ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
CAREGIVING
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Bed Bugs Bring No Disease Danger
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Too-Low Blood Pressure Can Also Bring Danger
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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