24
Sat, Feb

  • Study negates concerns regarding radioactivity in migratory seafood

    When the Fukushima power plant released large quantities of radioactive materials into nearby coastal waters following Japan’s massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami, it raised concerns as to whether eating contaminated seafood might impair human health—not just locally but across the Pacific.

    A new study by an international research team shows that those concerns can now be laid to rest, at least for consumption of meat from migratory marine predators such as tuna, swordfish, and sharks.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Researchers Raise Public Health Concerns About Off-Road Vehicles and Inhalation of Asbestos

    Preventing injuries may not be the only reason children shouldn’t use off-road vehicles (ORVs).

    In a new study, public health scientists raise concerns that people who use ORVs in many regions of the country may face exposure to hazardous mineral fibers. These include naturally occurring asbestos and erionite – an asbestos-like material that occurs in sedimentary rocks of the western United States.

    Most of the deposits are located along the Appalachian Mountains and ranges in the West and Southwest, especially California.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Climate Change Could Cause Fish to Shrink in Size

    In the coming decades, warming ocean temperatures could stunt the growth of fish by as much as 30 percent, according to a new study in the journal Global Change Biology.

    The main driver behind this decline in size is that warmer water contains less oxygen. As Nexus Media explains, fish are cold-blooded animals and therefore cannot regulate their own body temperatures. So as oceans heat up, a fish’s metabolism accelerates to cope with the rising temperatures and they need more oxygen to sustain their body functions. But fish gills do not grow at the same pace as the rest of their body, resulting in a decline of oxygen supply and in growth.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Record-low salmon monitoring

    The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is not monitoring enough spawning streams to accurately assess the health of Pacific salmon, according to a new study led by Simon Fraser University researchers Michael Price and John Reynolds.

    The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, reveals that the DFO does not have enough data to determine the status of 50 per cent of all managed salmon populations along B.C.’s north and central coasts.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Right kind of collaboration is key to solving environmental problems

    The coming decade may determine whether humanity will set a course toward a more socially and ecologically sustainable society. A crucial part of this goal is to develop a better understanding of how cooperation can be improved and become more effective, both within and among private stakeholders and public institutions.

    “Collaborative governance is often highlighted as a solution to different environmental problems. For example, when small-scale fishermen agree to avoid overfishing or when states agree to reduce greenhouse gases. But we don’t know so much about how cooperation around environmental issues works in a complex world. Different actors want different things, different environmental problems are related to each other, and different groups have differing amounts of influence. Does cooperation actually lead to a better environment?” says Örjan Bodin, lecturer at the Stockholm Resilience Centre who conducts interdisciplinary research on better ways to handle diverse environmental problems.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Study: For food-waste recycling, policy is key

    Food scraps. Okay, those aren’t the first words that come to mind when you think about the environment. But 22 percent of the municipal solid waste dropped into landfills or incincerators in the U.S. is, in fact, food that could be put to better use through composting and soil enrichment.

    Moreover, food-scrap recycling programs, while still relatively uncommon, are having a growth moment in the U.S.; they’ve roughly doubled in size since 2010. Now, a national study by MIT researchers provides one of the first in-depth looks at the characteristics of places that have adopted food recycling, revealing several new facts in the process.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Renewable Energy Prevented 12,700 Premature Deaths Over Nine-Year Period, Study Says

    The expansion of wind and solar energy, and the resulting avoided emissions from fossil fuels, helped prevent up to 12,700 premature deaths in the U.S. from 2007 to 2015, according a new study in the journal Nature Energy.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Algal blooms cost Ohio homeowners $152 million over six years

    In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University estimate algal blooms at two Ohio lakes cost Ohio homeowners $152 million in lost property value over six years.

    Meanwhile, a related study suggests that algae is driving anglers away from Lake Erie, causing fishing license sales to drop at least 10 percent every time a bloom reaches a moderate level of health risk. Based on those numbers, a computer model projects that a severe, summer-long bloom would cause up to $5.6 million in lost fishing revenue and associated expenditures by anglers.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Heavily used pesticide linked to breathing problems in farmworkers' children

    Elemental sulfur, the most heavily used pesticide in California, may harm the respiratory health of children living near farms that use the pesticide, according to new research led by UC Berkeley.

    In a study of children in the Salinas Valley’s agricultural community, researchers found significant associations between elemental sulfur use and poorer respiratory health. The study linked reduced lung function, more asthma-related symptoms and higher asthma medication use in children living about a half-mile or less from recent elemental sulfur applications compared to unexposed children.

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  • Mercury is altering gene expression

    The mercury found at very low concentrations in water is concentrated along the entire food chain, from algae via zooplankton to small fish and on to the largest fish — the ones we eat. Mercury causes severe and irreversible neurological disorders in people who have consumed highly contaminated fish. Whereas we know about the element’s extreme toxicity, what happens further down the food chain, all the way down to those microalgae that are the first level and the gateway for mercury? By employing molecular biology tools, a team of researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has addressed this question for the first time. The scientists measured the way mercury affects the gene expression of algae, even when its concentration in water is very low, comparable to European environmental protection standards. Find out more about the UNIGE research in Scientific Reports.

    >> Read the Full Article