What About Pollution

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5 Ways Air Pollution Is Destroying Your Health

You probably already know about some of the dangers that severe air pollution exposure can cause and how places like stoplights at intersections can increase your exposure to harmful air particles up to 29 times more than the open road. While these facts are startling, you probably don’t know about the almost invisible dangers. [1] Namely the numerous diseases and cognitive issues now being linked to air pollution. Here we’ll get into five ways you’re letting air pollution destroy your health. The Hidden Dangers of Air Pollution Despite the slow turn to more sustainable forms of agriculture and industry, air pollution is still a big problem. Here are just some of the ways air pollution negatively affects your health.… Read More

EU reaches agreement on plastic bags usage

The Council of the European Union has reached an agreement on a draft directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags. The council’s new rules seek to limit the environmental impact of plastic carrier bags on the environment by encouraging waste prevention and the more efficient use of resources. The new measures target plastic bags with a wall thickness below 50 microns, which represent the majority of plastic carrier bags consumed in the EU. The law will require governments to choose either to introduce a charge on single-use lightweight plastic bags by the end of 2018 or to take measures to reduce their use. If individual countries choose the second option, the annual use of these bags will… Read More

The Ocean Floor Is Littered With Humanity’s Garbage

We hope you liked the Okeanos Explorer livestream as much as we have. We saw shiny things and creepy things, passive things and aggressive things. We’ve also occasionally seen trash, such as a kitchen glove. For the Okeanos mission, which focused on recording marine life, those were incidental finds. But one recent deep-sea mission sought trash. The European Union-funded Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man’s Impact on European Seas (HERMIONE) project reviewed data from previous surveys of 32 locations on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. The HERMIONE scientists, a team including marine and geology researchers from several European countries, wanted to see how extensive underwater trash is. Unlike with trash on beaches or floating… Read More

London air pollution dangerously high, campaigners warn

Environment groups find nitrogen dioxide emissions exceeding EU levels by 50% in some parts of east London. Air pollution from traffic and industry is dangerously high in east London, according to tests by local “citizen scientists”. Local environment groups placed 36 diffusion monitoring tubes on structures close to parks, bus stops, busy roads and in residential areas, to measure emissions in more than 30 streets. They were left for four weeks and only four were removed or stolen. Analysis by a laboratory used by government found that concentrations of the toxic exhaust pipe gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeded EU levels by over 50% in some areas, and was over the safety limit in 15 out of 32 places tested.… Read More

Nobel laureates press EU leaders to classify tar sands as high carbon

Letter to European commission urges implementation of law that would label oil from tar sands as dirtier than other crudes Twenty-one Nobel laureates including South African anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu have written to European Union leaders urging them to implement a law that would label oil from tar sands as dirtier than other crudes. The EU tar sands proposal has incensed the government of Canada, whose economy is highly dependent on its vast reserves of unconventional oil and it has overshadowed protracted talks on a trade treaty with the EU. The Nobel laureates say the EU law is necessary because “the extraction of unconventional fuels – such as oil sands and oil shale – is having devastating impact on… Read More

Cleaner air from tackling climate change ‘would save millions of lives’

  The benefits of a reduction in air pollution alone justify action on climate change, say the authors of a new report. Tackling climate change would save millions of lives a year by the end of the century purely as a result of the decrease in air pollution, according to a new study. The study is published as scientists from around the globe gather in Stockholm to thrash out final details of a landmark assessment of climate science. Their final report is due to be released on Friday 27 September and will set out projections of wide-ranging impacts of global warming from droughts to floods to sea-level rise. The research suggests that the benefits of cuts to air pollution… Read More

Lessons nanotechnology can learn from past mistakes | Michele Catanzaro

Falling in love with a new technology and wanting to apply it everywhere is not a good idea Will nanotechnology become an object of harsh controversy like genetically modified organisms? Or will it take the path of the less controversial stem cell therapy? What lessons can be learned from past innovations, in order to avoid repeating old mistakes in future with nanoscience? Recent history is full of new technologies whose risks were underestimated: from asbestos to chlorofluorocarbons, from non-ionising radiation to high frequency trading. But there are also examples of excessive precaution: the overreaction to swine flu or the missed opportunity of irradiated food, for example. “We don’t seem to be able to apply lessons from the past to… Read More