Green-News: Wednesday 7.22.09

  • We might be underestimating the problems with our environment. Here are a list of environmental problems that may be much worse than we thought; chemical contamination, air pollution, habitat loss, water crisis, desertification, ocean acidification and excessive trash and garbage; via Earth First.

 

  • Wal-Mart will soon slap labels on all products carried in its stores displaying the items eco-rating which measures its environmental friendliness. To determine the rating, Wal-Mart will ask suppliers to answer questions about their product, such as how it is package and manufactured; from Green Tech.

 

 

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Artificial Sweeteners Not Removed from Waste Water

Appearing in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, German researchers determined sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners—such as saccharin and aspartame—from waste water. Water samples were collected from two treatment facilities, turning up four different chemicals: acesulfame, saccharin, cyclamate and sucralose. Scientists fear these compounds will pollute neighboring streams and rivers; from ScienceDaily.

Water is all messed up! In March, a report came out saying America’s freshwater is clogged up with antidepressants and cholesterol drugs. As for artificial sweeteners, Dr. Fuhrman slammed them after a new study revealed people using fake sugar actually have MORE diabetes.

In related news, experts recommend well water be tested annually for harmful chemicals, bacteria and germs, because young children are very vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

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Well Water May Be Hazardous to Little Kids

A new report in the journal Pediatrics claims small children are vulnerable to waterborne illnesses originating from well water. Private wells can become contaminated with chemicals, germs and bacteria. Experts recommend well water be tested annually, at least. Currently, private wells are not subject to federal regulations, leaving owners responsible for proper care and safety testing; ScienceDaily reports.

And earlier this year, it was reported that pharmaceuticals, such as cholesterol medications, anti-depressants and blood pressure pills, are turning up in America’s streams and rivers. Bottled water is no better. One study found bottled water is just as impure as water out of the tap.

In 2006, water in Seattle area schools was found to be contaminated with lead. Most of China’s groundwater is polluted and India’s water has shown harmful levels of arsenic. Eek!

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Green-News: Wednesday 4.8.09

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Green-News: Wednesday 3.18.09

  • Microsoft is also joining the eco party. Microsoft aims to cut emissions by 30% by 2012 and their new data center features environmentally amenities, such as lights that turn on and off when someone walks in and out of a room and under-floor cooling systems, efficiently cooling the building as cold air warms up and rises; via TreeHugger.

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Antibiotics in the Soil and Veggies...

A new report in the Journal of Environmental Quality claims crops grown in fertilizer made with livestock manure actually absorb the antibiotics injected into cattle. Researchers point out that an alarming 70% of antibiotics produced in the United States are fed to livestock and 90% of those antibiotics are excreted in farm animal urine and feces. Putting vegetables at risk, even those grown on organic farms, exacerbating the fear over antibiotic-resistant bacteria; Environmental Health News investigates.

It gets worse! Last week it was discovered many pharmaceuticals, like cholesterol-lowering medications, painkillers and tranquilizers, are polluting our drinking water. Eek!

Also, in humans, antibiotics are over-used and misused. According to Dr. Fuhrman, doctors are too quick to prescribe antibiotics for conditions that will resolve on their own, like ear infections.

Via TreeHugger.

Image credit: Gavin Anderson

Pollution is Shrinking Man, Parts...

Males of all species, from fish to mammals, are being feminized and not by reruns of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. According to a new report by the environmental charity CHEMTrust, a variety of common chemicals and pesticides are shrinking male genitals and causing abnormalities in the animal kingdom, like hermaphrodite polar bears and male fish developing eggs in their testes.

Scientists worry this could jump to humans too! Heavily polluted communities in Canada, Russia and Italy are already giving birth to twice as many girls than boys. And in the U.S. and Japan, research indicates 250,000 babies who would have been boys were born as girls instead. Female hormones from contraceptive pills reentering water supplies could be one reason why; The Independent reports.

Via TreeHugger.