Pollution

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.

New World Record For Solar Aircraft
September 16, 2007 11:57 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

QinetiQ's Zephyr UAV exceeds official world record for longest duration unmanned flight White Sands, NM - There's a new world record for unmanned flight, this one solar powered, set this week by what's called an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The craft exceeded the official world record time for the longest duration unmanned flight with a 54 hour flight achieved during trials at the US Military's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. A company called QinetiQ’s made the craft, which they call Zephyr High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE).

Nations ink deal to provide safer atomic power
September 16, 2007 11:43 AM - Mark Heinrich, Reuters

VIENNA (Reuters) - Sixteen nations signed a U.S.-initiated pact on Sunday to help meet soaring world energy demand by developing nuclear technology less prone to being illicitly diverted into making atomic weapons. Eleven nations joined five nuclear fuel-producing powers -- the United States, Russia, China, France and Japan -- which formed the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership in a GNEP statement of principles at a ceremony in Vienna. The new members ranged from Kazakhstan to Poland, Jordan and Ghana. Almost two-dozen nations were present as potential candidates or observers including Canada, Libya, Turkey, South Korea, Britain and other large EU states.

Clean coal to qualify for Kyoto carbon offsets
September 14, 2007 02:38 PM - Gerard Wynn, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Very efficient coal-fired power plants will be able to sell carbon offsets under the Kyoto Protocol, in an expansion of project eligibility under the carbon trading scheme, U.N. official Jose Miguez said. "It was approved," he told Reuters on Friday. China is set to overtake the United States this year as the world's biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming, largely because of its rapidly rising coal consumption.

Platinum-free fuel cell developed in Japan
September 14, 2007 10:56 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd said on Friday it has developed a technology to make fuel cells without platinum, the precious metal used in the electrolyte process in existing hydrogen-based fuel cells. By using alkali, instead of acid, anion exchange membranes, Daihatsu's fuel cell can work with less costly metals which are less resistant to corrosion than platinum, such as cobalt or nickel, Daihatsu said in a statement.

Experts: Climate change puts sea at risk
September 13, 2007 07:50 AM - Ariel David -Associated Press

Climate change is affecting Europe faster than the rest of the world and rising temperatures could transform the Mediterranean into a salty and stagnant sea, Italian experts said Wednesday.

Eating Less Meat May Slow Climate Change
September 13, 2007 07:19 AM - Associated Press

Eating less meat could help slow global warming by reducing the number of livestock and thereby decreasing the amount of methane flatulence from the animals, scientists said on Thursday.

Russia, China, India Top Worst-Polluted List
September 13, 2007 06:59 AM - Timothy Gardner -Reuters

Four of the world's 10 most polluted places are in Russia and two former Soviet republics, an independent environmental group said in a report released on Wednesday. Encompassing seven countries, the top 10 sites may cause some 12 million people to suffer health problems ranging from asthma and other respiratory ailments to birth defects and premature death, the New York-based Blacksmith Institute said.

Haze of confusion over most-polluted city list
September 13, 2007 06:54 AM - Reuters

A U.S. group's report naming the Chinese city of Tianjin as one of the world's most polluted places apparently confused the large northern port with a notorious lead-processing town in the country's east. Tianjin, with more than 10 million people, gained unwelcome global attention on Wednesday when the New York-based Blacksmith Institute named it as one of the world's most heavily polluted places for its outpouring of toxins from scrap lead processing.

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