ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
CAREGIVING
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Study of Everest Climbers Questions Oxygen Use
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
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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