Pollution

Trash-Picking Seagulls Poop Hundreds of Tons of Nutrients
June 22, 2017 07:27 AM - Duke University

At least 1.4 million seagulls feed at landfills across North America, which aside from the nuisance it might pose, is also a threat to the health of nearby waters, a new Duke University study finds.

Transportation Noise Increases Risk for Cardiovascular Diseases and Diabetes
June 21, 2017 12:16 PM - Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

How transportation noise affects the health of people remains in many aspects unexplained. Since 2014, an interdisciplinary Swiss consortium has been studying the short- and long-term effects of transportation noise for the population in Switzerland in the frame of the SiRENE study of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Increased risk for developing cardiovascular diseases

The results published so far show that aircraft, rail and road traffic noise in Switzerland leads to adverse health effects. For cardiovascular disease mortality, the most distinct association was found for road noise. The risk of dying of a myocardial infarction increases by 4 per cent per 10 decibel increase in road noise at home. Also the risk of hypertension and heart failure increases with transportation noise. "Particularly critical are most likely noise events at night regularly disturbing sleep," says Martin Röösli, principal investigator of SiRENE and professor of environmental epidemiology at Swiss TPH and the University of Basel. "The threshold for negative health impact is lower than previously suspected."

New catalyst paves way for carbon neutral fuel
June 21, 2017 09:49 AM - University of Adelaide

Australian scientists have paved the way for carbon neutral fuel with the development of a new efficient catalyst that converts carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air into synthetic natural gas in a ‘clean’ process using solar energy.

Antibacterials in Many Consumer Products Cause More Harm Than Good
June 21, 2017 06:55 AM - YaleEnvironment360

Two antimicrobial chemicals already banned in antiseptic wash products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are still found in more than 2,000 widely used consumer products, despite offering no health benefits and actually causing health and environmental harm, according to more than 200 scientists and medical professionals.

California Named State with the Worst Air Quality (Again)
June 19, 2017 04:51 PM - California State University

The quality of the air in California may be improving, but it's still dire.

That's according to the American Lung Association's recent "State of the Air 2017" report, which labeled the state and region a leader in air pollution, with the highest ozone levels.

The annual study ranks the cleanest and most polluted areas in the country by grading counties in the U.S. based on harmful recorded levels of ozone (smog) and particle pollution. The 2017 report used data collected from 2013 to 2015.

California Named State with the Worst Air Quality (Again)
June 19, 2017 04:51 PM - California State University

The quality of the air in California may be improving, but it's still dire.

That's according to the American Lung Association's recent "State of the Air 2017" report, which labeled the state and region a leader in air pollution, with the highest ozone levels.

The annual study ranks the cleanest and most polluted areas in the country by grading counties in the U.S. based on harmful recorded levels of ozone (smog) and particle pollution. The 2017 report used data collected from 2013 to 2015.

Could renewable 'power-by-wire' help fix China's air pollution problems?
June 19, 2017 04:26 PM - IOP Publishing

Bringing renewable power ‘by wire’ from western China to its power-hungry Eastern cities could have benefits for both local air quality and global climate change, new research has found.

The study, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, examined if ongoing power transmission capacity investment in China – driven largely by concerns over air pollution – could also reduce local adverse health impacts from air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Next-gen solvents capture carbon with half the energy
June 19, 2017 02:10 PM - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

U.S. energy production could increase with the help of an improved carbon capture technology that use about half the energy of today's standard technologies. Emissions captured at fossil fuel power plants could in turn be used to harvest more crude by injecting it into underground oil fields.

Plastic pollution in the Antarctic worse than expected
June 19, 2017 07:22 AM - British Antarctic Survey

The continent is considered to be a pristine wilderness compared to other regions and was thought to be relatively free from plastic pollution. However new findings by scientists from University of Hull and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have revealed that recorded levels of microplastics are five times higher than you would expect to find from local sources such as research stations and ships.

Researchers find way to reduce environmental impact of idling buses and delivery trucks
June 16, 2017 11:49 AM - University of Waterloo

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a system for service vehicles that could reduce emissions and save companies and governments millions of dollars per year in fuel costs.

In a study recently published in Energy, Waterloo engineers found a way to capture waste energy from service vehicles, such as buses or refrigerated food delivery trucks, as they are slowing down.

They also figured out how to use that energy to replace the fossil fuels that are currently needed to operate secondary systems, such as air conditioning or refrigeration units, when the vehicles are stopped and idling.

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