Archive | Pollution & Toxins

Chinese Environmental Groups Criticize Apple

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups is criticizing Apple for sub-par safety standards and poor environmental practices.

The survey, conducted by more than 30 environmental NGOs, ranks the U.S. tech giant last in a list of similar multinational technology manufacturers.

Nokia, Sony, Ericsson and LG were also singled out for poor environmental and social practices. On the other hand, the report extolled Hewlett-Packard, Vodafone, Samsung, Toshiba, Sharp, Hitachi, BT and Alcatel-Lucent for improving manufacturing standards.

“Apple has broken its promise on three aspects of supply-chain social responsibilities,” said the report.

“On Apple’s supply chain, some workers were poisoned and disabled, neighborhoods and communities were polluted while there were severe infringement of workers’ rights, interest and dignity,” the report said.

The report comes as the Cupertino, Calif.-based company begins to open stores in China. Last week Apple raked in $2.6 billion – about 10 percent of its total revenue – from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, The Associated Press reports.

The report was posted Thursday on the website of the independent Beijing-based organization the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Posted in Pollution & Toxins0 Comments

EPA Revokes Water Permit for W. Va. Mountaintop Mine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revoked a permit for one of the country’s largest mountaintop removal coal mines on Thursday.

Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County was previously granted a Clean Water permit under the Bush administration in 2007, but its construction has been delayed by lawsuits. Environmentalists and local residents say the operation would hurt streams and local communities, while Arch says the mine is necessary for West Virginia’s economy.

The federal government nine months ago moved to rescind the permit for the 2,3000-acre project, which would bury seven miles of streams, devastate wildlife and endanger human health with hazardous pollutants.

“The proposed Spruce No. 1 Mine would use destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend,” said Peter S. Silva, the EPA’s assistant administrator for water, according to the New York Times. “Coal and coal mining are part of our nation’s energy future, and E.P.A. has worked with companies to design mining operations that adequately protect our nation’s waters. We have a responsibility under the law to protect water quality and safeguard the people who rely on clean water.”

The decision has already been met with defiance by the St. Louis-based coal company, which plans to challenge the veto in court.

“We remain shocked and dismayed at E.P.A.’s continued onslaught with respect to this validly issued permit,” said spokeswoman Kim Link, according to the Times. “Absent court intervention, E.P.A.’s final determination to veto the Spruce permit blocks an additional $250 million investment and 250 well-paying American jobs.”

“Furthermore, we believe this decision will have a chilling effect on future U.S. investment,” she added, “because every business possessing or requiring a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act will fear similar overreaching by the E.P.A. It’s a risk many businesses cannot afford to take.”

This is only the 13th time the agency has revoked a water permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Posted in Coal, Groundwater, Springs & Aquifers, Pollution & Toxins0 Comments

Texas Commission OKs Nuclear Waste Dump Policy

A Texas commission has approved a plan that will allow 36 states to dump low-level radioactive waste along the Texas-New Mexico border.

Despite concerns raised by environmentalists regarding the possibility of groundwater pollution, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Commission voted 5-2 to pass the measure, which will permit a number of additional states to export nuclear waste to an Andrews County dump owned by Waste Control Specialists. The site previously only accepted waste from Texas, Vermont and the federal government.

The commission also guaranteed Vermont preferred space of 20 percent capacity. Vermont has only one nuclear facility, which it plans to phase out in the next 30 or 40 years.

President Barack Obama has extolled nuclear energy as a clean alternative to oil, but opponents object to the radioactive waste associated with the process.

The proposal drew more than 5,000 public comments, The Associated Press reported.

Posted in Nuclear, Pollution & Toxins, Radiation, Toxic Substances, Waste Disposal0 Comments

What is a safe method to deter slugs and snails in the garden without chemicals?

One of the single most effective slug and snail pest control methods is to water your garden in the morning, and avoid watering it just before night. This is because slugs prefer wet, damp areas, and watering during the morning means the soil will be dry by the time night rolls around. Also, getting a colleciton fo the slugs natural predators, such as toads, to inhabit your garden will help, along with using local plant varieties, many of which already have natural slug defenses. For an even greater list of slug deterrents, please follow the supplied links.

I hope this helped!

Citations:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2876862

http://www.eartheasy.com/grow_nat_slug_cntrl.htm

You can put out a shallow dish of beer in your garden.  The slugs will become attracted to it and be easy to clean up in the morning.  We used to do this to keep them from bothering the plants in our garden.  They go after stale beer as well, so if you can re-use one can for a week or so.

If you have a slug problem ……Try  The slugbell….the best slug and snail control device in the World…

It protects …Children, Pets, Garden Wildlife, and  Our Environment……True…go to . http://www.slugbell.com

And see for your self………………….

If you have a slug problem ……Try  The slugbell….the best slug and snail control device in the World…
It protects …Children, Pets, Garden Wildlife, and  Our Environment……True…go to . http://www.slugbell.com
And see for your self………………….

Citations:

http://www.slugbell.com

I’m not sure how smart this is….BUT I’m going to say it anyway.  At my grandma’s house me and my brother just take the slugs out of the garden ourselves.  Then we just use the slugs as bate for fishing. You would be surprised how many fish you can catch with a good slug.

Posted in Chemicals, Fish, Pollution & Toxins0 Comments

Bald Eagles Used to ID Chemical Pollution

HASTINGS, Minn., Feb. 1 (UPI) — A National Park Service official says scientists are using bald eagles to determine how chemicals are polluting waterways and wildlife in the U.S. Midwest.

Bill Route of the National Park Service said by monitoring the systems of nearly 60 male-female eagle pairs along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, scientists are able to gather details regarding the spread of human contaminants, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said Monday.

“They accumulate these contaminants in their system,” Route said of the eagles. “If we can track those trends through time we can discover a good measure of human contaminants.”

Among the discovered contaminants found via the eagle research were two groups of flame retardants used in the production of a variety of consumer items.

Route said while such contaminants are still evident in parts of Minnesota, there has been a noticeable drop in discovered traces of the pesticide DDT, which was tied to a bald eagle population drop in the 1960s.

“We need to congratulate ourselves for cleaning up the water with a lot of these pesticides,” Route told the Star Tribune. “We just have to be vigilant … to look for other chemicals.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Air Pollution Prevention, Birds, Chemicals, Effects Of Air Pollution, Pollution & Toxins0 Comments

Swiss Alps Wildlife Hurt by Increase in Winter Tourism

BERN, Switzerland, Dec. 27 (UPI) — Swiss authorities say they are urging winter tourists to be aware of their impact on wildlife in the Alps.

With the booming popularity of winter sports such as free-ride snowboarding and snowshoe walking, Alpine wildlife — especially its deer population — is being impacted as never before, and officials are becoming concerned that human activity is threatening their survival, Swissinfo reported Sunday.

In response, Swiss federal wildlife officials, in cooperation with environmental groups and tourism managers, have launched an international awareness campaign urging visitors to stick to established routes, the Web site said.

Swiss mountain ranger Andres Overturf wouldn’t point fingers at any particular sport or activity, but noted that skiers, snowboarders and cross-country snowshoe hikers are all impacting wildlife by taking unpredictable paths.

“Animals can get used to human presence off-piste but only if people stick to the same routes and zones,” Overturf told Swissinfo, saying wild animals are losing crucial retreat spaces and must expend much physical energy to run away through high snow and cold temperatures.

“Added to this is food scarcity and often there is not enough time to rest because of the stress,” he said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Air Pollution, Animals, Business & Economics, Consumer Products, Ecosystems, Mammals, Nature & Ecosystems, Pollution & Toxins, Recreation & Travel, Walking0 Comments

Dogs Pollute More Than SUVs, Says Guide to Sustainable Living

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, Dec. 23 (UPI) — One medium-sized dog produces more greenhouse gas than a Toyota Land Cruiser, New Zealand scientists Robert and Brenda Vale say in a new book.

In “Time to Eat the Dog, the Real Guide to Sustainable Living,” the Vales analyzed the ingredients of pet food and how much each pet eats to determine the size of their carbon footprint, a term used to express a total amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Those numbers then were compared to a 4.6 liter Toyota Land Cruiser driven about 6,200 miles a year, the Vales told New Scientist.com

A medium-size dog had a carbon footprint about twice the size of the Land Cruiser, while a cat’s carbon footprint was about equal to a small Volkswagen, said the Vales, who specialize in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington. Two hamsters had the footprint of a plasma television, while a goldfish was comparable to a pair of cell phones, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Dogs and cats have such large carbon footprints because they eat so much meat, which requires large amounts of land and energy to produce.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Animals, Cars, Energy, Pollution & Toxins, Transportation0 Comments

Air Pollution Linked to Pneumonia Hospitalizations in Seniors

HAMILTON, Ontario, Dec. 23 (UPI) — Prolonged exposure to higher levels of air pollution can lead to hospitalization for pneumonia in adults age 65 and older, Canadian researchers found.

Infectious disease specialist Mark Loeb of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Hamilton led a research team in recruiting 365 older adults from Hamilton who had been hospitalized with radiologically confirmed pneumonia from July 2003 to April 2005. Control subjects randomly selected from the same neighborhoods as the patients were also enrolled in the study.

The researchers used structured interviews to collect health data from participants and compared the two groups’ exposures to data from air-quality monitoring stations and land-use regression models.

The researchers found that exposure for more than 12 months to higher levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometers more than doubled the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia in adults age 65 and older. However, exposure to sulfur dioxide was not associated with an increased risk of hospitalization.

“Our study found that among older individuals, long-term exposure to traffic pollution independently increased their risk of hospitalization for pneumonia,” Loeb said in a statement.

The findings are scheduled to be published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Ailments & Diseases, Air Pollutants, Air Pollution, Air, Atmosphere, & Weather, Effects Of Air Pollution, Human Health & Wellness, Pollution & Toxins, Seniors’ Health0 Comments

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Climate Talk Progress Held for Ransom

LONDON, Dec. 21 (UPI) — The new global treaty was held hostage by some countries opposed to a deal in Copenhagen, Denmark, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday.

After nearly two weeks of stalled talks on a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol for curbing greenhouse gases, the countries approved a five-page document that recognizes the need to limit global temperatures from rising no more than 2 degrees Celsius in 10 years, but doesn’t require signatories to take steps to address climate change. As explained by U.S. President Barack Obama Friday, countries will list “concrete commitments” into the document’s appendix, and would be subject to international consultation and analysis, leading to a hoped-for more binding document later.

Brown said the agreement — considered weak by environmental groups and some European leaders — called for reform of the way such negotiations occur, The Guardian reported.

Brown said the deal a “first step toward a new alliance to overcome the enormous challenges of climate change.” He also called on countries to show resolve to turn the agreement into a legally binding treaty.

“The talks in Copenhagen were not easy,” Brown said. “We must learn lessons from Copenhagen and the tough negotiations that took place. Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down these talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries.”

Looking ahead, Brown said the global community should consider international body to handle environmental stewardship.

“I believe that in 2010 we will need to look at reforming our international institutions to meet the common challenges we face as an international community,” Brown said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Energy & Fuels, International Relations & Treaties, Nature & Ecosystems, Policy, Law, & Government, Pollution & Toxins, Recycling & Waste0 Comments

U.S. Power Plants Meeting Emissions Goal

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) — Acid rain-causing emissions have fallen in the United States by more than 50 percent from 1990 levels and already meet 2010 requirements, officials say.

Emissions of sulfur dioxide from U.S. power plants totaled 7.6 million tons in 2008, already less than the 8.95-million-ton cap going into effect in next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported.

The Acid Rain Program established by the 1990 Clean Air Act set air quality targets for SO2, with the final 2010 cap being about one-half the emissions from the electric power industry in 1980, the EPA said Friday.

All 3,572 power plants subject to the program were in compliance in 2008, it reported.

Environmentally sensitive bodies of water in the East are already showing evidence of decreased acidification, the agency said, and air quality improvements have had significant impact on human health.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Posted in Pollution & Toxins0 Comments

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