ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Brazilian Mint Tea Naturally Good for Pain Relief
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study Shows
The High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) Debate
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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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