Washington: A chemical in some plastic food and drink packaging including baby bottles may be tied to early puberty and prostate and breast cancer, US said on Tuesday. Based on draft findings by the National Toxicology Program, part of the US National Institutes of Health, senior congressional Democrats asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider its view that the chemical bisphenol A is safe in products for use by infants and children. The chemical, also called BPA, is used in many baby bottles and the plastic lining of cans of infant formula.

Washington: The world's beaches and shores are anything but pristine. Volunteers scoured 33,000 miles of shoreline worldwide and found 6 million pounds (3m kg) of debris from cigarette butts and food wrappers to abandoned fishing lines and plastic bags that threaten seabirds and marine mammals.

An agreement which defines acceptable use of water from North America's Great Lakes has been thrashed out by farmers, industrialists, environmentalists and politicians. The Great Lakes in Northeast America are a huge natural resource but fears have been raised that piping the water to parched areas of the USA would lead to ecological disaster in the long term. The Great Lakes Compact aims to strike a balance between the needs of the region's industry and ecology.

Out on the American farm, the ducks and pheasants are losing ground. Thousands of farmers are pulling their fields out of the government's biggest conservation program, spurning guaranteed annual payments for a chance to cash in on the boom in wheat, soybeans, corn and other crops. Last fall, they took back as many acres as are in Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Two of the biggest oil companies in the world, BP and ConocoPhillips, have joined forces to try to break a longstanding deadlock over the vast reserves of natural gas in Alaska. The firms said they would spend billions to build a pipeline from the North Slope to feed markets in the United States and Canada. The proposal Tuesday won praise from Alaska's governor, Sarah Palin. "It's a good day," she said to reporters.

SUNNYVALE, California: Call it an eco-parable: one Prius-driving couple takes pride in their eight redwoods, the first of them planted over a decade ago. Their electric-car-driving neighbors take pride in their rooftop solar panels, installed five years after the first trees were planted.

Shell Bullish On Chukchi Oil And Gas Potential US: April 7, 2008 ANCHORAGE - Alaska's Chukchi Sea, the remote region separating North America's northwestern tip from northeastern Siberia, is one of the "potentially most prolific oil fields" left in the world and could ultimately compare to the Gulf of Mexico as a source of domestic energy, a Shell official said Friday.

Greener building practices could cut North America's greenhouse gas emissions more effectively than any other available measure. Canada, Mexico and the US are being urged to embrace greener construction methods That is the conclusion of a new report from the Commission for Environmental Co-operation (CEC). Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges says buildings release about 35% of the continent's total CO2 emissions and this could be the quickest and cheapest way to reduce North America's impact on climate change.

Giant Particle Accelerator Could Create Black Hole That Might Eat Up Earth: Lawsuit

EXTERNAL affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday told his American hosts that the government was engaged in the process of resolving the "political problems' in the implementation of the Indo-

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