Tag Archives | Pollution

Exposure to toxic chemicals threatening human reproduction and health

Farmall Tractor Pull 2015

University of California, San Francisco via ScienceDaily:

Dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades are threatening human reproduction and health, according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the first global reproductive health organization to take a stand on human exposure to toxic chemicals.

The opinion was written by obstetrician-gynecologists and scientists from the major global, US, UK and Canadian reproductive health professional societies, the World Health Organization and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

FIGO, which represents obstetricians from 125 countries and territories, published the opinion in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics on Oct. 1, 2015, just prior to its Oct. 4 to 9, 2015, world congress in Vancouver, BC, where more than 7,000 clinicians and scientists will explore global trends in women’s health issues.

“We are drowning our world in untested and unsafe chemicals, and the price we are paying in terms of our reproductive health is of serious concern,” said Gian Carlo Di Renzo, MD, PhD, Honorary Secretary of FIGO and lead author of the FIGO opinion.

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One-in-Four Chance the Fish You Just Ate Contains Plastic

Did you enjoy your fish with plastic dinner? There’s a one in four chance that fish did, indeed, contain plastic, reports Alternet:

Want a side of plastic with your fresh-caught salmon?


About a quarter of fish samples from markets in Indonesia and fresh off the boat in California are filled with plastic and debris such as clothing fibers, scientists at the University of California, Davis, have found.

While other research has found plastics in the bellies of popular dinner-plate items such as tuna and swordfish, this is the first study to link marine plastic ingestion directly to fish sold for human consumption.

“We knew fish ingest plastic, but we wanted to see if it was getting to consumers’ plates,” said Susan Williams, an ecology professor at UC Davis and a coauthor of the study.

The team looked at the guts and gastrointestinal tracts of 76 fish bought in markets in Makassar, Indonesia, and 64 fish bought from local fishers at the docks of California’s Pillar Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay fish markets south of San Francisco…

[continues at Alternet]

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So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish…

2502508379_8fcf0cb8de_bFrom Rebel News:

The past couple of decades has seen a disconcerting trend of declining populations in species across the world, according to a report released this week by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London. “Population sizes of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish fell by half on average in just 40 years,” the report states.

The Living Planet Index (LPI) collects data inclusive of “10,380 populations of 3,038 vertebrate species,” which has been hurt significantly, mainly by human exploitation, but also affected by habitat degradation and climate change.

According to the report, marine life has been hurt the most.  “The period from 1970 through to the mid- 1980s experienced the steepest decline, after which there was some stability – but more recently, population numbers have been falling again,” it states.

From 1970 to now, there has been a 50 percent reduction in the population of all fish.

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A Toxic Chemical Ruined The Lives Of These People — And It’s Probably In Your Blood

“Welcome to beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia, home to one of the most brazen, deadly corporate gambits in U.S. history,” writes Mariah Blake in a #LongRead for Huffington Post:

“Hold on to something,” Jim Tennant warned as he fired up his tractor. We lurched down a rutted dirt road past the old clapboard farmhouse where he grew up. Jim still calls it “the home place,” although its windows are now boarded up and the outhouse is crumbling into the field.

Photo: Tim Kiser (CC)

Photo: Tim Kiser (CC)


At 72, Jim is so slight that he nearly disappears into his baggy plaid shirt. But he drives his tractor like a dirt bike. We sped past the caved-in hog pen and skidded down a riverbank. The tractor tipped precariously toward the water, slamming into a fallen tree, but Jim just laughed.

When we had gone as far as the tractor could take us, Jim climbed off and squeezed through a barbed-wire fence.

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Two major US aquifers contaminated by natural uranium

The intensity of groundwater contamination via uranium (red) and nitrate (blue) is shown in two major aquifers and other sites through out the nation. UNL researcher Karrie Weber says the availability of uranium data pales compared to that of nitrate. Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The intensity of groundwater contamination via uranium (red) and nitrate (blue) is shown in two major aquifers and other sites through out the nation. UNL researcher Karrie Weber says the availability of uranium data pales compared to that of nitrate.
Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Nebraska-Lincoln via ScienceDaily:

Nearly 2 million people throughout the Great Plains and California above aquifer sites contaminated with natural uranium that is mobilized by human-contributed nitrate, according to a study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Data from roughly 275,000 groundwater samples in the High Plains and Central Valley aquifers show that many Americans live less than two-thirds of a mile from wells that often far exceed the uranium guideline set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The study reports that 78 percent of the uranium-contaminated sites were linked to the presence of nitrate, a common groundwater contaminant that originates mainly from chemical fertilizers and animal waste.

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Cap and Trade Proven Successful in Northeastern States


Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Crock of the Week:

If you listened to right wing media, you might assume that “Cap and Trade” was a game that ISIL fighters played with severed heads of their enemies.

Actually, it’s a Republican idea for fighting pollution, and it’s been shown to work pretty well in tamping down Acid Rain – which is why it was proposed early on as a means of dealing with climate change.

The Hill, April 3, 2012:

President Obama reminded Republicans Tuesday that cap-and-trade has GOP roots in a rare public reference to the embattled environmental policy.

“Cap-and-trade was originally proposed by conservatives and Republicans as a market-based solution to solving environmental problems,” Obama said during a fiery speech at a luncheon hosted by The Associated Press.

“The first president to talk about cap-and-trade was George H.W. Bush. Now you’ve got the other party essentially saying we shouldn’t even be thinking about environmental protection.

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Can Pollution Help Trees Fight Infection?

Pollution may help trees fight infection. Credit: Frederic E. Pitre

Pollution may help trees fight infection.
Credit: Frederic E. Pitre

Via ScienceDaily:

Trees that can tolerate soil pollution are also better at defending themselves against pests and pathogens. “It looks like the very act of tolerating chemical pollution may give trees an advantage from biological invasion,” says Dr Frederic E. Pitre of the University of Montreal and one of the researchers behind the discovery.

Unexpectedly, whilst studying the presence of genetic information (RNA) from fungi and bacteria in the trees, the researchers found evidence of a very large amount of RNA from a very common plant pest called the two-spotted spidermite.

In fact, 99% of spidermite RNA was in higher abundance in trees without contamination, suggesting that the polluted plant’s defence mechanisms, used to protect itself against chemical contamination, improves its resistance to a biological invader.

“This higher spidermite gene expression (RNA) in non-contaminated trees suggests that tolerating contamination might ‘prime’ the trees’ defence machinery, allowing them to defend themselves better against pests, such as spidermites,” says Pitre.

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Faces Of Crying Babies Projected Onto Factory Smoke To Highlight Pollution

In an effort to highlight China’s air pollution problem, Xiao Zhu projected faces of crying babies onto factory smoke pollution.

Via the YouTube description:

Xiao Zhu wanted to stand out in a market that was almost as congested as the air. A market where half a million people, mostly children, have died due to air pollution related illnesses. So we decided to put a spotlight on air pollution’s biggest culprits – the factories – by using the actual pollution from the factories as a medium. People took notice, and the word spread.

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An 8-year-old Falls Into One of Mexico’s Most Contaminated Rivers. 18 Days Later, He’s Dead.


At Fusion, Steve Fisher reports on how many companies (mostly US owned) dump toxic chemicals in Mexico’s rivers:

It was a warm sunny afternoon in 2008 in the dusty suburb of La Azucena. Eight-year-old Miguel Ángel Lopez Rocha was kicking a ball with his friends. A group of boys were playing near the Ahogado Canal, a tributary to the Santiago River and a recipient of factory discharge, that cuts through one of the most prosperous industrial zones in Mexico, located in El Salto, Jalisco.

Someone kicked the ball into the canal. It was Lopez Rocha’s turn to retrieve it. As he reached down to pick it up, he tripped and fell directly into the backwaters of the canal.

Later that night, feeling dizzy, Lopez Rocha stumbled into the bathroom. He was vomiting profusely. His mother rushed him to a hospital in nearby Guadalajara, where doctors quickly determined that the young boy was suffering from arsenic poisoning.

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