Pollution

HP Expands Global Recycling Program in China
September 19, 2007 08:25 AM - HP

BEIJING, – HP announced it has extended its recycling program beyond corporate customers to include consumers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).  Customers can drop off HP-branded technology equipment at HP service centers in 31 major cities in China. HP will accept free of charge any HP printer, scanner, fax machine, notebook or desktop computer, monitor, handheld device, camera and associated external components such as cables, mice and keyboards. After collection, HP will consolidate the products and sort for recycling locally in China.

Recalled Mattel Toys: 200 Times Legal Lead Limit
September 18, 2007 06:40 PM - Diane Bartz, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toymaker Mattel Inc's recent recalls involved toys that had nearly 200 times the amount of lead in paint as allowed by U.S. law, the company said in a letter released to a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday.

The largest U.S. toymaker recalled millions of Chinese-made toys in August and September due to hazards from small powerful magnets and lead paint. Mattel's Fisher-Price unit recalled about 1.5 million toys because of excessive lead paint on the products based on popular characters from "Sesame Street" and "Dora the Explorer."

In L.A. Traffic, Drivers Lose 72 Hours A Year
September 18, 2007 02:23 PM - Joan Gralla, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Los Angeles metropolitan area led the nation in traffic jams in 2005, with rush-hour drivers spending an extra 72 hours a year on average stuck in traffic, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The metropolitan areas of San Francisco-0akland, Washington, D.C.-Virginia-Maryland, and Atlanta were tied for the second most gridlocked areas, according to the study by the Texas Transportation Institute.

Drivers in those three areas spent an extra 60 hours on average during peak periods, defined as 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the study found.

How "Organic" Is Organic? New Calls For Testing Organic Foods For GMO's
September 18, 2007 11:12 AM - Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report

Should organics be tested for GMOs?
A recent disturbing incident of GMO contamination of organic soybeans raises the question of whether organic foods should be tested for genetically modified material. The US National Organic Program (NOP) rules prohibit GMOs in organics but don’t require methods to prohibit GMO contamination or establish thresholds for adventitious GM presence. The Organic & Non-GMO Report asked organic industry experts if organics should be tested for GMOs.

EasyJet boss calls for polluter tax on planes
September 18, 2007 10:53 AM -

LONDON (Reuters) - British low-cost airline easyJet called on Tuesday for the government to scrap airport taxes on passengers and replace them with taxes on aircraft that penalize the heaviest polluters.

EasyJet Chief Executive Andy Harrison told reporters at a briefing at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London that there were roughly 15 types of passenger aircraft, and the system should be banded to take account of their fuel efficiency.

EasyJet runs a relatively young fleet of planes that are more fuel-efficient than older models.

Retailers push reusable bags to save money, environment
September 17, 2007 12:10 PM - Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press

When Katrina Gamble goes grocery shopping, she brings her list and her bags — a pair of sturdy canvas bags she bought a few months ago for $4.99 at her local grocery store."It works just as well," said Gamble, 30, a political science professor at Brown University, adding, "It's better for the environment."

Vietnam returns bomb-grade uranium to Russia
September 17, 2007 08:09 AM -

HANOI (Reuters) - Weapons-grade uranium was removed from Vietnam's sole nuclear reactor at the weekend under anti-terrorism agreements with the United States and Russia, a Vietnamese government agency said.

The report seen on Monday said that the reactor in the southern resort of Dalat would use less than 20 percent of low enriched uranium (LEU) from about 36 percent of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in a conversion that prevents the uranium from being used to make a nuclear bomb.

The Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety & Control described the change as a "successful tri-party cooperation between Vietnam, Russia and the United States".

Food industry group to propose safety rules: report
September 17, 2007 07:52 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the industry's largest trade group, plans to unveil on Tuesday a proposal to increase U.S. federal oversight of imported food and ingredients, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Monday.

The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know, What We Need to Know
September 16, 2007 12:18 PM -

The Problem Girls get their first periods today, on average, a few months earlier than did girls 40 years ago, but they get their breasts one to two years earlier. Over the course of a few decades, the childhoods of U.S. girls have been significantly shortened. What does this mean for girls today and their health in the future? The Breast Cancer Fund commissioned ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber to write The Falling Age of Puberty — the first comprehensive review of the literature on the timing of puberty — to help us better understand this phenomenon so we can protect our daughters’ health.

New Fingerprinting Method Tracks Mercury in Environment
September 16, 2007 12:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—With mercury polluting our air, soil and water and becoming concentrated in fish and wildlife as it is passed up the food chain, understanding how the potent nerve toxin travels through the environment is crucial. A new method developed at the University of Michigan uses natural "fingerprints" to track mercury and the chemical transformations it undergoes. A report on the work is published today in Science Express.

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