Pollution

DDT found in children from Mexico and Central America
February 18, 2010 03:37 PM - Lucina Melesio, SciDevNet

Children from several Latin American countries have traces of the pesticide DDT in their blood, according to a study coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization. The children studied belong to 11 rural communities in Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama). In all but Guatemala, the researchers found exposure to DDT.

Engine Emissions
February 18, 2010 01:40 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Most people are familiar with automobile air emissions. Perhaps one day there will only be electric cars and no car air emissions. But there are many on other engines in use by commercial and industrial operations that may cause air emissions. In general these are called reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE). On February 17, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that will further reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from existing diesel powered stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines.

Reflections on Copenhagen: The Economics of Green
February 16, 2010 06:30 AM - Dennis Salazar, Triple Pundit

Last year's disappointing climate summit in Copenhagen demonstrated if not proved two important things about "saving the earth": 1. Sustainability is a very emotional topic for some 2. Sustainability is a financial topic for most Unfortunately, what transpired in Copenhagen is probably the rule, rather than the exception. It was disheartening to realize the events probably represent and reflect the domestic and world population's perspective on saving the environment. Perhaps due to decades of protesting, a wide array of real or perceived injustices, unruly public demonstrations have for the most part become unproductive. Even the nightly news has lost interest in well meaning protesters being hauled away by force. I recall the first time I saw an eco activist chained to a tree in the seventies, and thinking "how cool is that." It did not matter what the cause was, I really admired the commitment.

Forecast on Climate Change Legislation Cloudy
February 15, 2010 06:39 AM - Richard Matthews, Global Warming is Real

The President remains committed to advancing his stalled legislative agenda. Addressing the Democratic National Committee in Washington last Saturday, Obama insisted he is not going to let go of his aspirations for America. "I'm not going to walk away from the American people," he said. "I'm not going to walk away on any challenge." However, Senators from Red States, Coal States, and Rust Belt States are concerned about job losses and increased costs associated with a climate bill. Many lawmakers are also concerned about controlling the emissions of rapidly developing nations like India and China.

How Ground Water Contamination Spreads
February 12, 2010 11:23 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Why are some wells contaminated and some are not? All wells are not equally vulnerable to contamination because of differences in three factors: the general aquifer chemistry, groundwater age, and paths within aquifer systems that allow water and contaminants to reach a well. More than 100 million people in the United States receive their drinking water from public groundwater systems, which can be vulnerable to naturally occurring contaminants such as radon, uranium, arsenic, and man made compounds, including fertilizers, septic-tank leachate, solvents and gasoline hydrocarbons.

SOLAR-TERRESTRIAL ATMOSPHERIC INTERACTIONS: A FRESH, SPARKY LOOK
February 10, 2010 08:25 PM - Themis Chronis, for ENN

We live in a strongly climate-oriented era, where each one of us is called to choose between sides; are we among the "believers" or the "infidels" of the "Global Warming?". Two decades ago, a part of the scientific community started engaging in intense discussions around the "unusual" temperature trends which, for the northern hemisphere, had been going undoubtedly uphill. The first serious counter arguments regarding the validity of these findings targeted the inherited errors that all observational tools possess. New observations and improved algorithms started to appear fairly quickly, a fact that partially appeased debates and concerns. Skeptics of the global warming theory try to find other kinds of evidence to second-guess the mainstream CO2 increase and steer away from anthropocentric related theories. And suddenly, along came a cloud...

Biodiesel as an Alternate Fuel
February 10, 2010 09:18 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil or animal fat based diesel fuel consisting of long chain alkyl is typically made by chemically these oils with an alcohol. Biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with petrodiesel. There was a recent White House’s announcement calling for expanded production of biofuels (36 billion gallons by 2022 to be exact). But more biofuels is only part of the equation when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our reliance on petroleum carbon based fuels. Vehicles must be ready and sometimes converted to this usage. Enterprise Holdings just announced that it will convert its entire fleet of Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental airport shuttle buses to biodiesel by spring of this year. That’s more than 600 buses throughout more than 50 North American markets.

How to Reduce the Fumes
February 10, 2010 07:50 AM - Editor, Sierra Club Green Home

A fresh coat of paint can change a room from dreary to divine. Stains, sealants, caulks, and adhesives help you build everything from a new bathroom to a bookcase. But all these useful products can also introduce unhealthy chemicals into your home and your body. Low-VOC paint The biggest culprit is VOCs, or "volatile organic compounds," a large class of chemicals that readily evaporate at room temperature. If you walk into a room and notice that new-paint smell, you’re breathing VOCs. Paints, stains, sealants, caulks, and adhesives release the highest levels of VOCs when wet. But even when they feel dry to the touch, they may keep releasing these gases for days, weeks, months, even years. Meanwhile your upholstery, carpets, and drapes act like sponges, absorbing VOCs and releasing them over time. While not everyone may be bothered by exposure to these gases, they can be a serious health risk for people with chemical sensitivities, asthma, or other respiratory conditions.

Water Pollution in China worse than reported
February 9, 2010 06:40 AM - Reuters

A new Chinese government survey of the country's environmental problems has shown water pollution levels in 2007 were more than twice the government's official estimate, largely because agricultural waste was ignored. The data, presented by Vice Environment Protection Minister Zhang Lijun, revives persistent questions about the quality of Chinese official statistics and the effectiveness of a government push for cleaner growth after decades of unbridled expansion.

Alternative Energy Grows in Europe
February 6, 2010 08:42 AM - , The Ecologist

Wind and solar technology made up over half of Europe’s new electricity generating capacity in 2009, as the number of new coal and nuclear facilities fell More wind capacity was installed in Europe during 2009 than any other electricity-generating technology, according to statistics released today by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). Wind accounted for 39 per cent of increased European energy capacity, ahead of gas (26 per cent) and solar (16 per cent). In contrast, the nuclear and coal power sectors decommissioned more megawatts of capacity than they installed in 2009, with a total of 1,393 MW of nuclear and 3,200 MW of coal decommissioned.

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