pollution

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Rio's Newest Problem: 'Super Bacteria' in the Water

And a nasty oil slick in Guanabara Bay, right where sailors are set to compete

(Newser) - Rio de Janeiro has been plagued by body parts on beaches , muggings , and Zika fears ahead of the Summer Olympics, and now a "super bacteria" has entered the mix. Brazilian scientists say the drug-resistant bacteria was found along the coast of popular beaches including Flamengo and Botafogo, both of... More »

Humans Have Polluted Deepest Part of the Oceans: Study

Crustaceans in Mariana, Kermadec trenches rife with chemicals

(Newser) - Survival of the fittest in the depths of the sea likely includes plenty of its own inherent challenges, but now it's got a man-made one to add to the list. A research team out of Scotland's University of Aberdeen has discovered high concentrations of human-created organic pollutants in... More »

By 2050, Our Oceans Will Hold More Plastic Than Fish

Plastic production set to double in next 20 years

(Newser) - Use of plastic has increased 20-fold in the past half-century; production of the ubiquitous material is expected to double again in the next 20 years (and nearly quadruple over the next 50). And, CNN Money reports, nearly a third of all plastic packaging "escapes collection systems." As for... More »

Drugs We Dump May Be Causing Sex Changes in Fish

Male bass in Northeast undergoing strange changes

(Newser) - Male bass are experiencing unwanted sex changes, apparently thanks to the "chemical soups" that pass for waterways in the Northeast. The Washington Post reports 85% of male smallmouth bass surveyed in the region have "characteristics of the opposite sex"—specifically eggs where their testes should be. The... More »

China's Pollution Drives Some to Buy Canada Air in a Can

7.7 liters of fresh Banff air sells for $15

(Newser) - It's come to this. Beijing's air pollution has gotten so bad— hitting red alert for the first time ever last week, prompting school and factory closures and restricting traffic for days, reports Weather.com —that some residents are not only staying indoors and wearing masks, they're... More »

House Votes to Ban Microbeads From Soaps and Cosmetics

The tiny pieces of plastic are filling US waters

(Newser) - From now on, it's full-size beads or nothing. Smithsonian Magazine reports the US House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would ban the sale of products containing microbeads. These pinhead-size pieces of plastic are supposed to help exfoliate and have recently found their way into everything from soap... More »

Underground Fire May Be Moving Closer to Nuclear Waste

Officials near St. Louis write emergency plan

(Newser) - Two things you never want to see together: an inextinguishable underground fire and a nuclear waste dump. But they're only 1,200 feet apart in an area north of St. Louis and may be growing closer, the AP reports. The underground fire at Bridgeton Landfill has been burning for... More »

This Is What Paris Looks Like Without Cars

Symbolic act aims to cut pollution in big cities

(Newser) - Pretty but noisy Paris, its gracious Old World buildings blackened by exhaust fumes, is going car-less for a day. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo presided over Sunday's "day without cars," two months before the city hosts the global summit on climate change. The symbolic initiative is aimed at... More »

There's Something Seriously Wrong With Our Seabirds

Seabirds that soared for 60M years crashed in just 60 years

(Newser) - There are nearly 350 species of seabirds roaming the planet, ranging from the wandering albatross (with the world's largest wingspan) and the child-size emperor penguin (the only bird to breed in Antarctic winters) to tiny storm petrels that dance on the water as they eat, reports the Guardian . But... More »

Filthy Air Kills 3.3M a Year—and That May Double

Farming is surprise culprit of smog and soot in industrial nations

(Newser) - Air pollution is killing 3.3 million people a year worldwide, according to a new study that includes this surprise: Farming plays a large role in smog and soot deaths in industrial nations. Scientists from Harvard and in Germany, Cyprus, and Saudi Arabia used health statistics and computer models for... More »

This Man's Plan: Swim Around the World in 450 Days

Martin Strel will pass through bodies of water in 100-plus countries

(Newser) - Martin Strel swims with a knife strapped to his right leg—in case he encounters sharks, "vampire" fish, and other deadly marine life in the world's wildest waters. Yesterday, the 60-year-old marathon swimmer from Phoenix announced the toughest feat of his life: a 10,000-mile around-the-world voyage on... More »

EPA: Wastewater Spill 3 Times Worse Than We Thought

Officials now say 3M gallons of Colo. mine wastewater spilled into Animas River

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency says a wastewater spill from an abandoned mine in southwestern Colorado into the Animas River is much larger than originally estimated. The agency said the amount of heavy-metal-laced water that leaked from the Gold King Mine into the river, turning the water a mucky orange and... More »

Scientists Find Planet's Most Polluted Bird

Cooper's hawk found with higher levels of flame retardants than any other

(Newser) - The Vancouver area is home to what is thus far known to be our planet's most polluted wild bird. Researchers studying the livers of local birds of prey found that the Cooper's hawk was tainted with polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chemicals that function as flame retardants. Of the 13... More »

10 Most Polluted US Cities

California is a familiar presence

(Newser) - The American Lung Association is out with new rankings of the cities worst hit by air pollution, and Los Angeles sits atop it. The report looks at both particle and ozone pollution, reports Time . The top 10 in the latter camp:
  1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif.
  2. Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Calif.
  3. Bakersfield, Calif.
  4. Fresno-Madera,
... More »

Brazil Pulls 50 Tons of Dead Fish From Lagoon

Olympic athletes advised not to fall out of canoes

(Newser) - Vast numbers of dead fish have been hauled out of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in Rio de Janeiro over the last couple of weeks, and authorities are pretty sure they haven't died of excitement about the Olympic rowing and canoeing events to be held there next year. Dozens... More »

Toxic Lake of Horror Comes From Making All Our Gadgets

Inner Mongolia lake filled with sludge from processing of rare earth minerals

(Newser) - "Dystopian" and "horrifying" are just two adjectives Tim Maughan uses to describe for the BBC what he recently witnessed in the remote industrial city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia. Most disturbing was his visit to a man-made lake filled with toxic sludge that makes the surrounding area smell... More »

Christie Rep Settled Exxon Suit for 3 Cents on Dollar

A former state official alleges the office 'cut the deal favorable to Exxon'

(Newser) - It's been quite the legal saga: In 2004, New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection sued Exxon Mobil over what it said was a century's worth of pollution spewed by two refineries. The state alleged that contamination dating as far back as 1870 at the northern Bayonne and... More »

Whale's Cause of Death: Swallowed DVD Case

Shard sliced endangered animal's stomach

(Newser) - A discarded DVD case is offering a brutal example of the effects our trash continues to have on marine wildlife. A young sei whale—a member of an endangered species—was found in a Chesapeake Bay tributary, seeming confused. Within days, it was found dead: It had been unable to... More »

Gulf's Dead Zone Is the Size of Connecticut

Activists sue EPA to get stricter regulations

(Newser) - A Connecticut-sized swath of oxygen-deprived waters off the Gulf Coast is a "poster child for how we are using and abusing our natural resources," says one researcher in Louisiana. In its 30th annual survey, the Louisiana Marine Consortium shows the dead zone has shrunk to about 5,000... More »

Toxic Water Actually 'So Routine' in Ohio

Pollution, invasive species, and climate change have all been blamed

(Newser) - Tap water has been declared safe to drink and bathe in again in Toledo, Ohio, but scientists warn that toxic algae blooms could be here to stay. Fertilizer from farms and cattle feedlots are partly to blame for the thick layer of algae choking Lake Erie, the most developed of... More »

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