Pollution

Childrens Toy Contains Date Rape Drug, Millions Recalled
November 8, 2007 12:36 PM - By Karey Wutkowski, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toy maker Spin Master Ltd of Toronto recalled its Aqua Dots toys from North American retailers after a similar line of toys called Bindeez was recalled in Australia. At least three children were hospitalized in Australia after swallowing beads from the toy that contain a chemical that converts into the sedating drug GHB when swallowed.

GHB is also known as the "date rape" drug. Spin Master, which distributes Aqua Dots in North America, said in a statement it stopped shipping the item and was trying to identify any shipments that could be included in a recall by U.S. and Canadian officials.

Fuel Spill Closes San Francisco Beaches
November 8, 2007 08:43 AM - Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO - A container ship bound for China struck a fog-shrouded tower of San Francisco's Bay Bridge on Wednesday morning, causing a fuel spill and forcing the closure of several San Francisco beaches, officials said.  People near the spill reported suffering headaches and nausea as they breathed air containing vaporized oil, but public health officials said the fumes were not likely to have long-term health effects.

Beijing ups Surveillance of Water Supply
November 8, 2007 08:25 AM - Reuters

BEIJING  - Beijing, host of next year's summer Olympics, has pledged to protect its water supply and add state-of-the-art surveillance systems around Games sites, state media said on Thursday, quoting officials.  In 2001, when it won the right to host the Olympics, Beijing promised that it would be treating 90 percent of the 2.78 million cubic metres of waste water produced every day in the city and recycling half of the resultant effluent.

Safety agency issues new batch of toy recalls
November 7, 2007 10:13 PM - By Karey Wutkowski, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More recalls of lead-tainted toys made in China were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including 380,000 toy cars sold at Dollar General stores.

Other warnings included smaller recalls of Dizzy Ducks music boxes, Winnie-the-Pooh spinning tops, "Big Red" wagons, Dragster and Funny Car toys, and Duck Family collectible wind-up toys, all because of paint with unsafe levels of lead.

Millions of similar toy recalls, most involving Chinese-made products, have alarmed American consumers in recent months. Lead is toxic and can pose serious health risks to children, including brain damage.

Ship Emissions Seen Causing 60,000 Deaths a Year
November 7, 2007 10:05 PM - By Lindsay Beck

BEIJING (Reuters) - Emissions from ocean-going ships are responsible for about 60,000 deaths a year from heart and lung-related cancers, according to research published on Wednesday that calls for tougher fuel standards.

Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong, three of the world's five busiest ports, were likely to suffer disproportionate impacts from ship-related emissions, said the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

"For a long time there's been this perception that ship emissions are out there in the ocean and they don't really affect anyone on land and I think this study shows that this is clearly false," said David Marshall, senior counsel at the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force, which co-commissioned the study.

Ocean Garbage Gets Attention From US
November 7, 2007 05:21 PM -

With 174 coastal national wildlife refuges – including those bordering the Great Lakes – the National Wildlife Refuge System faces significant challenges in managing marine debris – man-made objects that has been discarded or abandoned in the water and on the shorelines. The newly-launched federal Marine Debris Initiative, a national and international program that focuses on preventing, identifying and reducing the problem, presents a multifaceted approach.

 

Bill Clinton, Green Building Council Launch Effort To Green US Schools
November 7, 2007 04:44 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Chicago - Today at the world’s largest green building exposition in Chicago, Greenbuild 2007, former President Bill Clinton announced a joint commitment to green all of America’s schools within a generation. 

Earth Day Network (EDN) – a Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) partner – and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) joined former President Clinton in making this announcement to the American public and media. 

Today’s event formally kicked-off Earth Day Network’s national Green Schools campaign, which includes three major initiatives:  greening all new and existing school structures within a generation; developing and building healthier play areas and recreational facilities for all students; and working to greatly improve the food children eat in K-12 schools.  Along with USGBC and the Clinton Foundation, Earth Day Network will expand the green schools movement through legislation, education, and corporate and community volunteer greening efforts.

Scientists Enhance Mother Nature's Carbon Handling Mechanism
November 7, 2007 10:54 AM - Penn State

Taking a page from Nature herself, a team of researchers developed a method to enhance removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and place it in the Earth's oceans for storage.

Unlike other proposed ocean sequestration processes, the new technology does not make the oceans more acid and may be beneficial to coral reefs. The process is a manipulation of the natural weathering of volcanic silicate rocks. Reporting in today's (Nov. 7) issue of Environmental Science and Technology, the Harvard and Penn State team explained their method.

China Vows New Facelift for Pollution-Battered Buddha
November 7, 2007 09:01 AM - Reuters

BEIJING  - Chinese authorities will give a "facelift" to the world's tallest stone-carved Buddha just six years after the last repair effort as they struggle to fend off the effects of pollution and crowds, state media reported.

Carved out off a cliff beside a river, the 71-metre (233-ft) image of the seated Buddha at Leshan in the southwestern province of Sichuan is a magnet for tourists and the focus of local pride.

Vietnam Wants $15.6 bln to Tap Vast Bauxite Reserves
November 7, 2007 08:47 AM - Reuters

HANOI - Vietnam needs about $15.6 billion to invest in major bauxite and alumina refining projects by 2025, to make use of its vast, and largely unmined, bauxite ore reserves, the government said on Wednesday.

The country's bauxite ore reserves, the world's third-largest after Guinea and Australia, are estimated at about 5.5 billion tonnes, 62 percent of which is located in the central highland province of Dak Nong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a government directive.

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