Scientists Invent a Paper Battery–Just Add Water

A new disposable battery is made of paper and other sustainable materials and is activated with a few drops of water

#engineering, #environment, #pollution, #technology

Eating Too Much Protein Makes Pee a Problem Pollutant in the U.S.

Protein-packed diets cause add excess nitrogen to the environment through urine, rivaling pollution from agricultural fertilizers

#environment, #pollution

The Environmental Disasters Now Threatening Ukraine

Ukraine’s former environment minister explains the Russian invasion’s dangerous impact on water and nuclear safety

#environment, #pollution

The Worst Place in the World to Drill for Oil Is Up for Auction

Oil exploration in the Congo rainforest would be a pollution disaster for communities that depend on it and for wildlife.

#biodiversity, #congo-democratic-republic-of-congo-kinshasa, #forests-and-forestry, #global-warming, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pollution

Stop Ruining Starry Nights

Neighborhoods, including rural ones, are getting brighter. That’s not a good thing, according to our writer. What is the point of an illuminated shrub at 2 a.m.?

#catskills-nys-area, #content-type-service, #international-dark-sky-assn, #light-pollution, #light-trespass, #lighting, #pollution, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #skyglow, #ulster-county-ny

When Heat Waves Meet Air Pollution, Death Risks Rise Substantially

Rising temperatures and more frequent wildfires are taking a grim toll on human health

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution, #public-health

Waste from thousands of old industrial sites may be released by floods

Image of waste drums and an industrial facility next to a river.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

As sea levels rise, coastal areas face a growing risk of flooding. But humans and environments near urban centers and the ocean may face issues beyond rising water. These areas have also been home to a large number of manufacturing facilities.

Over the years, many of them may have left toxic chemicals in the soil. And now, those areas are also being threatened by floods. When it rains too hard or the sea rises too much, people nearby can expect to be exposed to a wide variety of leftover material and chemicals, some of which aren’t meant to be ingested or touched by humans.

How big is the risk? Many of our largest cities lie near the sea. By some counts, in 2020, around 400 million people lived within 20 meters of sea level and within 20 kilometers of a coastline.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#climate-change, #industrial-pollution, #manufacturing, #ocean, #pollution, #science, #seal-level-rise

Regulating Power Plants Is a Health Issue

Doctors must get more involved in the public health crises that climate change will bring

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #health, #policy, #politics, #pollution, #public-health

What Air Pollution in South Korea Can Teach the World about Misinformation

Tracking how misinformation campaigns begin and amplify can give scientists tools to combat them

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

Spray-On, Rinse-Off Food ‘Wrapper’ Can Cut Plastic Packaging

The coating deters microorganisms to fight both food waste and foodborne illness

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#engineering, #environment, #food, #pollution, #technology

Racism Drives Environmental Inequality–But Most Americans Don’t Realize

Survey finds that most people think poverty is why pollution disproportionately affects Black people, despite evidence that racism is the major cause

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #inequality, #pollution, #social-sciences

Ocean Oil Slick Map Reveals Enough Greasy Patches to Cover France–Twice

An algorithm-aided analysis of satellite images reveals the size, distribution and sources of oil slicks at sea

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #oceans, #pollution

Pesticides Are Spreading Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Scientists Warn

Common chemicals sprayed on many crops each year are cloaked in bureaucratic uncertainties

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

The EPA Plans to Rein in Truck Pollution to Ease Asthma, but It May Not Go Far Enough

Scientists say the agency’s analyses do not capture the full extent of how bad exhaust is for segments of the population

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution, #public-health

We Need to Improve Indoor Air Quality: Here’s How and Why

Upgrading buildings’ ventilation, filtration and other factors would not only decrease COVID transmission but also improve health and cognitive performance in general

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #health, #pollution, #public-health

U.S. Emissions Rise 4 Percent as Drivers Log a Record Number of Miles

Drivers tallied 753 billion miles in the first three months of the year, the highest total on record

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution

New, Stronger Rules for Truck Pollution Still Would Not Meet Air Quality Goals

Heavy-duty trucks are the largest mobile source of a key precursor to dangerous ozone and particulate matter

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

Living with Lead Creates Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Superbugs’

People are infected by bacteria that, after contacting heavy metals, develop drug-resistant traits

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

Declines in Air Pollution Have Made Hurricanes Stronger

Without the cooling effect of aerosols, warmer oceans have provided more fuel to storms

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution

Toxic Algae Plagued Ancient Maya Civilization

Toxic algae blooms found could have helped destabilize society

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#advances, #environment, #pollution

Western Wildfires Reverse U.S. Clean Air Gains

A “new peak of air pollution” every August exposes as many as 130 million people to harmful chemicals

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution

The U.S. Must Take Responsibility for Nuclear Fallout in the Marshall Islands

Congress needs to fund independent research on radioactive contamination and how to clean it up

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

How Should Art Reckon With Climate Change?

As the environmental crisis accelerates, contemporary artists have taken up the mantle of addressing the precarious present.

#art, #cage-john, #cole-thomas-1801-48, #denes-agnes, #global-warming, #horn-roni, #hume-gary, #mattingly-mary, #museums, #pollution, #springdesign2022

What the EPA’s New Plans for Regulating Power Plants Mean for Carbon

Administrator Michael Regan argues regulation of mercury, ozone, water and coal ash will also curb greenhouse gases

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #fossil-fuels, #pollution

Military Action in Chernobyl Could be Dangerous for People and the Environment

Vehicles can kick up radioactive dust and fighting risks igniting a wildfire in the exclusion zone

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

Tons of COVID Medical Garbage Threaten Health

Burning piles of used gloves, test kits and syringes release toxic pollutants. But there are ways to improve medical recycling

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

Countries Pave the Way to End Plastic Pollution

The U.N. passed a resolution yesterday to develop a global treaty to control plastic waste

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution

How Hong Kong ‘Sees’ Invisible Tailpipe Emissions and Pulls Polluters Off the Road

The city has deployed a system of sensors to flag highly polluting vehicles. Nearly all of them have been repaired, helping to clean Hong Kong’s air.

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution

We Need a Global Plastics Treaty to Stop an Environmental Disaster

Truly global participation in the process will create more than just a Paris Agreement for plastics

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #oceans, #pollution

EPA Is Preparing to Reinstate California’s Authority to Set More Stringent Car Emissions Rules

The move would reverberate around the country because more than a dozen other states follow California’s regulations

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #fossil-fuels, #pollution

How to Destroy ‘Forever Chemicals’

Health-damaging PFASs are nearly impossible to break down—but a new hot-water technique can destroy them

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution, #public-health, #technology

E.P.A. Chief Vows to ‘Do Better’ to Protect Poor Communities From Environmental Harm

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday will announce stepped-up enforcement and monitoring to help disadvantaged communities struggling with polluted air and water.

#air-pollution, #environmental-protection-agency, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #houston-tex, #jackson-miss, #louisiana, #pollution, #regan-michael-s-1976, #water-pollution

These Shellfish Could Kill You

Indigenous communities along Alaska’s coast are developing scientific networks to test shellfish for toxins because the state is not doing so

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #features, #pollution

Protecting People from Deadly Shellfish

Indigenous communities along Alaska’s coast are developing scientific networks to test shellfish for toxins because the state is not doing so

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #features, #pollution

Wildfires Are Fueling a Toxic Combo of Air Pollutants

The 2020 fire season subjected half the western U.S. population to a stew of particulate matter and ozone

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution

How leaded fuel was sold for 100 years, despite knowing its health risks

A 1960s Southern California gas station being restored.

Enlarge / A 1960s Southern California gas station being restored. (credit: FarukUlay | Getty Images)

On the frosty morning of Dec. 9, 1921, in Dayton, Ohio, researchers at a General Motors lab poured a new fuel blend into one of their test engines. Immediately, the engine began running more quietly and putting out more power.

The new fuel was tetraethyl lead. With vast profits in sight—and very few public health regulations at the time—General Motors Co. rushed gasoline diluted with tetraethyl lead to market despite the known health risks of lead. They named it “Ethyl” gas.

It has been 100 years since that pivotal day in the development of leaded gasoline. As a historian of media and the environment, I see this anniversary as a time to reflect on the role of public health advocates and environmental journalists in preventing profit-driven tragedy.

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#cars, #gasoline, #leaded-gas, #pollution, #science

Warehouse Fire Was Source of ‘Putrid’ Odor in California

The fire, in Carson, Calif., on Sept. 30, consumed beauty and wellness products and sent chemicals into a nearby waterway, the authorities said. Thousands complained about the stench.

#air-pollution, #carson-calif, #fires-and-firefighters, #los-angeles-county-calif, #pollution, #prologis-inc, #smells-and-odors, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #water-pollution, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

Rivers Dump Mercury into Coastal Fisheries

Most of the pollutant arrives at the coasts by river

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#advances, #environment, #pollution

Half of the World’s Coastal Sewage Pollution Flows from Few Dozen Places

An analysis of roughly 135,000 watersheds reveals that large amounts of key pollutants come from human wastewater, not just agricultural runoff

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #oceans, #pollution

Lights Out: 5 New ‘Dark-Sky Places’ for Top-Shelf Stargazing

The International Dark-Sky Association awards certifications to sites with exceptionally high-quality night skies, including national parks, sanctuaries and reserves.

#appalachian-mountain-club, #black-gap-wildlife-management-area, #chiricahua-national-monument-az, #international-dark-sky-assn, #lighting, #mammoth-cave-national-park, #milky-way-galaxy, #national-park-service, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #parks-and-other-recreation-areas, #pollution, #space-and-astronomy, #united-states, #watoga-state-park-w-va, #wildlife-sanctuaries-and-nature-reserves

Climate Change Is Acidifying and Contaminating Drinking Water and Alpine Ecosystems

Hotter, drier mountains leach more metal into streams from abandoned mines and natural deposits

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #ecology, #environment, #pollution, #water

Access to Electric Vehicles Is an Environmental Justice Issue

We must build tomorrow’s transportation infrastructure with equity at its core

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#automobiles, #environment, #inequality, #pollution, #social-sciences, #technology, #transportation

Microplastics may be cooling—and heating—Earth’s climate

Thought climate change was already complicated? Now scientists have to consider the influence of tiny bits of atmospheric plastic.

Enlarge / Thought climate change was already complicated? Now scientists have to consider the influence of tiny bits of atmospheric plastic. (credit: Sanka Vidanagama | Getty Images)

Like the ash spewed from a supervolcano, microplastics have infested the atmosphere and encircled the globe. These are bits of plastic less than 5 millimeters long, and they come in two main varieties. Fragments spawn from disintegrating bags and bottles (babies drink millions of tiny particles a day in their formula), and microfibers tear loose from synthetic clothing in the wash and flush out to sea. Winds then scour land and ocean, carrying microplastics high into the atmosphere. The air is so lousy with the stuff that each year, the equivalent of over 120 million plastic bottles fall on 11 protected areas in the US, which account for just 6 percent of the country’s total area.

In a study published today in the journal Nature, scientists have taken a first swing at modeling how the atmospheric particles could be influencing the climate, and it’s a strange mix of good news and bad. The good news is that microplastics may be reflecting a tiny bit of the sun’s energy back into space, which would actually cool the climate ever so slightly. The bad news is that humanity is loading the environment with so much microplastic (ocean sediment samples show that concentrations have been doubling every 15 years since the 1940s), and the particles themselves are so varied, that it’s hard to know how the pollutant will ultimately influence the climate. At some point they may end up heating the planet.

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#anthropogenic-climate-change, #climate, #microplastics, #pollution, #science

How Airborne Microplastics Affect Climate Change

Like other aerosols, these tiny particles scatter and absorb sunlight, influencing Earth’s temperature

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#climate-change, #environment, #pollution

Assessing COVID Risk and More with Air Quality Monitors

The consumer devices track pollutants as well as CO2—a proxy for potentially virus-laden human breath

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#electronics, #health, #pollution, #public-health, #technology

Gasoline-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers to be banned under new California law

Gasoline-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers to be banned under new California law

Enlarge (credit: Aleksandr Potashev / iStock)

Gasoline-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers will soon be a thing of the past in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill that will ban the sale of small internal combustion engines predominately used in lawn and garden equipment, starting as soon as 2024.

The new law, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman from Menlo Park, will offer rebates for consumers to purchase electric replacements, and it builds on previous rulemaking already underway at the state’s air regulator, the California Air Resources Board, better known as CARB. The phaseout will begin as soon as is feasible or by January 1, 2024, whichever comes later.

“Currently, there are zero-emission equivalents to all [small off-road engine] equipment regulated by the State Air Resources Board,” the law points out. “The battery technology required for commercial-grade zero-emission equipment is available and many users, both commercial and residential, have already begun to transition to zero-emission equipment.”

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#california, #california-air-resources-board, #carb, #fossil-fuels, #lawn-equipment, #policy, #pollution, #small-engines

Landmark Ozone Treaty Could Prevent More Than 400 Million Cases of Cancer

The Montreal Protocol has helped heal the ozone layer that blocks harmful ultraviolet rays

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#environment, #pollution, #public-health

Winged Microchips Glide like Tree Seeds

The tiny sensors could gather and transmit environmental data as they drift through the air

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#aerospace, #engineering, #environment, #pollution, #technology

As offices come back, ATMO launches air monitoring device claiming to give COVID-risk score

Way back in 2015 we covered the launch of the Atmotube, a small, innovative, portable air quality monitor which went on to receive a number of awards, post its CES debut.

Since rebranding as ATMO, the company, co-founded by Vera Kozyr, is now launching the Atmocube, an indoor air quality monitoring system for businesses and enterprises. This new product is positioned far more for the Post-COVID era, where air quality inside offices is going to be vital, and this time, instead of being small and portable (although that earlier product is still sold), the Atmocube will be prominent and visible in order to give office workers peace of mind that their air quality is good.

The key to this is measuring CO2 levels which the Atmocube displays on its screen along with other metrics.

The device has up to 14 sensors measuring various environmental parameters such as CO2, formaldehyde NO2, PM1 (small airborne particles), PM2.5, ozone, and others, and other environmental parameters such as relative humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, ambient noise, light levels, and color temperature.

The company says this new device also calculates the Airborne Virus Transmission Score — based on the levels of particulate matter, humidity, and CO2, and says it comes up with a “score” that estimates the probability of transferring virus diseases in closed spaces. Obviously, that’s probably something that would need independent testing to verify, but it is the case that the WHO advises that COVID-19 can be transmitted in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings.

Kozyr said: “Air pollution is dangerous because it can affect you and your health even if you don’t notice it. We aim to help people know what they’re breathing and make changes as a result. As businesses return to the office, they need a tool to make information about indoor air quality transparent and accessible to their employees. Most air quality monitors are designed to be hidden away, so we set out to create a device with a more transparent interface that would highlight HVAC performance safety and create trust between occupants and building owners”.

ATMO is by no means the only player in the space of course, as it’s joined by AirThings, Awair Omni and Kaiterra.

#air-pollution, #airthings, #articles, #europe, #player, #pollution, #tc, #vera-kozyr, #world-health-organization

Tiny Robots Could Clean Up Microplastic Pollution

In a proof-of-concept study, microscopic self-propelled devices found and broke down microplastic particles

— Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

#advances, #environment, #pollution, #water