Pollution

How much water do YOU use each day?
March 6, 2014 09:22 AM - Indiana University Newsroom, Indiana University Bloomington

Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by Indiana University Assistant Professor, Shahzeen Attari. Experts say the best strategy for conserving water is to focus on efficiency improvements such as replacing toilets and retrofitting washing machines. However, the largest group of the participants, nearly 43 percent, cited taking shorter showers, which does save water but may not be the most effective action. Very few participants cited replacing toilets or flushing less, even though toilets use the most volume of water daily.

New kind of wristband could help monitor environmental health
March 5, 2014 12:28 PM - Allison Winter, ENN

Launched in 2004, the "Livestrong" bracelet started a trend of popular wristbands that have come to represent and popularize different causes. From starting as a token to raise monies and awareness to combat cancer, the wristband has been used to promote hundreds of other avenues. Besides donning these bands for your favorite charity, new research suggests that a version of these bracelets may have some other benefits. By wearing the popular fashion, scientists have come up with an idea that could help us identify potential disease risks of exposure to hazardous substances.

Clean Water Act protects Bristol Bay
March 5, 2014 10:03 AM - Jessie Thomas-Blake, American Rivers

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is initiating a process under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to identify appropriate options to protect the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska, from the potentially destructive impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine!

250 Million Pounds of Toxic Beads at Mardi Gras
March 4, 2014 04:13 PM - Judy Molland, Care2

Will you be celebrating Mardi Gras today, or are you more concerned about the environmental and ethical impact of 250 million pounds of plastic beads imported from China? A Christian holiday with origins in Europe, Mardi Gras, meaning "Fat Tuesday" in French, is recognized as a day of indulgence before the beginning of the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

EPA Sets Cleaner Fuel and Car Standards
March 4, 2014 09:20 AM - ENN Staff

Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized emission standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution and in turn prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses related to respiratory ailments. Based on extensive input from the public and a broad range of stakeholders, including public health groups, auto manufacturers, refiners, and states, the standards will also enable efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive.

COLLEGIATE CORNER: The faults of fracking
March 3, 2014 11:41 AM - Reid Short, Class of 2015, Wakefield High School, Arlington, VA

Hydraulic Fracturing is a process that sends pressurized liquid down to a target depth to fracture rock and draws out liquids, such as natural gas. This process is used to retrieve the gas from rock formations beneath the earth that were previously thought to be unsuitable for gas production (Helman) (Rao). Fracking is now being implemented all over the world. Many countries have turned to this method of extracting gas to lower fuel costs and balance their trade deficits, but these countries, including the United States, are allowing fracking to cause major damage to the environment. The water pollution, and air pollution that are caused by fracking, and the law exemptions it has, are inexcusable because of the damage and danger they cause to the environment.

Noise Levels Can Affect Fish Behaviors
March 3, 2014 10:02 AM - University of Bristol

Fish exposed to increased noise levels consume less food and show more stress-related behavior, according to new research from the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter. However, the way fish decreased their food intake differed between the two British species tested. When exposed to noise, three-spined sticklebacks made more foraging errors whereas European minnows tended to socially interact more often with their companion fish or to reduce activity.

Scientists advocate protective deep-sea treaty
February 28, 2014 10:00 AM - Nick Kennedy, SciDevNet

A new international agreement is needed to police the exploitation of the deep ocean because of the rising threats of deep-sea mining and bottom trawling for fish, say scientists. Speakers at a symposium this month (16 February) urged the UN to negotiate a new treaty for the deep ocean to supplement the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Electric cars and the grid
February 28, 2014 07:31 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

Car owners in the United States last year bought more than 96,000 plug-in electric cars, a year-on-year increase of 84 percent from 2012. However, this growing fleet will put a lot of new strain on the nation’s aging electrical distribution systems, like transformers and underground cables, especially at times of peak demand — in the evening when people come home from work.

Plastic Waste Ingested by Worms Threatens Marine Food Chains
February 27, 2014 04:58 PM - Nicholas Barret, MONGABAY.COM

Small fragments of plastic waste are damaging the health of lugworms, putting a key cog in marine ecosystems at risk. Published in Current Biology, a new study by scientists at the University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth shows the impact of microplastics on the marine worms' health and behavior. By exposing specimens to contaminated sediment in a laboratory, the researchers were able to observe a 50 percent reduction in energy reserves and other signs of physical harm.

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