NERC transport and flows of new materials in the biosphere
A public notice warns people of radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay beach. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images A record number of radioactive hotspots have been found contaminating public beaches near the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, according to a report by the site's operator . As many as 383 radioactive particles and stones were detected and removed from seven beaches in 2010-11, bringing the total retrieved since 2006 to 1,233. Although Sellafield insists that the health risks for beach users are "very low", there are concerns that some potentially dangerous particles may remain undetected and that contamination keeps being found. Anti-nuclear campaigners have called for beaches to be closed, or for signs to be erected warning the public of the pollution .
INTERLOK GCLS, Resiste x GCLS & Continuum GCLs HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL -- New Technologies Provide Ultra-Low Permeability and Enhanced Chemical Resistance CETCO announces the release of three new product lines in the category of geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs). The names of the new product lines are InterLoK, Resistex and Continuum. Each product features a unique engineered clay technology designed by the research and development team at CETCO to enhance the permeability and/or chemical resistance .
Blackpool: The drilling rig of Cuadrilla Resources explores the Bowland shale for gas, four miles from Blackpool. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty The huge scale of a natural gas field discovered under the north-west of England has been revealed, potentially revolutionising the UK's energy outlook and creating thousands of jobs, but environmental groups are alarmed at the controversial method by which the gas is extracted.
Nov 15th 2010 Picket the HSE Problems with NANOSILVER This early campaign flyer is a good description of why we are concerned about nano-silver and what we want:
The largest concern over RFID chips is consumer privacy invasion. If you purchase something with a barcode on it, the manufacturer knows that it sold the product, but they don't know where it sold or who bought it. RFID chips enable manufacturers to know more about the consumers who buy their products. For example, a manufacturer would be able to tell where the product was purchased, the state, the store and as some analysts worry, the actual person who bought it. While the availability of that specific tracking information is still years out, the potential is there. This means that consumers would no longer have the privacy that they have enjoyed.
Written by Philip Proefrock on 17/06/12 Insect cuticle is a pretty versatile material. Layers of chitin, a biopolymer, are built up to make strong, lightweight material that composes the exoskeleton and wings of insects. Now, scientists from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have developed an artificial version of insect cuticle called 'Shrilk' that is as strong as aluminum allow but with only half the weight. The synthetic insect cuticle is made from chitin which is obtained from waste shrimp shells.
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-33639" title="banana-harvest" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/autopia/2011/03/banana-harvest.jpg" alt="" width="660" height="442" /> Updated: Additional information from Alcides Leão was added to this story March 28 at 8:05 p.m. EDT. Researchers are going bananas in the quest to build cleaner, greener cars. Brazilian scientists have developed a way of using fibers from bananas, pineapples and other plants to create plastic that is stronger and lighter than the petroleum-based stuff. So-called nanocellulose fibers rival Kevlar in strength but are renewable, and the researchers believe they could be widely used within a couple of years.
U. MINNESOTA (US) — The chemical BPA appears to affect the mating choices of fish, leading to interspecies breeding, researchers report. The study, published in Evolutionary Applications , reveals the threat to biodiversity when the boundaries between species are blurred. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound used in the manufacture of polycarbonate and other plastics. It is currently banned from baby bottles and children’s cups in 11 US states.
Epigenetics and Beyond ISIS Report 21/01/09 Environmental toxins modify our genes and affect our children and grandchildren; enormous implications for risk assessment of synthetic chemical and other xenobiotics Dr. Mae-Wan Ho A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website. Details here
People are being exposed to higher levels of the substitute for BPA in cash register thermal paper receipts and many of the other products that engendered concerns about the health effects of bisphenol A, according to a new study. Believed to be the first analysis of occurrence of bisphenol S (BPS) in thermal and recycled paper and paper currency, the report appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science and Technology. Kurunthachalam Kannan and colleagues point out that growing evidence of the potentially toxic effects of BPA has led some manufacturers to replace it with BPS in thermal paper and other products. BPS is closely related to BPA, with some of the same estrogen-mimicking effects, and unanswered questions exist about whether it is safer. Nevertheless, very little is known about BPS occurrence in the environment, the scientists noted. To fill that knowledge gap, they analyzed 16 types of paper from the U.S., Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
The source. In the laundry, synthetic clothing sheds microscopic plastic fibers ( shown in the inset along with other plastic debris ) that make their way through sewage treatment systems and into oceans. Credit: Fototsearch; Mark Browne (inset) There's nothing subtle about dryer lint: Clean the fluffy, gray mat off the filter or risk a fire.
A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder indicates air pollution in the form of nitrogen compounds emanating from power plants, automobiles and agriculture is changing the alpine vegetation in Rocky Mountain National Park. The emissions of nitrogen compounds to the atmosphere are being carried to remote areas of the park, altering sensitive ecosystems, said CU-Boulder Professor William Bowman, who directs CU-Boulder's Mountain Research Station west of Boulder and who led the study. "The changes are subtle, but important," he said.
Humans are having an effect on Earth’s ecosystems but it’s not just the depletion of resources and the warming of the planet we are causing. Now you can add an over-abundance of nitrogen as another “footprint” humans are leaving behind. The only question is how large of an impact will be felt.
Microscopic bits of metal – nanoparticles , a thousand times smaller than the thickness of a human hair – have been touted as a biotechnology and manufacturing miracle. Among many other applications, they can be used to keep the smell out of sweaty gym clothes, to treat wastewater, and they are being considered as a way to deliver cell-specific cancer drugs. However, as a recent experiment shows, the very properties that make nanoparticles so valuable in killing harmful and unpleasant bacteria also kill ocean phytoplankton that regulate the climate and are the base of the oceans’ food chain. The study – whose lead author is Robert Miller of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara – was published on January 20, 2012 in the online journal PLoS One .
A "new frontier" in mining is set to be opened up by the underwater extraction of resources from the seabed off the coast of Papua New Guinea , despite vehement objections from environmentalists and local activists. Canadian firm Nautilus Minerals has been granted a 20-year licence by the PNG government to commence the Solwara 1 project, the world's first commercial deep sea mining operation. Nautilus will mine an area 1.6km beneath the Bismarck Sea, 50km off the coast of the PNG island of New Britain. The ore extracted contains high-grade copper and gold. The project is being carefully watched by other mining companies keen to exploit opportunities beneath the waves. The Deep Sea Mining (DSM) campaign , a coalition of groups opposing the PNG drilling, estimates that 1 million sq km of sea floor in the Asia-Pacific region is under exploration licence.