Dec 27, 2006

Oil Money for Oil Conservation ? Really!

Haase Comment: With all the "big interests" lobbing for corn... I will be hard press to see this go any further than the press ;-(

After Jan 1st the new Congress members plan to establish a dedicated fund to promote renewable energy and conservation, using money from oil companies. "At least some of the money - revenue gained by rolling back some tax breaks - will go to a program to support research into making ethanol from sources other than corn."
"What we'll do is roll back the subsidies to Big Oil and use the resources to invest in a reserve for research in alternative energy," Pelosi, a California Democrat, recently told reporters. Click here to read full forbes article

New eGRID Data Posted on EPA's Website

EPA has just released a new edition of its Emissions and Generation Integrated Resource Database (eGRID). eGRID is a comprehensive source of data on the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the United States. It contains emissions and emissions rates for nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and mercury (Hg). The database also contains fuel use and generation data.

Dec 23, 2006

Day job just got tougher

U.S. to require more security at high-risk chemical plants.

After years of debate, and criticism over the delay, the Bush administration will move Friday to require security enhancements at high-risk chemical plants nationwide.



NOVA explains - Fuel cells for dummies


Dec 19, 2006

Cheap consumer products continue to rape Chinas people & resources...

Are you Wishing China a Merry XXXmas???

Your cheap sweater's real cost China This is the story of how your sweater pollutes the air you breathe–and how the rise of China shapes the world.

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Thanks you & Merry Christmas to By Laura B.

Corn ethanol not wanted by Shell Oil

No K-Fed or Corn-Fed ;-)
In a recent wide-ranging interview with the San Antonio Express News, Shell president John Hofmeister said Shell's position on the source of E85 fuel is clear: the expressed preference is cellulosic ethanol but notes there is no large-scale effort from this segment. Hofmeister says he's concerned about food prices going up if corn is used to produce (Ethanol) E85.

Hofmeister said if subsidies weren't available, then ethanol would be far less popular.

[Source: San Antonio Express News - VIA]

Dec 18, 2006

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly

Quote - JFK

"power harvesting" from vibrations using piezoelectric materials...

While I have covered this topic many times before. 100's of "new" patents claiming to use this "new" technology.
Power harvesting research has delved into piezoelectric applications mainly due to the development of powerful new composite piezoelectric ceramic materials. The lead titanate zirconate group and even newer lead-free ceramic materials seem to show the most promise for future applications over a range of compositions.  Flexible PVDF materials are even more intriguing.
The latest research revolves around "power harvesting" from vibrations using piezoelectric materials (discussed in early article). Power harvesting is the term used to describe the process of acquiring the energy surrounding a system and converting it into usable electrical energy. This research has been sparked for the need for wireless power sources for the new wireless technology (WiFi laptop computers, Ipods, cell phones, etc.). However, this research has been into mostly low voltage applications.
Why old becomes "new" again. "The rules of physics are the same everywhere in the universe. The rules of men are different everywhere on Earth"

Ref (1) A Review of Power Harvesting from Vibration Using Piezoelectric Materials by H.A. Sodano, D.J. Inman and G. Park, Shock and Vibration Digest, Vol. 36, No.3, pgs 197-206 (2004). 
Ref (2)Piezoelectric Ceramics by Hans Jaffe, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Volume 41:11, Page 494, November, 1958.
Ref (3) Processing and Piezoelectric Properties of Lead-Free (K,Na) (Nb,Ta) 03 Ceramics, Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Volume 88:5, pages 1190-1196 (2005)

United States selling its competitive advantage one industry at a time.

Picture source
New York Times: China will buy four Westinghouse nuclear reactors in a deal that shows the continued attractiveness of American technology, but may also stir worries in Washington that the United States is selling its competitive advantage one industry at a time. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman of the United States and Ma Kai, the minister of China's National Development and Reform Commission, signed a memorandum of understanding for the reactors in Beijing on Saturday. The deal calls for the ... (via- (Dr. Glen Barry;-)

Dec 16, 2006

Just RELEASED! White paper for EHS toxicologists

Sadly, my favorite reads will never make "Oprahs, book of the month club" - Have a great weekend ;-)

DYK - Gas flaring is over 23 percent of Total's green house gas emissions

Total to reduce gas flaring by 50% by 2012 - Gas flaring comprised 23 percent of Total's green house gas emissions in 2005. Between 1998 and 2005, Total claims to have reduced gas flaring at their facilities by forty percent in spite of increased production. Total will now focus on using these gases for power generation locally, exporting it to consumer countries, or re-injecting it back into the oil fields when feasible. Finally if none of those options are workable they will flare it rather than release the gas into the atmosphere.
Haase comments

"There are gross misconceptions and misquotes of "where" and "what" are major CO2 sources". The general public needs to take a "serious" hard look at DOD, DOE & EPA reports of over 10's of hard data and focus on "real" environmental problems. The "green" spin & hype media & politicians are putting on "pseudo studies" is going to have long-term "global" health impacts that make "carbon emissions" look like a "day in the park" :-(

Link Source: Total via GreenCarCongress -via autobloggreen

Dec 15, 2006

Periodic Table of Scientific Abuses

From  Union of Concerned Scientists

- 10,000 Scientists Speak Out

air pollution to Ground Zero, the A to Z Guide showcases
dozens of examples of the misuse of science on issues like
childhood lead poisoning, toxic mercury contamination, and
endangered species.

Bill passed the house 417 to 4; energy efficient servers

President Bush is about to sign a bill into law to promote the use of energy efficient servers in the United States. The bill also provides for the EPA to have a good hard look at data centers and what can be done to cut their energy consumption.  The bill passed the house 417 to 4; the Senate voted unanimously.
Thanks From A No Brainer  Mark Ontkush ;-)

Dec 14, 2006

Our sustainable future is the bright light in my son's eyes

His little sister asked - "is it magic"?
My son's reply -
"Nope, science"

I sat down with my son to take in a little "myth busters" last night...

Episode 69: - They did a bench test of running & startup efficiencies of general household lights using nearly the same bench equipment I have.

Their results, same as mine, the LED used 1/10th the power of the compact fluorescent consumer bulbs.

I usually shy away from the 1 to 10 ratio as it is bias with each manufacturer. (as DOE concluded) However, stating they are "10-100%" more efficient appears to be a well documented number anyone could quote.

On a lighter note... my son and I completed the thermoelectric Peltier install this weekend I am testing for Steve Spence over at It runs a array of "LED" and a TV powered for "free" off the heat from the vent in his room via the thermoelectric Peltier effect.

Is there hope for energy in our future? it is as bright as the light in my son's eyes when he saw "free" energy light up his room...

Dec 13, 2006

It seems lemmings really do run off cliffs in packs...

Hard to even read..... The ethanol industry anticipates another HUGE year in 2007, despite Wall Street concerns about potential oversupply and Environmental advocates denouncing ethanol as a sustainable fuel.... , note Congress has ensured a strong market for ethanol. The News Journal (Del.)/Associated Press

Turns out people can do math ;-)

"In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen."  » original news

Haase comments...
I assume they had read a science journal published within the last 40 years to come up with this "ground breaking" conclusion... seriously.
P.S. Someone should have told CA before they spent 40 Million on the  New Buses & Hydrogen Highway ;-)

Wal*Marts brightest future is less than 1amp

A new LED product emits 240 lumens at 1A, and claims the industry's highest efficacy up to 100lm/W@360mA. In comparison, fluorescent manages 70lm/W and incandescent pulls a mere 15lm/W. The LED is designed for all sorts of applications, from flashlights to traffic signals, but we're particularly looking forward to this thing showing up in projectors and LCD backlights. » original news (

Haase comments

I believe Wal-Mart is serious about tackling major environmental challenges, Someone needs to call them on this one "100 million Compact Fluorescent Campaign" before they make a million mistakes. Very nice LED's have been on the market and in my home for over 4 years? How is it that "Wal*Mart" can not implement this program with technology that is 10-100% more efficient? The IMPACT Wal*Mart would be "life changing"...

JUST WRONG... If Wal*Mart would just call an expert, they can "learn" that
there is Mercury in compact fluorescent lighting that is FAR more damaging than the short term gains they offer - Seriously! GO LED

No wonder Wal*Mart is seeking a EHS proffesional .... hmmm haven't called me yet ;-).

Please read more on the GLRPPR Blog,

Utility agrees to cut mercury pollution from coal-fired plants

Huge promise from utility for Great Lakes Region!
Photo from Out of the Womb, Into the Fire VIA -

Dec 12, 2006

Canada Says Good Bye - Hazardous Chemicals

Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, said the new chemicals management program would provide Canadians with information about the chemicals in the products they choose.
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose
The list of chemicals includes some already proven harmful to animals and suspected to be potentially harmful to human health.

"We think it's a very important step in dealing with some of the most substances that are in our environment, and that pose a threat to the environment and our own health."

"If there's going to be a greater responsibility for enforcement for our health, we'd better back it up with the money to go with it," she said.

Ambrose released the name of the first chemical to be placed on the list: hexafluorobutadiene.

Others chemicals include:

  • 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE),
  • 2-Methoxyethanol (2-ME),
  • Bisphenol A,
  • Lead,
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate or perfluorooctanyl sulfonate (PFOS),
  • Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs),
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs),

Dec 11, 2006

Wisconsin Water at the center of great debate

USA Today: The Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin gets half its water from the Great Lakes and half from underground wells that are tainted with radium, a radioactive element. The city of 38,500 has a simple solution to its water problem: draw more water from Lake Michigan, 10 miles away. That probably won't happen. New Berlin may look like a typical Midwestern suburb, but it's really a border town – on the edge of the Great Lakes watershed – and the west side of town is on the wrong side of ...Link   ( (Dr. Glen Barry ;-)

"BAD Science Costs You Big - Reformulated Gasoline"

"A government report published back in September 2005 stated that even 10% ethanol fuel will lead to poor air quality... The report predicted manufacturers and electric utilities would be saddled with more environmental regulations to offset ethanol pollution and E-10 could result in ozone health advisories that cover more counties." E-85 would simply open a pandora's box of further environmental complications.

Click here to

Dec 10, 2006

If you can't pronounce it, should you use it?

Gideon Koren
'How can we allow these to enter our household?'
Dr. Gideon Koren
When Shawn Ellis tests the air in parts of a house where cleaners are stored, he is measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs). His meter won't tell you how strong or harmful the chemical particles might be. It will provide clues as to how many particles there are. "You can always smell those cleaners even though they're all tightly sealed."

Household cleaners can be Hazardous Products

Everywhere the cleaning products are kept, the readings jump. The average home normally reads about 50 parts per billion.

We asked Ellis to test three products that are often advertised on television: Pledge, Clorox Wipes and Lysol Disinfecting Spray. Pledge registered 273 ppb. Anything over 500 could be a problem for people with sensitivities.

The Clorox Wipes came in at more than 1,000 ppb. The Lysol Disinfecting Spray was much higher — around 1,200 parts per million, or 1,000 times higher than the Clorox.

We live in an increasingly chemical society: experts don't know how dangerous these chemicals might be, but they are starting to worry. Young children especially vulnerable Ads suggest you can spray this every day, where kids are playing. Salares says that's something parents should think about. "Do they want to spray the air people are breathing? Or that kids with toys or surfaces that children are touching, do they want them sprayed?"

These are If you can't pronounce it, should you use it? "If you find that it has ingredients, which is a chemical you can't even pronounce, you don't know what it is, you don't know how it can affect you. I think it's about time you think, should I be using this?" Salares said. Full read here

Dec 9, 2006

Closure of 6 federal libraries angers scientists...


"It is completely absurd," he said. "The library is a national treasure. It is probably the single strongest library for space science and engineering in the universe."
"Congress should not allow EPA to gut its library system, which plays a critical role in supporting the agency's mission to protect the environment and public health," 18 U.S. senators, nearly all Democrats, said last month in a letter seeking restoration of library services until the issue can be reviewed.

The EPA said the president's proposed budget had accelerated efforts to modernize the system, and they said that library visits were declining.

"I think we are living in a world of digitized information," said Travers of the EPA. "In the end there will be better access."

Travers said all EPA-generated documents from the closed libraries would be online by January and the rest of the agency's 51,000 reports would be digitized within two years. The EPA, she said, would not digitize books, scientific journals and non-EPA studies but would keep one copy of each available for inter-library loans.

Dec 8, 2006

Three informative reports on hazardous chemicals in the average house

This U.S. study by Safer
Products Project
(SPP) tested household dust for a wide variety of chemicals
and found  a "toxic cocktail" that we are exposed to every day in our
homes,  from commonly used products ".

They provide "downloadable" facts sheet with information about the chemicals
they tested for and their health risks... (PDF Files)

Visit their site to download one or all of these fact sheets.

Images & links via:

Content no longer king - They just want hype ;-(

I was recently told that several trade publications are no longer including expert “topics” in their publications as they were "no longer being submitted by members (industry experts)".

I think it is very sad when industry experts no longer feel they can compete with the “media” blitz of blogs & dribble of irrelevant information making its way into the national headlines.

If an EHS professional does not evolve their training & writing style as the industry changes the way media is presented, their programs will loose effectiveness & appeal.

From an older post (linked here)

After training people and speaking at seminars for over tens years I realize I need to constantly “evolve” my content to make it interesting and exciting to learn…

Sadly… on the internet, if it does not have a “shock” value, celebrity, eyecandy or “get rich” theme no one from the general public will read or return to read even the most important information….

So to my colleagues, educators, regulators, scientists and true environmentalists… I am sorry for the “main stream” content.

While it may personally belittle and embarrass me… helping People and the Planet is not about me, it’s about US.

So again, Thanks for putting up with the hype to find great content!"

Christopher Haase
Director of Environmental, Health & Safety

Science report that Current Climate Change is nothing "new"

Maybe it was Al Gore's or Oprah's Big, Fat Carbon Footprint ;-)

This mnths issue of Science argues that a period of warming 55 million years ago may provide a parallel for the current climate crisis. » original news

The scientists admit that they're not as certain about what caused such a release of gases. But, critics are certain to argue "there were no SUVs then"; they'll have a much tougher time, though, making claims along the lines of "Carbon dioxide... we call it life."
Figure at left shows the predicted distribution of temperature change due to global warming from the Hadley Centre HadCM3 climate model. This figure was prepared by Robert A. Rohde from publicly available data and is available at

The Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum by
Research published over the past year indicates that PETM climate change helped drive the evolution of modern primates by causing the dispersal of tarsier-like primates across the globe.

EPA to Drop Lead Air Pollution Limits

A preliminary staff review released by the Environmental Protection Agency this week acknowledged the possibility of dropping the health standards for lead air pollution. The agency says revoking those standards might be justified "given the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed in 1976" as an air pollutant.  Source: Washington Post (VIA- thanks ;-)


Robert F. Kennedy on "Green Purchasing"

"The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use - of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public."

Dec 7, 2006

DOE asking to help companies - Save Energy Now!

The first 162 assessments identified $395 million in potential energy cost savings. More results and video testimonials. Energy Savings Application Process Now Open!
As a key element of Save Energy Now, DOE is sending ESA Energy Experts to the nation's most energy-intensive
manufacturing facilities to conduct 250 Energy Savings Assessments.
Apply Now for the next round of Energy Savings Assessments.

What is safe and dangerous in your home, school or neighborhood?

If you were born before 1975, you may remember:
your parents smoking around you when you were a child; or
playing with mercury in your hands; or
spending all day in the sun without a sunscreen; or
running out into the chemical fog when the truck came around to spray for mosquitoes; or
other children eating paint chips
At the time, no one thought that any of these behaviors were dangerous, but know anyone doing these would be considered crazy!  So how do we know if we are protecting the health of our own children today against modern hazardous?   These free pages are intended to help answer your questions.
For more information please visit  Protecting online since 1998

Can we give up "toxic living"... yes


Grist - Rules ethanol as a "yellow" fuel?

Ethanol really be the answer to our problems?
GRIST - It's unlikely that an automotive fuel is one of the big answers to our problems. Less driving, friend, and fewer cars on the road. Fewer roads, in fact.
Feeling lost in a sea of corn-fusion?Ethanol is an interesting fuel, though, with some potential to transform our big problem into less of a problem. Grist's Muckraker pieces on ethanol politics can give you the skinny on government and industry attention, so why don't I back up and go to the rudiments for all dearest readers.

Apparently the first cute little internal combustion engines used alcohol fuels, and ethanol is indeed alcohol, ethyl alcohol, made from fermented plants.
Conventionally grown corn is not the best ethanol feedstock from an environmental perspective because of petroleum crop inputs, monoculture agribusiness, poor energy balance (a shorthand way of saying that it takes more energy to make a fuel than is embodied in the resultant fuel itself), and other problems (see our piles o' biofuels info for more details). For electoral incumbents and unpopular presidents, it's a great ethanol feedstock.

Toxic tally. New data suggest exposure to certain pollutants may exacerbate weight gain

Pollutants May Put on the Pounds

As I said before... when we stop our environmental problems we've save our health problems
The worldwide obesity epidemic is usually blamed on overeating and under exercising. But limited evidence has suggested a few environmental contaminants may also be playing a role. Now some of the first detailed evidence implicating organotins, a class of persistent compounds containing at least one tin–carbon bond, has been published in the September 2006 Molecular Endocrinology. A team of U.S. and Japanese researchers found both in vitro and in vivo evidence that exposure to a number of organotins, at concentrations typically found in people and wildlife, can contribute to alterations in pathways known to play a key role in excess weight gain, and can lead to significant aberrations in fat cells in mice and frogs.
The percentage Americans who are overweight and obese has been rising sharply in the past 30 years or so. Excess weight is strongly linked with many serious health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. Prevention of obesity is by far the best available treatment. Preventing exposures to environmental contaminants over the course of a lifetime, even prior to conception, may be an important part of the battle, if this and other recent papers hold up to scrutiny.

Prenatal chemical exposure increase the risk of breast cancer

Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) altered the growth of mammary tissues in ways that increase the risk of breast cancer and increase the sensitivity of breast tissue to cancer causing agents.
Cell studies of BPA show major changes in cell signaling down to 0.23 parts per trillion. This is the lowest dose that has ever been tested, and it caused biologically important effects. With six billion pounds of BPA produced each year, no wonder there is such resistance to these low level results.
If EPA were to use 2.5 ppb from the current experiment as a LOAEL and apply the same logic used to establish the current standard, the reference (safe) dose would be 2.5 parts per trillion.  Linked from here

Haase Comment- "If the general public had any idea of the consequences of using hazardous chemical to make consumables, they would all make smarter purchases that save our future"


Victoria's Dirty Secret - Geetin busy with Enviros...

1,100 people in California dead... 25,000 predicted across the US

"The construction equipment used to build our hospitals should not be responsible for filling them."

Don Anair, vehicles engineer at the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists submitted a report including the deaths of over 1,100 people in California in 2005, form construction industry pollution.

"This is taking a heavy toll on the health of all Californians," Anair said.

The report, "Digging up Trouble," uses statistical analysis of state data on construction, causes of death, and pollution to link mortality with construction activity in the state.


Dec 6, 2006

Billion$$$ taken for pseudo-environmental causes... best get use to it.

One in every 32 American adults were in prison, on probation or parole last year.
And right now 1 in 142 US residents currently in prison.
Considering this, how is it a "wonder" billions of your dollars are taken for pseudo-environmental causes that continue to erode our climate, economy and lives...
Personal disclaimer:  Hey if I'm wrong it cost's you nothing.
If their wrong, it cost you billions in dollars and thousands of lives.

Food, fuel or freedom... we need not sacrifice ANY to power our future, because if we do, we have none. 

Have a GREAT holiday season!