Pollution

Court rejects lawsuit over NY Times pollution story
October 11, 2007 08:29 AM - Reuters

An Indonesian court has rejected a lawsuit filed by the president of Newmont Mining Corp.'s local unit against the New York Times and a reporter over pollution accusations made in the paper, a lawyer said on Thursday.

The civil lawsuit was filed in the Central Jakarta court against the New York Times Co and its reporter Jane Perlez for publishing discrediting articles against Newmont Minahasa President Richard Ness between September 2004 to February 2006.

Many French rivers polluted by banned chemical
October 10, 2007 04:08 PM -

PARIS (Reuters) - Rivers in eastern and northern France are contaminated with chemicals that have been outlawed since 1987 and are proving very hard to eliminate, a government report said on Wednesday.

Earlier this year fishing was banned in much of the River Rhone which runs through the southeastern corner of France because scientists said it contained dangerous levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).

The latest report said other rivers were in an even worse condition because of industrial dumping dating back decades, including the Seine which runs through Paris.

"It's a huge clean-up job," Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the secretary of state for ecology, told a news conference. Other big rivers in Europe are affected by the same problem, she said.

Pollution deadlier than car crashes in Europe: study
October 10, 2007 01:44 PM -

LONDON (Reuters) - Air pollution has cut the average life expectancy of Europeans by nearly a year and contributes to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of people annually, the European Environment Agency said on Wednesday.

More than 100 million people in the region encompassing 53 countries also lack access to safe drinking water, a problem most acute in rural areas, the group which compiles data for the European Union said in a report.

Levels of air pollution reduce life expectancy by as much as two years in the most affected areas of Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Italy and parts of Poland and Hungary, the report said.

"Poor air quality is still causing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths in Europe every year and continues to damage crops and ecosystem health," the report said.

"The estimated annual loss of life is significantly greater than that due to car accidents."

Lead found in toys, backpacks in U.S. stores:
October 10, 2007 12:44 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Curious George doll bought at Toys "R" Us was found to be tainted with 10 times the legally-allowed lead level, and vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks also had high amounts of lead, the nonprofit group Center for Environmental Health said on Wednesday.

The Curious George doll found with high amounts of lead was made by Marvel Entertainment Group Inc, the Oakland, California-based group said in a statement. A Marvel spokesman said he was unaware of the advocacy group's finding and had no immediate comment.

Millions of toys made in China have been recalled over the last three months due to unsafe levels of lead paint, which is toxic and can pose serious health risks, including brain damage, in children.

The Center for Environmental Health also said it found high lead levels in vinyl lunch boxes and backpacks made by Sassafras Enterprises of Chicago.

Britons top table of carbon emissions from planes
October 10, 2007 09:53 AM - Reuters

Britons are the world's worst offenders when it comes to carbon emissions from air travel, according to figures published on Wednesday by market research company Global TGI.Not only are Britain's average air emissions per adult the highest out of the 20 countries covered at 603 kg per year, they are also a third higher than second-placed Ireland's 434 kg and more than double the 275 kg from third-placed Americans.

Anheuser Busch Using Genetically Engineered Rice in Beer: Greenpeace
October 9, 2007 05:24 PM -

Washington, United States — Greenpeace released the results of analyses showing the presence of an experimental genetically engineered (GE) strain of rice at an Anheuser-Busch operated mill in Arkansas that is used to brew Budweiser. An independent laboratory test, commissioned by Greenpeace, detected the presence of GE rice (Bayer LL601) in three out of four samples taken at the mill.

Bayer LL601 rice was the source of the 2006 contamination of at least 30 percent of rice stocks in the United States. The GE contamination had a massive negative economic impact on the U.S. rice industry as many countries subsequently stopped or significantly restricted the import of U.S. rice. 

National Mall To Test "Green" Lawn Care
October 9, 2007 04:57 PM -

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attempting to prove to the nation that organic lawn care techniques are safe and effective, one of the highest profile lawns in the world is about to try a massive 'green' makeover.

The two-week project involves plowing a section of existing lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., adding compost, other natural soil amendments and fertilizers before reseeding the area. The project was organized by SafeLawns.org. Representatives from the natural lawn care company will return to the Nation’s Capitol frequently in the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program on the area that measures more than four acres.

China closes 253 coal-power generators
October 9, 2007 04:03 PM -

Beijing, China - China shut down 253 small coal-fired generating units in the first nine months this year amid nationwide efforts to save energy and reduce emissions, the country's top planning body announced on Monday.

The move, involving a combined capacity of 9.03 million kilowatts, indicated China had completed 90 percent of this year's goal of eliminating outmoded capacity of 10 million kilowatts, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a statement posted on its website.

U.S. parents want safer toys, but will cost them
October 9, 2007 03:59 PM - Justin Grant, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The recent flurry of toy recalls because of lead-paint contamination and other safety issues will ultimately cost worried parents more than just lost peace of mind.

It could also cost them in the check-out line.

Since June -- when RC2 Corp recalled 1.5 million Thomas & Friends wooden trains when it was discovered they may have contained excessive amounts of lead paint -- many toy makers have passed along the costs of increased random factory inspections and extra layers of product testing in an effort to beat back industrial malpractice.

Greenpeace sends message to UK's PM
October 9, 2007 10:32 AM -

LONDON (Reuters) - Five fit environmental protestors climbed one of Britain's biggest chimneys on Monday to send a message to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown but only managed to daub his first name on the stack before being ordered down.

Greenpeace campaigners stopped the conveyor belts feeding coal into the Kingsnorth power plant in Kent on Monday in an attempt to shut the power station, while a handful of others set off up the ladder scaling the power station's 200-metre chimney to paint "Gordon Bin It" as they abseiled down.

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