- Bleh! According to the International Water Management Institute 200 million people are eating food grown using untreated waste water. John Vidal of The Guardian reports:
It's a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20m hectares across the developing world, especially in Asian countries like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well," said IWMI researcher Liqa Raschid-Sally.
"Nor is it limited to the countries and cities with the lowest GDP. It is prevalent in many mid-income countries as well", she said.
The report, launched today at World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, found the practice "widespread and practically inevitable".
"As long as developing countries lack suitable transport to deliver large quantities of perishable produce to urban areas, urban agriculture will remain important. In the face of water scarcity generally and a lack of access to clean water, urban farmers will have no alternative except to use … polluted water", write the authors.
- President Bush just signed legislation banning lead from children’s toys—the toughest standard in the world. Via the Associated Press:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are about 28,000 deaths each year linked to unsafe products, including toys, in the United States. More than 33 million people were injured last year by consumer products.
The bill also bans a chemical called phthalates that is widely used to make plastic products softer and more flexible.
And the legislation bolsters the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which took the brunt of criticism last year over the massive recalls and the government’s failure to monitor toy imports before they reach store shelves.
The bill would double the agency’s budget, to $136 million by 2014, and give it new authority to oversee testing procedures and to penalize violators.
- Kudos to Hawaii! The island is recycling 72-percent of its usage beverage containers. More from ENN:
The state increased recycling by four percent to reach 72 percent recovery, an all-time high.
The state says this means more than 680 million containers were recycled from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. State law requires that if more than 70 percent of containers are recycled there would be an increase in the container recycling fee (this cover costs of collection and sorting), but the director of health decided to waive the fee increase (it’s currently one cent per container).
Hawaii is one of 11 states to offer a beverage container deposit, meaning consumers pay a fee (in this case six cents) when purchasing containers and get a refund when the containers are recycled.