pollution

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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 »

'Last Dictator' to Litterbugs: I'll Take Your Car

Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko makes a move on pollution

(Newser) - Europe's "last dictator" is no fan of litter. Throw your leftover trash on the streets of Belarus and President Alexander Lukashenko might just take your car. The country's state-run news agency BelTA reports Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, is warning litterers they could face tough... More »

To Search for Aliens, Look for ... Air Pollution?

Air pollution could signal intelligent life on other planets: researchers

(Newser) - Astrobiologists look for extraterrestrial life by searching for gases (i.e. methane and oxygen) that suggest the possibility of life, or for radio or laser signals in the hopes of communicating with distant alien life forms. But now a team of astronomers at Harvard is suggesting we also look for... More »

River Turns Blood-Red in an Hour

Chinese company may have dumped red dye: officials

(Newser) - A river in China that looked just fine at 5am had turned blood-red about an hour later and was emitting an odd smell, ABC News reports. Environmental inspectors in Zhejiang province said they haven't found a cause yet but suspect illegal dumping of artificial coloring. Whoever did it "... More »

99% of Ocean Plastic Is AWOL

Bad news: It's probably entering our food chain

(Newser) - Millions of tons of plastic thought to be floating around the world’s oceans have gone missing. But that's not the good news one might think. According to a new study , marine animals could be ingesting our garbage, reports the Verge . Up to 99% of the most microscopic plastic... More »

10% of US Beaches Teeming With Bacteria

Stormwater runoff major culprit in unsafe beaches

(Newser) - They may look pristine, but one in 10 US beaches is ripe with enough bacteria to make you sick. New research shows 10% of coastal and lakefront beaches fail to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's water-safety standards and swimmers could develop a stomach bug, conjunctivitis, pink eye, or even... More »

6M Cars Being Yanked From Road to Ease Pollution

Beijing restarts effort to clean up 'extremely grim' situation

(Newser) - China's government plans to take 6 million older, polluting vehicles off the road this year in an effort to revive stalled progress toward cleaning up smog-choked cities. The plan also calls for filling stations in Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities to switch to selling only the cleanest grades... More »

Mystery of 'Missing Plastics' Solved in Arctic Ice

Melting will release 1T plastic pieces into oceans: study

(Newser) - So about the hundreds of millions of tons of plastics we've been releasing into the oceans—it went where, exactly? According to a new study , much of it was trapped in Arctic ice and will be released as the ice melts, USA Today reports. At current melting rates, more... More »

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 »

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