announcing the finding Monday, Jackson did not specifically state what diseases can be caused by greenhouse gases, which are largely produced by factories, power plants and motor vehicles that burn fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

Environmental groups applauded Monday's EPA announcement.

"As the major global warming summit begins this week in Copenhagen, this announcement couldn't come at a more important time," Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a prepared statement. "The Obama administration has followed through on its pledge to act and is demonstrating that the U.S. has turned away from eight years of inaction under the Bush administration," he stated.

"This is one more key commitment President Obama can bring to the world to show that the U.S. will do its part to fight global warming," Pope said.

The endangerment finding comes after a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said such a finding was necessary before the EPA could use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and automobiles, Jackson said.

Jackson noted that a similar finding was sent to the Bush White House, but was never acted upon.

"This administration will not ignore science or the law any longer, nor will we avoid the responsibility we owe to our children and grandchildren," she said.

In April the EPA started taking public comments about global warming, a sign that the agency was moving to a view that greenhouse gases pose a health threat.

While environmental groups support the new finding, some business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have been opposed to using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. The chamber said in a statement that "the endangerment declaration could spark a cascade of litigation and regulation that could harm the economy."

According to the EPA, regulation of greenhouse gases will not begin immediately. The administration's preference is that Congress take the lead in passing a cap on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, Jackson said.

Jackson said she was hopeful that Congress would pass a greenhouse gas emissions bill that the president could sign.

Under a separate action, the EPA has begun requiring large producers of greenhouse gases to start reporting the amount of these gases they release into the environment. This will allow the EPA to track greenhouse gas emissions, Jackson said.

In another effort to limit greenhouse gases, the Obama administration, under the Clean Cars Program, will mandate that average automobile mileage increase to 35 miles per gallon by 2016, Jackson said.

SOURCES: Dec. 7, 2009, teleconference with Lisa P. Jackson, administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Dec. 7, 2009, news release, the Sierra Club; Dec. 7, 2009, news release, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Published on: December 07, 2009