Pollution

Oceans Absorb Less Carbon Dioxide as Marine Systems Change
November 24, 2009 09:34 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

The oceans are by far the largest carbon sink in the world. Some 93 percent of carbon dioxide is stored in algae, vegetation, and coral under the sea. But oceans are not able to absorb all of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels. In fact, a recent study suggests that the oceans have absorbed a smaller proportion of fossil-fuel emissions, nearly 10 percent less, since 2000.

Quebec sets 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets
November 24, 2009 06:22 AM - Reuters

The Canadian province of Quebec said on Monday it aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, the same target as that set by the European Union. "It is a very ambitious target for the government, given that 48 percent of Quebec's total energy currently comes from renewable energy sources," Quebec Premier Jean Charest said in a statement.

United States EPA Issues Rule to Reduce Water Pollution from Construction Sites
November 23, 2009 04:44 PM - Vanessa L. Bourlier, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued a final rule to help reduce water pollution from construction sites. This rule, which takes effect in February 2010 and will be phased in over four years, should significantly improve the quality of water nationwide.

65 World leaders to join climate talks
November 22, 2009 08:35 AM - John Acher, Reuters

Sixty-five world leaders have confirmed they will attend a U.N. conference in Copenhagen in December that will try to clinch a new global climate deal, and many more are considering, Danish officials said on Sunday.

ISLAM’S GREEN INITIATIVE
November 19, 2009 06:28 AM - Shireen Qudosi

The UK-based the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), in working with the U.N., recently hosted 200 representatives from nine major world religions spanning over 60 different religious organizations. Baha’i, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Shintoists, Taoists and Sikhs all gathered at London’s Windsor Castle with a united environmental agenda. In an era of increasing religious divide, a once little thought of topic known as “the environment” was able to bring together ancient faith groups to discuss a modern solution. And with Islam at the forefront of today’s news, Muslim leaders proved Islam’s ability to adapt and meet new needs.

Wide Range of Bisphenol A Found in Canned Foods
November 18, 2009 10:22 AM - Consumer Reports Health via Wallet Pop

The chemical Bisphenol A, which has been used for years in clear plastic bottles and food-can liners, has been restricted in Canada and some U.S. states and municipalities because of potential health effects. The Food and Drug Administration will soon decide what it considers a safe level of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA), which some studies have linked to reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.

USEPA Proposes One – Hour Sulfur Dioxide Standard, to Drop 24 -hr and Annual Primary Standards
November 18, 2009 07:10 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new one – hour Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) standard. The SO2 standard has not been changed since 1971. There has not been a health based standard shorter than 24 hrs for SO2 since short term acute effects have not been well known. A secondary standard of 3-hrs has been in effect. This was set to address welfare considerations, not health.

Increase in GM Crops, Resistant Weeds Lead to Dramatic Rise in Pesticide Use
November 17, 2009 03:00 PM - Vanessa L. Bourlier, ENN

The widespread use of genetically modified (GM) crops engineered to tolerate herbicides has led to a sharp increase in the use of agricultural chemicals in the U.S. This practice is creating herbicide-resistant "super weeds" and an increase in chemical residues in U.S. food, according to a new report released today by The Organic Center, the Union for Concerned Scientists, and the Center for Food Safety.

Nanoparticles Used in Common Household Items Shown to Cause Genetic Damage
November 17, 2009 10:35 AM - ScienceDaily

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, found in everything from cosmetics to sunscreen to toothpaste to paint to vitamins, caused systemic genetic damage in mice, according to a comprehensive study conducted by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The TiO2 nanoparticles induced single- and double-strand DNA breaks and also caused chromosomal damage as well as inflammation, all of which increase the risk for cancer.

Tiny Bubbles Used to Clean Oil-Contaminated Water and Soil
November 16, 2009 12:32 PM - Vanessa L. Bourlier, ENN

According to a recently published article in the journal Chemosphere, an inexpensive new method has been developed at the University of Utah to remove oil sheen from polluted water by repeatedly pressurizing and depressurizing ozone gas, creating microscopic bubbles that attack the oil so it can be removed by sand filters.

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