NEWS ABOUT: pollution

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Jar of Fresh Air Sells for $860 in China

Artist's stunt is meant as a protest against pollution

(Newser) - Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned from a business trip in southern France with well-rested lungs and a small item of protest against his home city's choking pollution: a glass jar of clean, Provence air. He put it up for auction before a group of about 100 Chinese artists and... More »

Pollution Killed 7M People in 2012

Air pollution now top environmental health risk

(Newser) - Almost an eighth of all deaths worldwide last year were caused by air pollution, which is now the world's biggest environmental health risk, the World Health Organization warns. A new study released by the agency finds that around 3.7 million deaths in 2012 were caused by outdoor air... More »

EPA's New Rule Will Make Gas Pricier, Earth-Healthier

Oil refiners will need to cut gasoline's sulfur content some 60%

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency is today putting in place a new rule to drastically cut sulfur from gasoline, a measure it says will ultimately save lives, the New York Times reports. Sulfur in gasoline renders vehicle pollution control systems less effective, boosting smog-causing emissions associated with heart and lung disease,... More »

NY Lawmakers Going After ... Facial Scrubs

And other beauty products with microbeads that make it into water supply

(Newser) - New York state lawmakers have set their sights on an unlikely target: facial scrubs. More specifically, the washes, soaps, and toothpastes that contain smaller-than-a-salt-grain plastic beads, which are touted for their exfoliation abilities and derided for what scientists say they're doing to our ecosystem. As the New York Times ... More »

8M Acres of China Farmland Too Polluted to Farm

That's 2% of its arable land

(Newser) - More than 8 million acres of China's farmland are too polluted with heavy metals and other chemicals to use for growing food, a Cabinet official said yesterday—that's about 2% of China's 337 million acres of arable land. The threat from pollution to China's food supply... More »

Girl's Lung Cancer Blamed on China Pollution

Victim, only 8 years old, lives near busy street

(Newser) - An 8-year-old girl in China has lung cancer, and her doctors are blaming pollution. The girl is believed to be China’s youngest-ever lung cancer patient. State media reports that she lives near a busy street and was constantly inhaling toxic air. Lung cancer deaths are up more than 400%... More »

Colo. Floodwaters May Be Toxic Cocktail

Officials, activists fear leaks from fracking chemicals, oil tanks, sewage

(Newser) - If the floods in Colorado weren't devastating enough , officials and activists are worried that the floodwaters themselves could be contaminated with oil, chemicals, pesticides, and raw sewage. Though the extent of the problem is still unknown, locals have been photographing oil and gas wells, chemical stores, and wastewater facilities... More »

Whales Record Years of Pollution —in Their Earwax

10-inch tube shows when animal was exposed to chemicals

(Newser) - Learning the story of a blue whale's life is easy, if a little disgusting: It's all in the earwax. It forms a tube in the animal's long ear canal, "kind of like a candle that's been roughed up a bit," a researcher tells NPR... More »

The Chinese Takeover of Smithfield Stinks—Literally

More pigs will produce more poop, basically

(Newser) - If regulators approve the sale of Smithfield Foods to a Chinese company, the US will soon be producing more pigs to feed China's growing appetite for all things porcine. And more pigs will produce more poop. Smithfield—America's (and the world's) largest producer of pork—already produced... More »

The Filthiest Beaches in the US

New report card ranks cleanest, dirtiest in the nation

(Newser) - There's something dangerous lurking in the water at many US beaches, and it isn't a shark. It's bacteria, and it's fouling up many of America's shorelines thanks to runoff from treatment plants and old sewer lines, which can put swimmers at risk of hepatitis, dysentery,... More »

Obama to Tackle Climate Change— Without Congress

Big focus: tackling the pollutants produced by coal-fired power plants

(Newser) - Fewer nukes , less pollution: It was a big day for Barack Obama and his potential legacy, with a late-in-the-day announcement that he is planning a major push to tackle the pollution blamed for global warming—and he'll do it without Congress. Senior energy and climate adviser Heather Zichal... More »

Ocean Floor Littered With Recyclables

Plastics, metals especially common

(Newser) - The ocean floor has a disturbing amount of trash on it—and a disturbing amount of it could have been recycled. Researchers from the California's Monterey Bay Aquarium have pored over a huge amount of video clips of trash discovered along the coast from Canada to California to Hawaii,... More »

Everest Has Become a Huge Mess

Literally and figuratively...

(Newser) - This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first American to scale Mount Everest. Back in 1963, it was a feat only a handful of skilled adventurers accomplished. Today, hundreds of often inexperienced, ill-prepared thrill-seekers attempt the ascent every year. Most now survive, but as a result, the mountain has... More »

EPA: 55% of US Streams, Rivers in Bad Shape

Survey finds just a fifth of waterways in good health

(Newser) - America's millions of miles of rivers and streams are in terrible shape, an extensive Environmental Protection Agency survey has found. After sampling close to 2,000 locations ranging from the Mississippi to tiny streams, the EPA found that just a fifth of rivers and streams are in good enough... More »

Air Pollution Is Going to Be China's Biggest Export

William Pesek: This 'geopolitical headache' has dangerous implications

(Newser) - Home to 16 of the 20 dirtiest cities on Earth, some of the world's filthiest waters, and deadly, particulate-filled air, China is growing so polluted that it is threatening both the Communist Party's leadership at home and the quality of life around the region, writes William Pesek in... More »

Ozone Hole Smallest It's Been in a Decade

Chlorofluorocarbon ban appears to be improving Earth's ozone

(Newser) - One of the most infamous symbols of man's assault on the planet is actually diminishing: The ozone hole over Antarctica was smaller in 2012 than it has been in 10 years, reports LiveScience . Scientists credit the improvement to the worldwide ban on chlorofluorocarbons, which cause the hole to appear... More »

State of the Union to Target Emissions Cuts

EPA could move to limit existing plants' greenhouse gases

(Newser) - President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address will follow up on his inaugural call to arms against climate change, insiders say. Though the specifics aren't clear yet, it's likely Obama will discuss limiting existing power plants' emissions—a plan that could depend on his use of... More »

Sitting in Traffic Cost Us Each $800 in 2011

Commuters released 56B extra pounds of carbon dioxide: study

(Newser) - This may not do much to quell road rage: America's commuters each wasted an average of $818 in time and gas while stuck in traffic in 2011, a yearly study finds, for a total of $121 billion nationwide. That's up $1 billion from the year before, the AP... More »

Beijing Pollution Off the Charts—Again

On scale that goes to 500, it registers 526

(Newser) - Once again , air pollution in Beijing is literally off the charts. It's gotten so bad that airlines have had to cancel flights as locals wear face masks for protection, and state news says it's difficult to see beyond 100 yards in sections of eastern China. Airborne particulate... More »

Historic Cathedral Can Be Saved With ... Olive Oil?

Brits hope to keep York Minister from falling apart

(Newser) - Nothing like a little salad dressing to rescue an 800-year-old cathedral. British scientists and archaeologists tasked with saving York Minister, a stunning cathedral in northern England, say olive oil may do the trick, NPR reports. The oil's main ingredient—oleic acid—could protect the building's stones from acid... More »

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