Pollution

Antarctic lakes are a repository for ancient soot
June 13, 2016 04:08 PM - National Science Foundation via ScienceDaily

Remote lakes in a perpetually ice-free area of Antarctica show not only the chemical signature of ancient wildfires, but also some much more recent evidence of fossil-fuel combustion, according to National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

How Air Pollution Impacts Childhood Mental Health
June 13, 2016 12:23 PM - Steve Williams, Care2

Air pollution is a known risk factor for certain mental health problems in adults, but a new study also links high rates of air pollution to poorer psychiatric health in children and adolescents.

To investigate this link, researchers from Umeå University in Sweden examined what is known as “register-based” data. All medications given to Swedish people are registered, and in this case, researchers zeroed in on individuals under age 18 from Stockholm, Västra Götaland, Skåne and Västerbotten. They then looked at this information in connection with the Swedish National Register, which logs air pollution.

Environmental and health impacts of US health-care system
June 9, 2016 04:40 PM - Yale University

If the U.S. healthcare system were a country, it would rank 13th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The study, published June 9 in PLOS ONE, quantified previously unreported environmental and public health impacts of the nation's healthcare sector.

Climate change mitigation: Turning CO2 into rock
June 9, 2016 04:24 PM - University of Southampton

An international team of scientists have found a potentially viable way to remove anthropogenic (caused or influenced by humans) carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere - turn it into rock.

The study, published today in Science, has shown for the first time that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be permanently and rapidly locked away from the atmosphere, by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The CO2 reacts with the surrounding rock, forming environmentally benign minerals.

Not So Healthy: Young Fish Eat Microplastics Like Fast Food
June 6, 2016 05:06 PM - Steve Williams, Care2

New research shows that young fish are eating tiny pieces of plastic instead of their regular food — with potentially devastating consequences.

A study published this month in the journal “Science” explains that juvenile perch larvae appear to be eating microplastics in place of their usual food sources, like free-swimming zooplankton. This hinders fish development, leaving them more susceptible to predators.

Microplastics — plastic particles that measure below 5mm — infiltrate our environments as a result of litter, such as plastic bags, packaging and other materials, that eventually end up in the sea. Microbeads — tiny plastics often found in health products, such as face scrubs and even some toothpastes — represent another major source of pollution. For this reason, a number of governments have either banned or are considering banning microbeads.

High blood pressure linked to short-, long-term exposure to some air pollutants
June 1, 2016 02:21 PM - American Heart Association via ScienceDaily

High blood pressure was associated with short-term and long-term exposure to some air pollutants commonly associated with the burning/combustion of fossil fuels, dust and dirt, a new study shows. Researchers suggest people -- especially those with high blood pressure -- limit their time outdoors when pollution levels are high.

Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants
June 1, 2016 11:25 AM - PURDUE UNIVERSITY via EurekAlert!

A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.

Better combustion for power generation
May 31, 2016 10:49 AM - DOE/OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY via EurekAlert!

In the United States, the use of natural gas for electricity generation continues to grow. The driving forces behind this development? A boom in domestic natural gas production, historically low prices, and increased scrutiny over fossil fuels' carbon emissions. 

Living near a landfill could damage your health
May 26, 2016 06:56 AM - Oxford University Press via EurekAlert!

According to research published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology, health is at risk for those who live within five kilometres of a landfill site. 

Study shows how air pollution fosters heart disease
May 24, 2016 07:12 PM - Elizabeth Sharpe, University of Washington Health Sciences

Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but the biological process has not been understood. A major, decade-long study of thousands of Americans  found that people living in areas with more outdoor pollution —even at lower levels common in the United States — accumulate deposits in the arteries that supply the heart faster than do people living in less polluted areas.  The study was published May 24 online in The Lancet.

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