Third time’s a charm for the Great Lakes Act?

Plus: Body care chem found in Antarctic krill

After two stalled attempts in four years, the province has reintroduced the Great Lakes Protection Act. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change says the act, if passed, would help fight climate change, protecting wetlands and coastal areas and reducing toxic algal blooms. An alliance of environment orgs, including Ecojustice and Environmental Defence, has praised the move. With three out of four of Ontario’s Great Lakes in decline and 72 per cent of southern Ontario’s wetlands already lost, the orgs say, “Immediate action is required.” 

Body care chem found in Antarctic krill 

The silky siloxanes designed to give our deodorants, lotions and hair serums a slippery softness are turning up surprisingly far from our bathrooms. Research published in Environmental Science & Technology has found them in soil, plants, phytoplankton and krill in nearly a dozen locations in the Antarctic. Most of the samples contained D4 (cyclotetrasiloxane, which has been phased out by a number of companies) as well as super-common D5 (cylopentasiloxane) and D6 (cyclohexasiloxane).

Back in 2009, Environment Canada proposed that D4 and D5 be added to its list of toxic substances but shifted gears after industry persuaded the regulator that the chems weren’t entering the environment at quantities that could cause harm.

Food additives may be hurting your gut

Common food additives found in everything from salad dressing and ice cream to vitamins and cough syrup may be promoting a rise in inflammatory bowel disease, according to research published last week in the journal Nature.

The study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, found two emulsifiers in processed foods and medicines, polysorbate 80 and carboxymethyl cellulose (aka cellulose gum), may be wreaking havoc on intestinal flora.

The ingredients are used in a variety of dairy products (cottage cheese, creamers, frozen desserts), condiments, frozen dinners, many gluten-free and low-fat foods as well painkillers. They’re approved for use, but the study’s researchers, led by the Georgia State University Institute for Biomedical Sciences, suggest federal regulators aren’t looking at subtle health impacts like inflammation. | @ecoholicnation

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