Pollution

U.S. toy makers, trade policy caused recalls: report
December 19, 2007 01:40 PM - Karey Wutkowski, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A torrent of toy recalls this year is due in part to U.S. trade agreements encouraging American toymakers to cut costs by shifting production overseas, the watchdog group Public Citizen said on Wednesday. A report by the non-profit group said more than 87 percent of U.S. toys are imported, a dramatic shift from the 1970s when almost 90 percent of them were produced domestically. "This toy safety crisis was made in America by toy corporations who chose to relocate their production to locations that can't ensure toy safety," Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch division, told reporters.

Consumer Worry About Product Safety Growing
December 19, 2007 12:21 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

EAGAN, Minn. - Consumers' worries over product safety are growing, according to an analysis by a major legal information services provider, and consumers are increasingly expressing those concerns in the form of lawsuits. Following recent publicity surrounding recalls of consumer products, including children's toys containing lead paint, beef and other foods contaminated with E. coli bacteria and children's cold medicine with improper dosage markings, Americans are increasingly concerned about product safety.

Holiday Flowers, Without Pesticides
December 19, 2007 11:46 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Los Angeles - Celebrating the holidays with flowers is inspired and wonderful, but poisoning the people who grow and prepare the flowers is not. No one does it intentionally. But what many consumers don't know is that the floral business often puts the health of the people who grow those flowers at risk.

Eight Tips: Reducing the Environmental Impact of Computing in 2008
December 19, 2007 10:54 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

PLANO, Texas - There is a drumbeat of change in business and society around 'green'. Concerns about the environment is at a fever pitch. Green, for all the right reasons has become red hot. With a steady demand for green information and action by corporations and governments, the IT company EDS, offers tips on greening your IT. To help corporations and governments kick-off the new year right, the EDS Fellows have highlighted eight ways CIO's can extend the life of existing facilities and reduce the environmental impact of computing in 2008.

Pakistan says no threat of bird flu pandemic
December 19, 2007 08:59 AM - Reuters

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan said on Wednesday there was no threat of a pandemic from bird flu, as World Health Organization experts visited the country's northwest which reported the first human death from the virus. Pakistani authorities confirmed at the weekend eight human bird flu cases, including the one death, that the WHO said were likely a combination of infections from poultry and limited person to person transmission due to close contact.

UNEP deploys team of experts to help with oil spill in Republic of Korea
December 19, 2007 08:44 AM - UNEP

Nairobi/Daejon, 18 December 2007 - An emergency response plan has been activated by the United Nations Environment Programme to help the Republic of Korea respond to the worst oil spill in its history. On 7 December, the oil tanker Hebei Spirit collided with a barge 100km south of Seoul, releasing 10,500 metric tonnes of crude oil into the sea. The oil slick is affecting approximately 160 km of coastline near an important habitat for birds.

Mom-and-Pop Toy Store Takes the Lead on Lead
December 18, 2007 07:12 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

NEWTON, Mass. - In light of recent recalls and concerns about toy safety, award-winning toy store Green Planet Kids undertook to test their entire product line for lead, and is offering free screening for toys their customers purchased elsewhere. Green Planet Kids owners Annabelle Ship and John Sanders had their entire toy store tested with a state-of-the-art XRF scanner. "We're not aware of any other toy store in the country that has taken this step to ensure that their products are safe," said Ship. "Our customers were asking questions. We didn't want to trust anyone else in the supply chain. We wanted to witness the testing so that we could respond with confidence to our customers' concerns," said Ship.

Texas vows to attract other carbon-capture plants
December 18, 2007 06:59 PM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas regulator said Tuesday that while the state was not able to land a $1.5 billion "near-zero" emission coal plant, he wants to find ways to attract other projects that seek to capture and store carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for global warming. Mattoon in central Illinois was named Tuesday as the home for the proposed FutureGen coal plant, beating out Jewett and Odessa, Texas, and another Illinois site in a national competition.

Pittsburgh's New Year's Ball Ornament Eco-Friendly
December 18, 2007 06:58 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

PITTSBURGH - Did you know that Pittsburghers ring in a green New Year? Again this year, Highmark's "The Future of Pittsburgh" ball, which is made from environmentally friendly materials, will light the sky in downtown Pittsburgh as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's First Night celebration.

Alberta orders Suncor to solve emission problems
December 18, 2007 06:34 PM - Reuters

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - The Alberta government said on Tuesday it ordered Suncor Energy Inc to come up with a plan to cut emissions of deadly hydrogen sulfide at its oil sands operations after several reports of high concentrations this year.

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